Wisconsinites went to the polls on Tuesday In droves. The final results of the election though do not fully reflect the will of the people.
There were five statewide races: Governor (with Lt. Gov on the same ticket), US Senator, Attorney General, Treasurer and Secretary of State. Democrats won all five races. This is the first time that’s happened since 1982.
Dems had unmistakable victories at the statewide level. As you look down the ballot though, the results tell a very different story.
Wisconsin has eight Congressional seats all of which were up for election on Tuesday. Going into Election Day, Democrats controlled three of them and Republicans the remaining five. No seat flipped.
All told, Wisconsin Democratic Congressional candidates received 1,350,960 votes.
Wisconsin Republican Congressional Candidates received 1,171,456 votes.
[These numbers have been updated since original posting, as additional totals have been tallied and reported. See most up-to-date vote breakdown here.]
And yet, as mentioned, Dems got three out of eight seats.
That’s right, Dems got 53.5% of the vote, yet took only 37.5% of the seats.
When we look at the State Assembly, which had every seat up for grabs this past Tuesday, that disparity becomes even more glaring.
While final numbers are still not fully available for all races, Democratic Assembly candidates appear poised to take right around 1.3 million votes to Republican Assembly candidates 1.1 million votes.
And yet Democrats walked away with only 36 seats, while Republicans took a staggering 63!
That means that Democrats won 54% of the vote and yet took only 36% of the seats.
A Flimsy Response to a Gerrymandered Map
Republican Speaker Robin Vos’s response to the imbalance of the map: “I do not like the fact that Madison and Milwaukee chose Gov. Evers and they’re the reason that he won. But in the process that we have, Madison and Milwaukee get the chance to vote. I don’t like the outcome all the time, but they have a fair chance.”
Speaker Vos is essentially arguing that Wisconsin should not have a popular vote (or popular representation), but rather that we need our very own electoral college to protect Wisconsin from its two largest cities.
But of course how a city votes is irrelevant (or should be!). It should be how the people vote. And his explanation doesn’t even come close to explaining the clear disparities at play. Of course Madison and Milwaukee have a large role in deciding our state’s leadership. The combined population of their two metro areas makes up over a third of the state’s population. That’s simply how representative democracy works. Or how it’s supposed to anyway.
Wisconsin went to the polls on Tuesday and now we find ourselves with a split government. But that’s not because of how the people voted, it’s because of how the maps were drawn.
Remember that the next time our minority-elected legislative government aims to make sweeping changes to our state — changes like curbing the authority of our newly-elected Governor, because a powerful Executive was good for Vos and Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald when that Executive was a Republican, but is a threat to their minority-rule now that he’s a Democrat.
Republicans couldn’t draw the statewide map to their benefit and every statewide race went to a Democrat. Despite winning sizable majorities in the popular vote for both Congress and the State Assembly, Democrats continue to find themselves in the minority of both bodies (for Congress, this only relates to the Wisconsin caucus, not the national map).
Partisan gerrymandering is undemocratic. Tuesday’s results show clear as day just how undemocratic.
Work in politics? Want to?
Learn more about how I work with candidates, elected officials and political organizations today.
On Friday, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States before a crowd of about a quarter of a million people gathered on the National Mall.
The following day, half a million people took to the street's in our nation's capital for the #WomensMarch in order to "stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families - recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country."
Along with the central march in Washington, DC, there were another 2.5 million people participating in 600 sister marches world wide.
The largest marches were in Los Angeles (750k), Washington, DC (500k), New York (400k) and Chicago (250k). It is not surprising the biggest crowds were in the three most populous cities and our nation's capital.
The top ten largest marches* were:
Los Angeles, CA: 750,000
Washington, DC: 500,000
New York, NY: 400,000
Boston, MA: 100,000
Chicago, IL: 250,000
Denver, CO: 100,000
Madison, WI: 100,000
Portland, OR: 100,000
Seattle, WA: 100,000
St. Paul, MN: 90,000
BUT, when we look at the size of the march compared to the city population, rather than the raw numbers by city, things get interesting.
Washington, DC comes out on top, with number of participants equivalent to 75% of their population. [Before we move forward, let's break that down: Washington, DC has a population of 659,000 people. They had 500,000 marchers. So the percentage of marchers, as compared to the city's population, was 500,000/659,000 = 75.87%.] But many people traveled from all over the country to participate in the central march.
Second to DC, the clear winner of marchers by city population was Madison, WI with over 40% turnout!!!
When rearranged for turnout ratio, the top marching cities are now as follows:
Washington, DC: 75.87%
Madison, WI: 41.15%
St. Paul, MN: 30.51%
Los Angeles, CA: 19.23%
Portland, OR: 16.42%
Boston, MA: 15.5%
Denver, CO: 15.38%
Seattle, WA: 15.34%
Chicago, IL: 9.26%
New York, NY: 4.76%
Great work Madison, Wisconsin. Way to represent your values.
Check out some of the great social content from the day at #WomensMarchMadison.
*March sizes sourced from The Hill.
Population size is based on city limits and sourced from the Google Knowledge Graph.
This awesome infographic was created by iCandy-Graphics and Web Design. Follow them on Twitter @iCandyGraphics1.
A little while back, I had the pleasure to edit the riveting tale of one young man who had achieved the American dream, only to realize it was not his American dream.
He worked hard through college and got a good job as a programmer with a Fortune 500 company. Things were fine. But he didn’t want to settle for fine—he sought adventure, excitement and a life that would never stopped inspiring him.
He paid off his debts, saved up his money, did his research, quit his job and bought a one way ticket to South America. He then spent the next 2.5 years climbing mountains, biking down the world’s most dangerous road, canoeing a river up the Amazon and so much more.
That’s man’s name is Dan Perry. He is a Madison local (via a few other Midwest locales) who currently lives in China. He will be in town this weekend and I figured what better time to highlight this awesome guy and his exciting book!
Check it out on Amazon today (the other Amazon). And if you ask real nice while he's still in the area, I bet he’ll even autograph it for you. In the meantime, check out his website, where he continues to blog about his many great adventures.
Recently I went into Madison Sourdough (on Willy St. on the Near East side). Great restaurant, amazing bread (obviously!).
For those who haven’t been, it’s a pretty simple ordering process: you walk in, order at the counter, get a table number and then they bring your food to you. Nothing novel or groundbreaking.
But their table number got me thinking about how a business can use (or fail to use) all of their available real estate.
Here was my number:
Many restaurants would simply hand out a sign with the number on it. What a waste of valuable real estate that would have been!
Rather than simply serving as a function of the ordering process, this placard worked to both inform me that Madison Sourdough is online (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest) and to encourage me to post about them using the hashtag #MadisonSourdough.
Many customers are going to automatically post pictures of their meal online anyway. You might as well make it easy for those happy customers to give credit to the restaurant. And for those who might not have thought to snap a picture of their lunch and put it online, you get a chance to offer a little nudge in the social media direction.
So here’s a question: what real estate is your business/organization utilizing? And more importantly, which opportunities are you missing?
People are going to post about you and your brand regardless, you might as well be working with them.
This is a current Dr. Pepper display, in the entranceway at the Hy-Vee on East Washington Ave.
Simply using cases of Dr. Pepper (red) set against cases of Diet Dr. Pepper (white), they found a really creative way to show their Wisconsin pride.
They didn't need special bottling or a massive banner; they simply incorporated their own message (love of Wisco) into their regular display.
A sign declaring that "Hy-Vee loves Wisconsin" would certainly have come across as pandering.
But it's hard to imagine this display creating anything but positive impressions. Where most would have simply stacked their cases, Hy-Vee saw an opportunity.
Striking the balance between inauthentic and genuine is the hardest—and most important—thing that any brand will grapple with. What are some ways you incorporate your story into your displays? How do you navigate the path between authentic and contrived? Share in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter.
Blog Posts by Category