Thu May 10, 2012
Very high voter turnout for recall primaries
Turnout for the recall primary last night made history. More than 1.3 million votes were cast, which is about 30 percent turnout. That's the highest turnout for a partisan primary in Wisconsin in 60 years.
With only token opposition on the GOP side, Gov. Scott Walker turned out about 646,000 votes. Collectively, the Democratic candidates captured almost 670,000 total votes with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett winning the four way contest. Charles Franklin is a Marquette University Law School political scientist, "The pro recall forces, the Democratic forces, are very energized. They gathered all the signatures and last summer organized the protests as well as the recalls then and tremendously raised Democratic turnout. But Republican turnout also went up last summer."
Franklin says that turnout from last night shows that both parties are clearly energized and that there will now be a big push to get voters to the polls on June 5, "I think that this is a precursor to what is likely to be 28 days not only of advertising, but 28 days of very intensive get out the vote efforts that's going to be aimed at getting every last supporter to the polls on both sides."
The previous record for high turnout for a primary was almost 39 percent in the fall of 1952. That's based on records dating back to 1948.