"This is the world we live in
And these are the names we're given
Stand up and let's start showing
Just where our lives are going to"
Land of Confusion, Part II: Trempealeau County
Here is the 2004 Presidential Election Map:
Wow, a whopping 57% for Democrats! 8,075 votes for Kerry to Bush's 5,878!
Not bad, but then again Trempealeau County is small, so it doesn't really matter right? Wrong... very, very wrong. These are the type of counties that won Scott Walker the Governor's Mansion in 2010 and kept him in it in 2012.
Now, 2006 Gubernatorial Election: Doyle v Green:
|Jim Doyle||Barbara C. Lawton||Democratic||5,557||58.57%|
|Mark Green||Jean Hundertmark||Republican||3,725||39.26%|
Depressed, as expected, from a Presidential year... but that's a large drop off. of 2,518 votes.
Now, let's look at 2008:
|Presidential Candidate||Vice Presidential Candidate||Votes|
|Barack H. Obama||Joseph R. Biden, Jr.||Democratic||8,321||62.50%|
|John S. McCain, III||Sarah Palin||Republican||4,808||36.11%|
Okay Dems, okay... you really amped it up! You got back all of the drop off from 2006 and even a few more!
Now, 2010. Back down again... Gubernatorial Election, right? Okay, but YIKES... once you actually dig into the numbers you see that we lost a significant chunk of voters.
|Lt. Gubernatorial Candidate||Popular Vote|
|Tom Barrett||Tom Nelson||Democratic||4,928||49.18%|
|Scott Walker||Rebecca Kleefisch||Republican||4,898||48.88%|
Yeah, we lost 3,393 voters between 2008 and 2010. Where's the turnout?! Republicans actually gained 90 voters during that time, but even still, + 90 to -3,393.... something wrong on one side!
And yes... that's a 30 vote separation between Barrett and Walker. This county moved right, and moved HARD!
Now, let's look at 2012:
Walker: 57% - 6,262
Barrett: 42% - 4,638
OUCH. We lost another 290 votes! So, we've seen what could potentially be 8,321 votes go down by almost 4,000 in 8 years??? What are Democrats doing wrong in this county????
When the results for this county came in... it was almost assured that Scott Walker would be re-elected.
How are we going to change it for the November elections and beyond???? The La Crosse TV market is the logical answer. This is an area that has little interaction with Milwaukee, so one could surmise that the Governor's attacks here on that city worked. The money advantage would also seem to be a key here as to why so many counties on the western boarder of Wisconsin have drifted more and move to the red side of things. These are areas where internet and social media advertising just doesn't have as big an effect. TV and radio commercials still reign supreme.
However, Republicans don't trend up by 2,500 votes for no reason. Something changed in the minds of this county's citizens. How many of those people who flipped between 2004/08 and 2010/12 are really former Democratic voters? What have we done to lose them? These are the questions we need to answer if we want to win statewide elections again and turn not just Trempealeau County back blue, but make the "Hwy 21 - Hwy 29 Corridor" blue again.
We have issues in this county! This is the Land of Confusion!