The morning after
Ds outnumber Rs. The top statewide primary for both major parties was the attorney general's race. Is it significant that roughly 360,000 people voted the Dem primary and only 240,000 on the Republican side? That's 50% more Ds than Rs. Does that bode anything for November, or was it driven by local races?
Sore losers. It is difficult to be gracious in defeat, but for most candidates the biggest audience they will ever have is for their live election night speech, win or lose. That's one that leaves a lasting impression with viewers. Paul Bucher's complaints about buying elections and Wisconsin being for sale may have made him feel better for a minute but didn't get him a thing. Bucher managed to spend $300,000-plus himself this year without ever getting on television.
I didn't see Lautenschlager's speech, but it sounded like she said all the right things. She didn't call Falk to concede apparently, but that's just bad manners. I wouldn't read too much into it. In the heat of the moment, the last thing a losing candidate wants to do is to call the winner. And Peg pretty much does want she wants. Jim Doyle is still waiting for Don Hanaway to call and concede the 1990 AG's race. [Jeff Wagner, too, from the 1994 campaign, I'm reminded. Maybe he could just do it on the air, during his "Department of Justice" show.]
Will Lautenschlager blame Jim Doyle for her defeat, and for urging Falk to get into the race? Probably. The real question is whether Lautenschlager will be vindictive and use her remaining days in office to try to take Doyle down with her. There was talk of that possibility in DOJ even before the primary, and Lautenschlager and some of her lieutenants have already demonstrated their willingness to leak information about investigations for political purposes. It could be a messy eight weeks.
Invisible race. Who even knew there was a GOP primary for lieutenant governor? Nick Voegeli, whoever he is, got 44% of the vote against Jean Hundertmark, the anointed candidate.
Kagen prevails. Republicans targeted the right Democrat in the 8th Congressional District, attacking Steve Kagen even before the primary. If they hoped their early negatives would cost him the nomination, they were wrong. He won a three-way race pretty handily and clearly is the candidate with the resources and campaign to slug it out with John Gard.
Coulda, woulda, shoulda. David Clarke got a little scare Tuesday but will be back as Milwaukee County Sheriff, much to the chagrin of the Democratic Party, since Clarke is a Republican who runs as a Dem. Conservatives crow that Republicans can win in Milwaukee, citing Clarke (who runs as a Dem) and County Exec Scott Walker (who runs in a non-partisan election). But no R is going to win countywide in a partisan race. Vince Bobot probably would have beaten Clarke if he had run a television campaign, but neither candidate did, relying on mail, billboards and yard signs. That kind of race favors Clarke, the incumbent with good name recognition and the ability to get on TV newscasts almost at will. Clarke will get talked into running for a higher office, but it's clear he can be beaten, as he was in the last mayor's race. And I don't believe, for all of talk radio's efforts, that there were enough GOP crossovers to make a difference for Clarke.
Earlier, Election Night musings.
AFTERTHOUGHT: The Journal Sentinel is oh-so-careful not to overstate things. It's headline, "Clarke, Chisholm survive" is interesting, since John Chisholm "survived: with 65% of the vote in the Milwaukee DA's race. The paper says "both men will be favored heading into the Nov. 7 general election." I guess so, since Clarke is running against a Republican and Chisholm against an independent in a county where Democrats always win the county offices. The story on the Waukesha DA and sheriff's races throws caution to the wind, with a headline, "Schimel, Trawicki likely clinch it":
Waukesha County voters delivered political victories Tuesday to two county insiders, elevating Brad Schimel in his bid to become district attorney and virtually re-electing Sheriff Dan Trawicki in decisive Republican primaries.But there's still a disclaimer:
With no Democrat running in either race, both Schimel and Trawicki appear on their way to election in November, barring any successful write-in campaign.Or one of them dropping dead, or moving to Arizona, or something.
The Cap Times comes around. Madison's Capital Times has been Lautenschlager's biggest booster and Falk's harshest critic in the AG primary, but in an editorial today says: To those Democrats who retain some animus toward Falk for making the race, we have three words: Get over it. Wisconsin needs a progressive attorney general.
Progressive Majority candidates win. Candidates endorsed by Wisconsin Progressive Majority won 8 out of 9 legislative primaries Tuesday, and maybe nine.
Covering the races. WISN-TV, the Channel 12 ABC affiliate, is working hard to become the go-to station in Milwaukee for political coverage, and has devoted more airtime to the campaign than anyone else in the market. If you missed it, you can go here to watch Paul Bucher's concession speech, John Chisholm's victory speech, and more.