2012 Wisconsin Election and Polls

November 05, 2012

Wisconsin Presidential Election Results

Updated Nov. 18, 2012
Barack Obama 1,613,950 50.0%
Mitt Romney 1,408,746 46.1%  

Wisconsin and its 10 electoral votes have enormous importance in the 2012 presidential election. If President Barack Obama hangs on in Ohio, Wisconsin and either Iowa or Nevada, he wins a second term. If Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan lose Ohio, the Badger State is a must-win.

Pollster Scott Rasmussen recently wrote in an article titled “Wisconsin may be the new Ohio,”: “On election night, the first places to watch will be Virginia and Florida. If Romney wins there, watch Ohio. If the president wins Ohio, Wisconsin is likely to be the decisive battleground state of Election 2012.”

Recent Wisconsin polling (below) shows a close race with Romney gaining slightly in one presidential poll. Rasmussen Reports most recent poll shows President Barack Obama and former governor Mitt Romney tied at 49 percent each with likely Wisconsin voters. With Ohio trending more and more toward Obama, insiders near the Romney campaign have reported that the GOP candidate sees Wisconsin as the more viable option to defeat the incumbent president. Election experts see Wisconsin as a better state to flip red than Ohio.

President Obama, Mitt Romney, Vice President Joe Biden, and homeboy Rep. Paul Ryan have visited in recent weeks and are expected to campaign again before Nov. 6 to make last-minute pleas to voters. The choice of Ryan, who represents the 1st Congressional District in the southeastern part of the state may be helping the GOP ticket. Republican National Committee chair Reince Preibus also hails from Wisconsin.

A Republican presidential candidate hasn’t won Wisconsin since Ronald Reagan’s victory in 1984, and Obama beat Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) by a margin of 56 percent to 42 percent four years ago. In 2008, Obama won huge in Wisconsin’s two largest counties, getting 70% of the vote in both Milwaukee and Dane counties. Those counties secured his victory.

Wisconsin has gone through two years of nonstop campaigning since Gov. Scott Walker was elected in 2010. Both Democrats and Republicans have a well-organized legion of supporters. The Obama campaign has been on the ground for about 500 days in Wisconsin while Romney has expanded operations only recently. In a good sign for Obama, more voters are expected to turn out for the November election than showed up for the June recalls.

President Obama has a challenge this year. When he carried Wisconsin in 2008, people younger than 30 accounted for more than 1 in 5 voters and Obama carried almost two-thirds of their votes. His campaign needs a similar turnout in 2012.

The campaigns of both the Barack Obama and Mitt Romney started running new TV ads in Wisconsin the past week and are spending heavily in the state.

In the Obama ad, a narrator opens the spot saying, “Five hundred and thirty seven. The number of votes that changed the course of American history.” It refers to the Florida presidential vote in 2000.

The Romney ad features footage from a presidential debate in which he slams the president for what he has called “an apology tour” and “criticizing America.” Fact checkers have dismissed the accusation. FactCheck.org wrote, “…we didn’t see that any of them [statements] rise to the level of an actual apology.” Our fact-checking colleagues at PolitiFact and the Washington Post Fact Checker reached the same conclusion.”

Wisconsin Voter Registration, Absentee Ballots & Early Voting

Wisconsin allows same day voter registration at polling places. ID and proof of address is required. A photo ID is not currently required to vote in Wisconsin.

In-person early voting in Wisconsin began Oct. 22 at local municipal clerk’s office. It will run until 5 p.m. or the close of business, whichever is later, on the Friday before the Nov. 6 general election.

In addition, Wisconsin voters can request an absentee ballot by mail after submitting an application to their municipal clerk’s office. The application must be received by the municipal clerk no later than 5 p.m. on the Thursday before the election for the absentee ballot to be sent. It can also be sent through email or fax to the clerk.

A completed absentee ballot must be postmarked no later than Election Day and received by the municipal clerk no later than 4 p.m. on the Friday after the election.

Wisconsin Voter Suppression

In recent elections, election suppression directed at Wisconsinites include:

1) Several voter intimidation billboards were placed in and around Milwaukee.

2) Phone calls and flyers have provided incorrect election dates and polling place information.

3) Robocalls on the last day of early voting have told voters they did not need to go to a polling place because their absentee ballot was in the mail.

4) Wisconsinites have been told that anyone who has even been found guilty of anything, including a traffic ticket, are unable to vote in the presidential election. This is blatantly false.

5) At least one political organization has hired thousands of election observers who have been instructed to harass and intimidate voters who they believe will be voting for candidates who they oppose.

A training handbook from the Romney campaign instructs poll observers to sign in at the polls as a “concerned citizen” and conceal their ties to the GOP candidate. The handbook also instructs poll watchers to challenge anyone who has been convicted of a crime even though convicted felons who have served their sentences, including probation and fines, have their civil rights restored and are eligible to vote in Wisconsin. The Romney campaign handbook lists forms of voter ID acceptable to vote. Not only does it leave out several, but two state courts have blocked the voter ID law — it will NOT be in effect for 2012.

Voters who witness election irregularities, such as voter intimidation, should call 866-VOTE-WIS and file a complaint with the state Government Accountability Board.

Wisconsin State Legislature

The Wisconsin State Assembly has contests this year for all its 99 seats. The Republican Party holds the majority in the Wisconsin State Assembly by a margin of 58 to 39. There is one Independent and one vacancy.

The Wisconsin State Senate has a total of 16 seats up for election. The Democratic Party holds the majority in the Wisconsin State Senate by two seats 17 to 15. There is one vacancy.

Wisconsin U.S. Senate Race

The latest PPP poll, released Nov. 3, has Rep. Tammy Baldwin leading former governor Tommy Thompson by a margin of 51 to 48 percent. A Nov. 2 Rasmussen Reports poll has Thompson and Baldwin tied at 48 percent each while on the same day WeAskAmerica released a poll that has Baldwin up by 3 percent, 49 to 46 percent.

Wisconsin Presidential Polls

Wisconsin presidential polls Date 2012 wisconsin poll Poll 2012 political polling Results presidential poll 2012 Spread
11/3 Public Policy Polling Obama 51, Romney 48 Obama +3
11/2 We Ask America Obama 52, Romney 45 Obama +7
romney wisconsin poll 11/1 NBC / WSJ / Marist Obama 49, Romney 46 Obama +3
wisconsin election 11/1 Rasmussen Reports (Leans GOP) Romney 49, Obama 49 Tie
2012 wisconsin gop pollings 10/31 Marquette University Obama 51, Romney 43 Obama +8
wisconsin presidential polling
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