Dane County will decide

‘the most important election of the year’

That’s what the New York Times calls it. For once, it’s not fake news.

On the Spring ballot are right to life, the Second Amendment, ballot integrity, redistricting, school choice, right to work, welfare reform, criminal bail, Act 10. All gone if the current 4-3 conservative majority turns progressive blue.

If Wisconsin’s state supreme court race is the most important election of the year, Dane County is the most important of the 72 counties. If Daniel Kelly hopes to win back his seat on the court to maintain the conservative majority, he has to do well in the bluest-voting county in this deep purple state.

It's the most expensive court race in U.S. history, so far spending $39.7 million.
Front page of NY Times opinion section 04-02-23

Which is why the candidate appeared Saturday just outside Cottage Grove, a bit west of Madison, for the second time in as many weeks. Part of a 17-city swing from Superior to Kenosha through Monday 04-03-23, the day before (the final) Election Day. Emphasizing the importance of the election, accompanying Kelly at Doubleday’s restaurant was U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Janesville, and new GOP party chairman Brian Schimming.  

All three urged the 100+ attending to reach out to at least 10 of their bowling league teammates, church goers, and euchre players to spread the message. Those extra votes count in a low-turnout, officially non-partisan race. Just four years ago, conservative justice Brian Hagedorn beat Lisa Neubauer by a paper-thin 5,981 votes.

No county did more than Dane County to re-elect Democrat Tony Evers, who won statewide by just over 90,000 votes.

Let’s talk percentages

Many state Republicans blamed Dane County (the Werkes thinks unfairly) for Tim Michels’ loss to Tony Evers last November. Evers, it had seemed, was low-hanging fruit in a supposedly Republican wave election. 

Multi-millionaire Michels won 57 of 72 counties but some of those counties vote smaller than the city of Fitchburg. (A f’r instance: Michels racked up 73% of the vote in Florence County; good for a paltry margin of 1,183.) Except for even smaller Menomonee County, in no county did Michels do worse than here in Dane County. His Democrat(ic) opponent took almost four of every five votes to pile up a 174,277-vote head of steam — more even than that provided by much more populous Milwaukee County.

“Dane County has to over-perform to win statewide.”

— Dane county party chairman Brandon Maly Saturday.

Democrat voters in Dane County easily neutralized by a factor of four the margin Waukesha (the state’s most Republican county) gave Republican Michels. Two upstarts took over the Dane County Republican Party in February by hanging Michels’ defeat on the incumbent leadership. They promised the next statewide candidate had to do better than Michels’ 20.7% of the vote. Two decades ago, Dane County gave George W. Bush 32.6% of its votes. The same percentage would give Daniel Kelly an extra 30,000 votes, when compared to last November’s gubernatorial race. (Admittedly, turnout for the April 4 election will be about one million votes fewer than November 2020 but the ratios still hold.)

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Someone is going to win Tuesday night (assuming the race is even decided then). The recriminations from the losing side will spew a nuclear mushroom cloud over politics here and across the nation.

What is your gut telling you?


About David Blaska

Madison WI
This entry was posted in Abortion, Election 2023, Protasiewicz, Republicans, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Dane County will decide

  1. Pingback: Dane County will decide – Wisconsin Family News

  2. Larry Olson says:

    Republicans choose the most right wing candidates who can win the primary but cannot win over the independent voters in the general election. As long as thus continues they will not win.. we could of elected the right tcandidate in the primary and she would of won. They choose Kelly who said he would not support her if she won the primary. He will cost the conservatives control of the Supreme Court.


    • One Eye says:

      To be fair it was Democrats choosing as well. They were behind the Dorow attack ads. I think Kelly is going down in flames.


  3. Cornelius_Gotchberg says:

    What is your gut telling you?

    The Gotch is hoping, but not hopeful.

    Michels racked up 73% of the vote in Florence County.” (bolds mine)

    OT, but The Gotch’s LEGAL Swedish immigrant maternal Great Grandparents homesteaded in Aurora TWSP, just across the Menominee River from Kingston/Iron Mountain, MI back ’round the turn of the century.

    The first crop each spring was STONES, so it was a tough place to scratch out a living.

    The Gotch


  4. Cornelius_Gotchberg says:

    Underrated Spectrum News just reported that 1 in 5 Milwaukee County homicides are committed by someone out on bail.

    > 53% of murders are committed by ~13 % of the population, distill that down to ~8 % of that demographic because most murderers are Y-Chromosomal Units.

    Apply LaLaLoopyLoonyLeftyLand logic, and what do you get?

    Bail is RAYcist.

    The Gotch


  5. Daniel Boudewyns says:

    35% of the early vote thus far is from Milwaukee and Dane counties.


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