MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Earlier this year, surveys showed that up to 10% of Wisconsin voters would split their tickets and support both Democratic President Obama and Republican Tommy Thompson for the U.S. Senate.
But it didn’t happen. Democrat Tammy Baldwin finished only 1.3% behind Obama Tuesday – with Obama getting 52.7% of the Wisconsin vote while Baldwin got 51.4%. Both of them carried virtually the identical counties throughout the Badger State.
The Democrats got most of their support in the Milwaukee-Racine-Kenosha region, far northwest Wisconsin, and the southwest two-thirds of the state which included Menomonie, La Crosse, and Madison.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel cited exit polling data which showed that ticket-splitting was as high as 22-percent in 1998, but plunged to just over 5% – and it was only about a point lower than the polarizing contests for governor and U.S. Senate back in 2010.
Newspaper analyst Craig Gilbert said Wisconsin can still be a swing state – but in some years, races can get nationalized along party lines, and it’s hard for individuals to overcome them.