The turnout numbers in Wisconsin have been percolating all day, and this has continued as we near the close of the polls. Turnout all over the state is coming in extremely high, as voters register either their support or discontent with Scott Walker. There’s talk of turnout exceeding 100% in Dane County, home to Madison. That is possible, because of same day registration. So with an influx of new voters, you could end up with more votes than the number of registered voters from the beginning of the day. Milwaukee turnout is also reported high, approaching 2008 Presidential levels. GOP strongholds are being a bit more tight-lipped about their numbers, but they also expect high turnout.
Some early exit polls have somewhat better news for Republicans, but also for Democrats. The makeup of voters looks similar to 2010 on ideology. However, self-identified Democrats are running above self-identified Republicans by 35-33. This split was more like 39-33 in 2008, but this is an improvement from the 2010 makeup. One good sign is that 1/3 of all voters come from union households. That’s higher than the last two Presidential elections.
Daily Kos Elections has a good guide to the benchmarks that Barrett would need to hit to get on a winning pace. However, if turnout just blows the doors off in Dane County and Milwaukee, he may not necessarily need to be at this level everywhere.
President Obama holds a six-point lead over Mitt Romney among early exit poll voters, but that’s in line with some of the public polling that showed Walker in front.
I’ll be watching and adding comments throughout the night.
…AFSCME has sent voter registration forms and ballot to select wards in Milwaukee so people can go out and vote. There have been scattered reports of people walking away from the polls because they have to wait for forms.
This bodes well (provided AFSCME gets the forms out before people leave), as turnout in Milwaukee is seen as key to victory. But elevated turnout in red areas would make it that much harder for a blowout turnout number in Milwaukee to make a difference.
…Brad Friedman has a primer on how to protect your vote in Wisconsin.
…NBC projects the gubernatorial race “too close to call” as the polls close. The exit polls, reportedly, show it 50-50. Wow. [cont’d.]