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You saw the title! We have 39 seats in the Wisconsin State Assembly and in order to take it back, we would need to pick up 11 Seats. Do I think that we'll pick up those seats? Of course not. That said, to be safe, I profiled the 11 most likely seats to flip in 2014! Walker has slipped, and he may well slip again, so it never hurts to be prepared!

Key for maps

Dark Red: 15 points or more Romney
Red: 10-15 points Romney
Light Red: 5-10 points Romney
Purple: 0-5 points Obama or Romney
Light Blue: 5-10 points Obama
Blue: 10-15 points Obama
Dark Blue: 15 or more points Obama


     Location: Rural South Central Wisconsin
     Incumbent: OPEN
     PVI: D+8
     Rating: Leans Democratic


    Analysis: The 51st District hugs the Madison area in the west through Green,
     Lafayette, Iowa, and Sauk Counties. This is quintessential rural farm country - the
     largest municipality is Monroe, WI with a population of ~11K.

     Southwestern Wisconsin politically reminds me of the South, but in reverse. The area
     is rapidly trending blue, with Tammy Baldwin and Barack Obama performing very
     solidly in 2012; however, the area is historically very Republican, and the GOP tends    
     to still perform well on the local level. The 51st is a prime example of this. Obama
     won 59% here, and avowed Madison liberal Tammy Baldwin won here with 55%.

     Republican Howard Marklein reclaimed this seat from the Democrats in the 2010
     Wave and voted lockstep with the Scott Walker agenda despite the political nature of
     his seat. Despite this, he defeated Mineral Point School Board member Mo May-
     Grimm 53%-47%, running thirteen points ahead of Mitt Romney. Marklein is retiring      
     to run for the 17th State Senate Seat being vacated by the notoriously moderate
     Republican Dale Schultz.

     Without a Republican incumbent, I firmly believe that Democrats will retake the 51st
     in November. There is a competitive primary here on our side between Dick Cates, a
     known and politically connected farmer and Pat Bomhack, a former aide for former
     Governor Jim Doyle and former US Senator Russ Feingold, and Congressman Ron
     Kind. That said, Bomhack may opt to instead run against Marklein in the State
     Senate election where Democrats lack a strong candidate.

     There is a very crowded field running in the GOP primary, which only helps us.
     However, one candidate could make this competitive which is why I hesitate to call
     this a likely Democratic gain. Todd Novak is the Mayor of Dodgeville,
     and happens to be gay and has a politically moderate reputation. Given the nature of
     this district, Novak could keep this red. That said, that will be a tough call for any

Click here to donate to Pat Bomhack via ActBlue!

Click here to donate to Dick Cates via ActBlue!


     Location: Rural Eastern Wisconsin, Door Peninsula
     Incumbent: OPEN
     PVI: R+2
     Rating: Toss-up


    Analysis: The 1st District is just east of Titletown along the Door Peninsula, in Door
     and Kewaunee counties. This is honestly some of the most beautiful stretch of land
     in Wisconsin. This is a big site for natural tourism, and the largest population center
     is the City of Sturgeon Bay, population ~9K.

     The first district is incredibly swingy - Mitt Romney narrowly won this
     district, as did Tammy Baldwin; both with less than 50%.

     Republican Garey Bies was first elected in 2002, and has since won re-election
     multiple times by very close margins. In 2008, he defeated Democrat Dick Skare
     51%-49%, and four years later in 2012, he defeated Democratic challenger Patrick
     Veeser by the same margin: 51%-49%. Luckily, Bies is retiring to run for Secretary
     of State (for reasons past understanding), giving us a prime opportunity to win a
     prime swing district.

     This is debatably the swingiest district in the state. Luckily, we seem to have
     avoided a primary. Joe Majeski is a recently retired school system principal with the
     backing of Patrick Veeser. He resides in the town of Sevastopol in Door County,
     and is very politically connected in the area.

     There is a very crowded GOP Primary that only helps us. There is a five way primary.
     Brian Hackbarth is the Town Supervisor of Gibraltar in Door County. Terry McNulty
     is the Village President of Forestville and is a Southern Door County School Board
     Member. Jonathan Kruse is the order of a Door County Business, Door County
     Marine. Paul Fiet is a Dentist, and Joel Kitchens is the President of the Sturgeon Bay
     School Board. This has high potential to be a brawl, and there is no clear front-
     runner and a none of these people are some dudes. Time will tell...

Click here to donate to Joe Majeski via ActBlue!


     Location: Suburban Brown County (Green Bay)
     Incumbent: OPEN
     PVI: R+3
     Rating: Toss-up


    Analysis: The 88th District is immediately west of the 1st District, taking up the
     eastern section of Green Bay, WI, most of De Pere, WI and some conservative
     suburbs and countryside. The nature of this district is distinctly suburban.

     This district is also distinctly swingy, though it is a tad more Red on the federal level.
     Mitt Romney and Tommy Thompson both won the 88th with about 50%. That said,
     Democrats do have slightly better luck downballot throughout the Fox Valley, so be
     prepared for a hotly contested race.

     Republican John Klenke beat Democratic Assemblyman Jim Soletski in the 2010
     Wave Election by just 267 votes. Democrats did not target this race in 2012 but
     despite that, teacher and Democratic nominee Ward Bacon still managed to hold
     Klenke to a small 52%-48% win. Suprisingly, Klenke is hanging up after just two
     terms, opening up a prime opportunity for the Democrats.

     The race for this seat formed remarkably quickly, and the Democrats have rallied
     around a strong candidate - Dan Robinson. Robinson is an elected official on the
     Brown County Board from De Pere (the more conservative city in the 88th), and is a
     College Administrator at St. Norberts.

     Similarly, the GOP very quickly rallied around one candidate - John Macco. Macco
     runs a major financial consultancy business in Brown County, and ran for State
     Senate last year against incumbent Democrat Dave Hansen, and ran at least one
     point behind Mitt Romney. There's a potential perfect storm brewing here if Macco
     cannot perform better in November.

Click here to donate to Dan Robinson via ActBlue!


     Location: Central Wisconsin (Wisconsin Rapids)
     Incumbent: Scott Krug (elected 2010)
     PVI: R+3
     Rating: Toss-up


    Analysis: The 72nd District is located smack-dab in the middle of Wisconsin to the
     immediate west of Stevens Point, WI. The district is rural, although Wisconsin Rapids is a
     legitimate population center of ~18K.

     This is one of only two districts (the other one is the 1st district) where Tammy Baldwin
     won, while Mitt Romney defeated Obama here. Suffice to say, this district is very swingy.

     Republican Scott Krug very narrowly defeated long-term incumbent Democrat Marlin
     Schneider (Snarlin' Marlin, as he's known up in Rapids) in the 2010 Wave elections. Two
     years later in 2012, Krug won re-election by just 109 votes against Wisconsin Rapids
     firefighter Justin Pluess in a race that nearly went to recount. To make matters worse for
     Rep. Krug going into 2014, he made headlines for reneging on a campaign promise
     in 2010 that he would not take any taxpayer per diem money. He later turned out to
     be one of the top-spenders of per diems and justified it with the worst possible
     response: "That was a different campaign." Democrats have obviously taken pains to
     use this to hammer Krug.

     The Dems have rallied around a candidate here - attorney Dana Duncan. He is the
     President of the Port Edwards School Board, a moderately conservative community
     adjacent to Wisconsin Rapids. There likely won't be a primary on our side, so Krug is
     very likely the most endangered GOP incumbent in the state.

Click here to donate to Dana Duncan via ActBlue!


     Location: Rural Southwestern Wisconsin
     Incumbent: Lee Nerison (elected 2004)
     PVI: D+5
     Rating: Leans Republican


    Analysis: The 96th District takes us back to southwestern Wisconsin, which like the
     51st is quintessential farm country. The largest population center here is Prairie du
     Chien, which has a population of ~6K, just to give you an impression of the sort of
     district we are dealing with here.

     The 96th is also much like the 51st district in its politically anachronistic nature.
     President Obama solidly won the 26th with 56%, and Tammy Baldwin received 54%
     of the vote. On paper, this district should go Blue no problem.

     GOP Representative Lee Nerison was elected to the 96th district back in 2004 and
     has fended off tough races before. War Veteran Tim Johnson ran against Nerison in
     2012, and Nerison managed not just to beat Johnson, but to trounce him
     60%-40%. In numerical terms, Nerison ran sixteen points ahead of Mitt Romney.
     Nerison is an adept politician who seems to understand campaigning in his district,
     and has effectively cultivated a reputation as a moderate. He is only one of three
     Republicans left in the State Assembly that voted against Act 10, the
     controversial budget repair bill that spurred the infamous 2011 Capital Protests.

     This year, however, Nerison faces by far his strongest Democratic challenger to date.
     Pete Flesch is the Crawford County Board Chair and a well-known farmer who has
     lived in southwestern Wisconsin for his entire life. Flesch is waging a very active
     campaign and is currently tied with Rep. Nerison in fundraising.

     Due to Nerison's historical record of strength and prevailing moderate reputation, I
     do not feel comfortable calling this race a toss-up. That being said, if momentum
     swings to the Democrats at any point this year, expect Pete Flesch to be an
     immediate beneficiary.

Click here to donate to Pete Flesch via ActBlue!


     Location: Rural South Central Wisconsin, North of Madison
     Incumbent: Keith Ripp (elected 2008)
     PVI: EVEN
     Rating: Leans Republican


    Analysis: The 42nd District lies about a half-hour north of Madison, WI, aka The
     Shire. This is also very rural country, stretching from Northern Dane County,
     through most of Columbia County, and stretching into conservative Dodge County.
     The largest Population center here is quite small: Lodi, WI, with a roaring population
     of 3K. Also proud home of Susie the Duck.

     Obama won this district with 51% (see very tight PVI) and Tommy Thompson also
     won it narrowly. Columbia County and the surrounded area, however, has been
     trending blue in a very dramatic way. Columbia County, for example, was one of just
     three counties to go from Red to Blue during the Recall Election (meaning Columbia
     County went for Scott Walker in 2010, but went for Tom Barrett in 2012).

     The incumbent here, however, is a tough cookie. Keith Ripp was narrowly elected in
     2008 over Columbia County Board Member and RN Trish O'Neill. He defeated O'Neill
     in 2010 by a larger 57%-43% in a rematch. Last year, he defeated Democrat Paula
     Cooper in an untargeted race by 57%-47%.

     Ripp is not a particularly compelling or charismatic figure, but he is ridiculously well-
     connected for a state legislator. The Ripp name is HUGE in Columbia County and
     northern Dane County, synonymous with Big Agriculture with multiple parks and
     establishments named "Ripp" in the area. He managed to raise 136K in his 2008
     election, which is considered extremely good for State Senate Races.

     But that was 2008, and the political nature of Ripp's district is rapidly changing
     underneath his seat. Democrats have been quick to support and campaign for
     George Ferriter, Doylestown Village President and Engineer. Amazingly, Ferriter has
     been able to mostly keep up with Ripp in terms of fundraising which gives me hope
     that the 42nd district my be ready for a change.

Click here to donate to George Ferriter via ActBlue!


     Location: Rural Southwestern Wisconsin
     Incumbent: Edward Brooks (elected 2008)
     PVI: D+3
     Rating: Likely Republican


    Analysis: The 50th District is also in southwestern Wisconsin, and is of a similar
     nature to the districts I already discussed. It's extremely rural, and the largest
     population center is in the city of Richland Center, population ~5K.

     President Obama also won this district by 54% and Tammy Baldwin won it by 52%,
     an observation that continually puts the 50th on Democratic target lists in
     November. That said, the district has been stubbornly GOP on the local level.

     Assemblyman Edward Brooks is an octogenarian Republican first elected in 2008. He
     fought off Town of Fountain Clerk Sarah Ann Shanahan in the 2010 Wave Election
     and narrowly defeated Shanahan in a 2012 rematch 50%-47%. He has something
     of a nice-old-man reputation over in Richland Center, but he recently had some
     negative headlines in which he skipped votes on a property tax cut to attend one of
     his fundraisers.

     Brooks has an exceptionally intriguing Democratic opponent this year. Chris Miller is
     a recently retired Lutheran preacher from Loganville, WI. He's effectively striking
     bipartisan chords in the vein of Dale Schultz. I believe that Pastor Miller has great
     potential to defeat Rep. Brooks. However, he has only very recently entered the race
     and Brooks is sitting on a 50K War Chest, so until the money starts coming in, I rate
     this as Likely Republican to be cautious.

Click here to donate to Chris Miller via ActBlue!


     Location: Rural East Central Wisconsin (Watertown)
     Incumbent: John Jagler (elected 2012)
     PVI: R+6
     Rating: Likely Republican


    Analysis: The 37th District is located in East Central Wisconsin, nestled in Dodge,
     Jefferson, Dane and Columbia Counties. The major communities in the 37th are the
     Democratic cities of DeForest and Columbus, and the largest city - the Republican
     Watertown, population ~25K.

     This is a very small-c conservative part of the state, and it does usually vote for the
     GOP. Mitt Romney won the 37th with 53%, as did Tommy Thompson. That said,
     Jefferson County has had a much more active Democratic base since the Recall, as
     has northern Dane County and Columbus.

     John Jagler was a Radio Host before he was elected in the 2012 elections after the
     departure of Jeff Fitzgerald (the younger). He is mostly a blank slate for now, and is
     still green enough as a Representative where he is still vulnerable. He defeated
     Columbus School Board President Mary Arnold 54%-46% in 2012.

     Mary Arnold is setting up for a rematch, and really seems committed to taking this
     reddish seat for Team Blue. Mary Arnold is a graduate and active member of Emerge
     Wisconsin, and therefore has political chops and connections. It also bears mentioning
     that she outperformed both President Obama and Senator Baldwin by about 1.5-2
     points, which would suggest that Arnold already has crossover appeal. The PVI of the
     district bars my full-blown optimism, but Arnold has a real chance to become a Dem
     holding the reddest seats for the Democrats in 2015.

Click here to donate to Mary Arnold via ActBlue!


     Location: Rural Northeastern Wisconsin and Suburban Eau Claire (Altoona)
     Incumbent: Kathy Bernier (elected 2010)
     PVI: EVEN
     Rating: Likely Republican


    Analysis: The 68th District to the immediate east of Eau Claire, a small college town in
     the northwestern section of the state. This area is suburban-to-rural, with Altoona
     being the largest population center, ~7K.

     This district - and the Eau Claire area in general - is very swingy both in federal and
     local elections. Obama won the district with 51% and Tammy Baldwin also won the
     68th with 50%. This district is very capable of electing Democrats on all levels of

     Representative Kathy Bernier was narrowly elected in the 2010 Wave Election,
     defeating incumbent Democratic Assemblywoman Kristen Dexter by a 50%-50%
     margin. In 2012, Bernier faced a tough election against a candidate who wasn't
     considered to be highly targeted - Democratic Thorp School Board Member Judy Smriga.
     Bernier held Smriga back to a 52%-48% margin of victory.

     We have one declared candidate thus far, a local farmer and Iraq War Vet Jeff Peck.
     Peck's profile appears to be rather low, which is why I rate this as a Likely GOP seat for
     2014. This seat, however, has high potential to change. This is obviously a swing seat
     that is not at all allergic to Democrats, the Democratic Candidate has an intriguing
     profile, and so far Peck seems to be keeping the tone of his race exceptionally local,
     a tactic that works in northern Wisconsin. If this race ramps up, expect it to move to
     lean R if nothing further!

Click here to donate to Jeff Peck via ActBlue!

I include the races below as Safe Republican only because there are no Democrats running for these seats yet. However, once they do, expect these seats to see competitive elections!


     Location: Rural Southwestern Wisconsin
     Incumbent: Travis Tranel (elected 2010)
     PVI: D+5
     Rating: Safe Republican/Race to Watch


    I'll keep these profiles short and sweet.

     The 49th District is located in the Southwestern corner of the State. It is similar to
     the other Southwestern district I already discussed in agriculture and politics. The
     largest population center here is the City of Platteville, population 11K, with an
     inflated population due to a local UW-Madison four-year campus. Obama was elected
     here with a 56% margin, and Tammy Baldwin with a 51% margin.

     Travis Tranel was first elected in the Republican Wave of 2010, after handily
     defeating Democratic Assemblyman Phil Garthwaite. Tranel handily garnered an
     independent reputation for himself, voting with Rep. Nerison and the Democrats
     against the infamous Act 10 bill. This earned him a conservative primary challenge
     in 2012, but it probably ultimately help him stave off Union President Carol Beals,
     54%-46%. Given Obama's 56% margin here, this district will see competitive
     elections for a long time with Tranel in office, but he unfortunately has staying


     Location: Rural Northeastern Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls)
     Incumbent: Tom Larson (elected 2010)
     PVI: R+4
     Rating: Safe Republican/Race to Watch


    The 67th district is very similar to the 68th district that I previously discussed,
     although it is just a tad more Red. It lies directly to the north of Eau Claire, WI of a
     similar suburban-rural nature. The largest population center here is the city of
     Chippewa Falls, population ~14K. Romney won the district with 51%, Tommy
     Thompson with 49%.

     Assemblyman Tom Larson was elected to this district in the 2010 Wave Election.
     He was challenged by a local nurse Deb Bieging in 2012, and despite not being
     targeted she managed to hold Representative Larson to a 53%-47% margin. There
     is a healthy Democratic bench here, so if the party targets this district in November,
     Larson could be in for a serious fight.

Originally posted to BlueSasha on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:07 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive and State & Local ACTION Group.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Bluesasha, of those seats, how many do you see (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as pickups?

  •  I think it ends up being a wash (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Great analysis, but unfortunately I think we get a wash in this years election. Democrats get the 51st, but the Republicans get the 75th back. If it was a Presidential election, I think we could 2-3 more but the midterm turnout won't help when mixed with the gerrymandered map.  

    •  Thanks! I understand, and a solid Walker rebound (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      could very well put the assembly in a wash scenario. But based on what happened in Wisconsin as opposed to surrounding states in 2012, I stand by my prediction of modest gains given a solid performance by Mary Burke and an underwhelming victory by Scott Walker.

      "Go Forth in Love and Peace" --Be Kind to Dogs -- And Vote Democratic" --Dying words of Senator Thomas Eagleton, 2007

      by BlueSasha on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:47:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't forget Virginia. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, FarWestGirl, rabrock

      Democrats had a strong but close win there, while picking up only one House seat (which was reversed by a special election). Gerrymandered maps are tough to overcome.

  •  It's practically malpractice that we didn't win (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in HD-51 in 2012 with Obama and Baldwin performing robustly here.  What happened?  Poor candidate or poor campaign apparatuses?

    “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

    by KingofSpades on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:55:17 PM PDT

    •  The answer to that question is "Yes." Marklein is (4+ / 0-)

      admittedly a very good campaigner, but I was not impressed by the May-Grimm campaign. Good person, probably would have been a great representative, but the campaign apparatus was not at all what it needed to be and didn't respond to issues that cropped up.

      Cates or Bomhack will both be good, whatever happens.

      "Go Forth in Love and Peace" --Be Kind to Dogs -- And Vote Democratic" --Dying words of Senator Thomas Eagleton, 2007

      by BlueSasha on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:58:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you! (5+ / 0-)

    For the thoughtful analysis and the Act Blue links.  The WIDems keep asking me for money, but they are not getting any because of their total ineptness.  I will donate to individual candidates, thankyouverymuch.

    Wisconsin: It's war, you know. We didn't start it, but we'll keep fighting in it until we win

    by isewquilts2 on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:08:03 PM PDT

  •  The key is going after the GOPer Base voters. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They've been winning a U.S. Senate seat here and there -- Massachusetts and Wisconsin for two -- by poaching Blue seats.

    We need to turn this around.

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Rand Ryan-Paul von Koch

    by waterstreet2013 on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 05:26:35 PM PDT

  •  FYI, Nerrison was elected in 2004, not 2002. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Otherwise, great analysis!

    How do you see Amy Sue Vruwink's and Stephen Smith's chances? I am worried for both of them, but more so Smith.

    Gay farm boy, 21, who hit the city to go to college, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -5.12, -1.74, "No tears. Remember the laughter, stories and good times we shared."- My dad (1959-2013).

    by WisJohn on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 07:40:58 PM PDT

    •  Gosh! Thanks for the catch! Fixing it now. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'm a little worried Vruwink might retire... rumors don't happen for nothing. That said, Nancy Vandermeer has been very lazy about the race, so I'd feel confident saying Vruwink wins re-election.

      I know what you mean about Smith, and if he had a different opponent I would say the odds are stacked against him. That said, Romaine Quinn is 23 years old. I have nothing to go off of here besides gut, but it's a very old population up there. I have a hard time seeing them booting out an incumbent for someone that young. It's still toss-up, but I'd say 53% chance Smith wins?

      Again, my two cents.

      "Go Forth in Love and Peace" --Be Kind to Dogs -- And Vote Democratic" --Dying words of Senator Thomas Eagleton, 2007

      by BlueSasha on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 07:54:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This makes me happy: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Columbia County and the surrounded area, however, has been
         trending blue in a very dramatic way.
    Just moved there and wasn't sure of the lay of the land, so to speak, until I saw your map.  I received a newsletter from Keith Ripp this weekend and....RIPPPP! into the garbage it went.  ;)
  •  Americans Need To (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    remove these bible thumpers and conservative extremists from political office in Congress and our state legislatures for the good of our nation.

  •  Eh (0+ / 0-)

    WI remains a right-wing state that elects and re-elects right wing govs., and it shows in the striking deterioration of the state. Since the 1980s, family farms have fallen like dominos and we've lost a huge portion of our working class jobs, pushing so many into poverty. The good folks of WI responded by taking the lead in throwing the poor off the cliff.  WI libs periodically put in their spotless blue work shirts to "rally the people" to take a stand for the better off, whatever remains of the middle class. Excuse my lack of enthusiasm.

    •  thompson was not a hard right winger like (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisJohn, BlueSasha, David Jarman

      Walker, while serving at the HHs he managed to procure the 810 million for high speed rail  for WI that walker, like a idiot turned down. it was only in his run against Baldwin that he went off the edge. wisconsin is not kansas or mississippi, states where the dems are a small minority with little hope of having any power. sure the dem party in wisconsin is weak and gutless, i've heard enough monotone calls from them. but if wisconsin is hard right, how did obama win it by 7 points in his re-election?

  •  Love it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WisJohn, BlueSasha

    BlueSasha,  these are great diaries on the Wisconsin legislative scene.  I'm curious, will we get the final third of your Assembly overview (the one that covers most of my neck of the woods in western Wisconsin) and one for the State Senate?

    •  Thanks for the kind words, Alphaaqua! (0+ / 0-)

      Based on how well this diary is received, I do indeed plan to do a diary of a similar nature on the Senate (I'm looking at two weeks from now).

      It's been so long since the other two parts, I'm not sure if there'd be much interest in the DK community of a releasing of part 3.

      That said, races are fluid so I may release a newer, fresher version of this a couple months from now when races here in Wisconsin are set in stone.

      "Go Forth in Love and Peace" --Be Kind to Dogs -- And Vote Democratic" --Dying words of Senator Thomas Eagleton, 2007

      by BlueSasha on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 12:49:57 PM PDT

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      •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I was glad to see you include Larson's and especially Bernier's districts as potentially flippable.  From my perspective in the Eau Claire area, Larson seems a little more secure, even with the PVI.  I was surprised that Judy Smriga came as close as she did in the 68th, though regardless of the Democrat, I see this being a tougher climb in a non-presidential year (also, Bernier adding up years in office will make her tougher to defeat -- like any incumbent who racks up years in office).

        What do you think about the 93rd?  Jeff Smith came really close in what I believe is now a much more GOP-leaning district, but I would think he's the only one who could do that because of his prior experience as the Assemblyman in that area (under the old lines).

        •  I think the 93rd was close mostly due to the fact (0+ / 0-)

          that a former incumbent Assemblyman was trying to get his seat back. Petryk is also loaded with campaign funds from that race and Smith won't go for it again, which leads me to think it's likely going to stay red for the time being. Then again, this diary is merely a snapshot, so certainly the 93rd could quickly get interesting.

          I agree with your impression of the Eau Claire-area races. It's obviously a swingy area which is why I include them in this list, but neither Larson and Bernier are very likely to flip as of now.

          Another one I was struggling with myself whether or not to include is the 26th (the Sheboygan district). The PVI there quite unfavorable, but split ticket voting down there is prevalent. Local Dems outrun federal candidates by non-trivial margins. Helmke came really damn close to knocking off Endsley. Now Endsley isn't running.

          Since there are no declared Democrats, I did not put it in my top 11, but when I do an updated version of this in a couple months, it could be there.

          Purely out of curiosity, are you also a Wisconsinite?

          "Go Forth in Love and Peace" --Be Kind to Dogs -- And Vote Democratic" --Dying words of Senator Thomas Eagleton, 2007

          by BlueSasha on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 08:19:18 AM PDT

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          •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

            Wisconsin native and resident for most of my life, and most of that here in western Wisconsin.  It's fascinating to watch the Wisconsin political scene from up here in the west/northwest, since we're swingy (as previously noted), but also fairly sedate in our political passion (our turnout is good, but we don't get angry/outspoken) -- probably since we're demographically more similar to Minnesota than eastern Wisconsin (more Scandinavian heritage, etc.).

            Hey, one other Assembly question:  what do you think about the 75th for a Dem hold (Stephen Smith)?

            •  Nice. I just spent a couple days up there, and I (0+ / 0-)

              definitely see what you mean.

              My gut says that Stephen Smith gets a 2nd term UNLESS a stronger Republican gets in. Smith has been fundraising ever since he was elected. Northern WI also has a very peculiar attitude toward politics IMHO - I think they're very conservative in some respects, but also not allergic to electing Democrats. They also really don't like change except under exceptional circumstances (The 2010 Wave, Roger Rivard's disgusting rape comment).

              Smith's opponent, Romaine Quinn, is a 23 year old mayor of Rice Lake, WI. That looks good on paper, and it will be a close race. That said, Northern Wisconsin is old and I think being 23 will be more of a hindrance than an advantage for Quinn. If Smith sustains his money advantage and stays a familiar face in his district, he'll probably win re-election in the low 50s.

              That said, another Republican could get in and shake this whole thing up. But with Quinn, I see Smith keeping the seat.

              "Go Forth in Love and Peace" --Be Kind to Dogs -- And Vote Democratic" --Dying words of Senator Thomas Eagleton, 2007

              by BlueSasha on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 08:30:32 AM PDT

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  •  Great Analysis! (0+ / 0-)

    I can really see the 4 SW Districts (49th, 50th, 51st, and 96th) as well as the 1st and the 72nd electing a Democrat in the near future.  Except in a very strong wave year, the others listed will be very hard.  The Republicans spent our tax money to their advantage to conjure up a map that packed Democratic voters into a minority of districts.

    Which districts currently held by Democrats are at strong risk of flipping the other way?  I see the 75th is mentioned in the comments, but I am greatly concerned about the 70th also.  Any others?

    Citizen from WI-07 (Marathon County)

    by CentralWIGuy on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 07:51:08 PM PDT

    •  In a neutral, probably not. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Although if things get worse, Steve Doyle's district (94th) has an even PVI, so it's swingy on paper. That said, he's a good fit for the district.

      Mandy Wright also could be in danger in the event of a Republican Wave, but she's been creating a very good brand for herself up in Wausau, and developing a campaign warchest.

      In a neutral year though, The 70th and 75th are the two we need to constantly monitor.

      "Go Forth in Love and Peace" --Be Kind to Dogs -- And Vote Democratic" --Dying words of Senator Thomas Eagleton, 2007

      by BlueSasha on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 07:16:47 AM PDT

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      •  85th (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Mandy has been very connected to the public with both social media and getting out to events in her role as a Representative.  She won a close election in 2012, but have heard of no one who is planning on running against her, yet.  (Certainly, someone will, but she should prevail as redistricting actually slightly made the 85th less Republican and has been held by Democrats for decades.)  I live in the neighboring 86th (which actually borders the 70th also).

        Citizen from WI-07 (Marathon County)

        by CentralWIGuy on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 08:43:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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