Obama Wins Wisconsin

Obama wins Wisconsin
Credit: Angela Peterson/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

President Obama has picked up the 10 electoral votes in the swing state of Wisconsin, receiving 50% percent of the vote, CNN reports. The swing state is critical to the outcome of the presidential election, and the results were heavily influenced by voter turnout and “get out the vote” efforts executed by the Obama campaign. Mitt Romney received 49% percent of the vote.

Wisconsin has voted Democratic in the past six presidential elections, but a very close election in 2000 and 2004 made the Badger state a critical battleground in this election. President Obama’s victory follows the trend of the state to vote Democratic in the presidential election. ///Mitt Romney’s victory makes him the first Republican presidential candidate to pick up the state since 1984.

Tied less than a week ago, the two candidates have spent close to $20 million total in Wisconsin, with Super PAC spending reaching almost $27 million. In a final campaign push, Obama started off election eve at a campaign rally in Madison while Republican contender Paul Ryan tailgated with Green Bay Packer fans. Ryan, born in Janesville, Wisconsin, won his most recent bid for Congress with a strong lead, receiving 68 percent of the vote.

While Obama carried the state in 2008, with 56 to 42 percent of the vote, Wisconsin is considered a swing state because of voters’ tendency to vote for candidates, not parties. Earlier this year, Republicans Governor Walker survived a recall election, despite the Democratic leaning of the state. Both Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Governor Scott Walker enjoy favorability ratings above 50 percent, reflecting the independent spirit of the state.

Polls leading up to the election showed Obama leadingby 4.2 percent, qualifying the state as a “toss-up.” Unlike much of the nation, Wisconsin has not been as deeply hit by the economic recession, with an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent, compared to the national average rate recently reported at 7.9 percent.

In the race to 270, Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes will likely play a key role in the election results, bringing us one step closer to the final results.