By Mitchell Schmidt
Continuing a decade-long trend in Wisconsin due in part to GOP-drawn legislative maps, Democratic candidates on Tuesday secured fewer legislative seats than what their statewide vote total would suggest.
A Wisconsin State Journal analysis of unofficial vote totals in Wisconsin legislative races Tuesday shows that Democratic candidates received 46% of total votes cast in state Assembly races, but ended up with only 38 of 99 seats after winning two new districts. In state Senate races, Democratic candidates secured about 47% of total votes, but only picked up 38% of the seats on the ballot and now control only 12 of 33 seats.
Results are considered preliminary until officially canvassed, and The Associated Press has not called all state legislative races yet. The data does not include write-in votes.
“When people are denying the existence of a very effective gerrymander in Wisconsin, they’re basically asking us to deny what we can see with our own two eyes,” said Anthony Chergosky, UW-La Crosse assistant professor of political science. “You look at the maps, you look at the statistics, you look at the voting patterns, you look at the discrepancy between the popular vote and the number of seats won, and it’s plain as day that this was not just a gerrymandered map, but a very effective one.”