April 5, 2011

Election day in Wisconsin.

If you're here in Wisconsin, have you voted yet? What's the turnout where you are?

Who's going to win? David Blaska has his predictions:
Supreme Court: Odana Road from Midvale Boulevard to Monroe Street is a blizzard of Kloppenburg signs -- many of them homemade. Has there ever been a state supreme court race this passionate? I do love the challenger’s motto, “Elections have consequences.” Tell that to Marty Beil. No pretense here, folks. This is a “do-over” of the November 2 election that Scott Walker won by a 52-47 margin...

Yes, wish is father to the thought. But I’m knocking on wood that pro-Walker voters are just as energized as the unionistas responsible for the Siege of the Capitol 2011.

A squeaker but the good guy wins thanks to out-state disgust over bully-boy tactics: David Prosser 50.5% over JoAnne Kloppenburg. But boy, this will be close.
Will it? It seems to me it could be anything, and the interpretation of what it means after we see what it is could be anything.

***

"Out-state" doesn't mean "out-of-state." I learned that term only recently. It refers to the parts of Wisconsin beyond Madison and Milwaukee. Another term I saw for the first time is "Wisconsin nice." It was in this Wall Street Journal column 3 days ago informing us that "It seems 'Wisconsin Nice' is now gone with the wind." I've been living here since 1984 and I've never heard of "Wisconsin nice." Maybe you need to go "out-state" to hear about it, or maybe only out-of-staters look at us and say that. Maybe the truly nice people don't think of themselves as nice. It's just the way they are. I don't include myself. I didn't grow up in Wisconsin, and I don't see why I would have picked up any niceness by living in Madison as an adult. Niceness needs to be more deeply ingrained. I grew up in Delaware, where people seemed normal to me. I went back recently and was stunned by how surly people were! Proof of Wisconsin nice? Perhaps. I don't know. I'm a stranger here and in Delaware now too.

Anyway: Vote, people. Wisconsin will have the court it deserves.

57 comments:

The Crack Emcee said...

"Wisconsin will have the court it deserves."

Nice.

Drew said...

The building where I work is also a polling place. Lots of activity this morning. More than usual for an "off" election.

Lincolntf said...

If Prosser loses, do you guys have any recommendations on where I should camp out during the Tea Party occupation of the Capitol? I expect to be there for up to a month and I'll be bringing my own Sharpies, bricks and swastikas, so I won't need to do much shopping. Really any quiet patch of woods will do.

D.D. Driver said...

Voted this morning on the west side of Milwaukee (Tom Barrett's neighborhood). Turn out was LOW.

rocketeer67 said...

I've heard "Wisconsin nice" my whole life. It is used as a term of reproach. It means "superficially (but not really) nice." I took its use in the WSJ to mean that even the pretense of niceness was gone now.

Please note that I am not from Wisconsin. This is simply the way the rest of us talk about you behind your backs.

rocketeer67 said...

I've heard "Wisconsin nice" my whole life. It is used as a term of reproach. It means "superficially (but not really) nice." I took its use in the WSJ to mean that even the pretense of niceness was gone now.

Please note that I am not from Wisconsin. This is simply the way the rest of us talk about you behind your backs.

Mr. D said...

Wisconsin Nice might be a variant on what we have in Minnesota. In Minnesota, the term "Minnesota Nice" refers to the outward politeness of the local citizenry, although there's always an undercurrent of passive-aggressive behavior involved, too, so it's a term of both praise and mild derision.

I grew up in Wisconsin (in Appleton) and in my experience, people generally are very nice -- friendly, buy you a beer type people. There's less reserve in people's behavior in Wisconsin. The German term Gem├╝tlichkeit is the closest thing I can think of to express what it is.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Sink or swim Wisconsin, time to stand and deliver.
There will be no bailouts.
My own state faces 4 times the deficits as yours.
Your unions seem determined to win the battle and lose the war, so be it.

Vote.

Sofa King said...

Voted this morning at 7:50 in Shorewood (possibly the most liberal municipality in Wisconsin.)

Turnout was surprisingly light - there was no line at any ward table. The Darling recall folks had the exit staked out.

carrie said...

I voted at 7:30 am in a rural township in Dane County and I was the 49th voter, which is high. What is the law professor's take on the referendum question regarding the constitutional amendment to limit the free speech rights of corporations?

Original Mike said...

The NYT can't tell the difference between Minnesota and Wisconsin. Not surprising, really.

Original Mike said...

Though, all they had to do was ask themselves, "who are the World Champions?".

JohnnyT1948 said...

The thing I am wondering about is whether Caperton really makes a difference if Kloppenburg wins. The way I see it, she can recuse herself, and show what a "non-partisan" she is who is not a captive of the unions, and a 3-3 split of the Supreme Court would still uphold any decision by Judge Sumi. So the left doesn't need Kloppenburg to vote on this issue, they only need to take away the possibility of Prosser voting to overrule Sumi. Am I correct on this? Maybe some of the more legal types who post here can clarify this for me.

carrie said...

As for Wisconsin nice, I think it has it basis in the influx of scandinavian immigrants and their influence on Wisconsin culture. I'm of scandinavian descent and the scandinavians have a high sense of decorum and an 11th commandment that is "Thou shalt not confront." However, not confronting just means that you use more subtle ways of showing your disagreement or disapproval of something which makes society a more pleasant place. With Scandinavians, it's pretty much live and let live--if you don't like something about someone you just don't associate with them--you certainly don't harass them. I live in Madison and there is a lot of harassing going on now and it never used to be like that.

garage mahal said...

Though, all they had to do was ask themselves, "who are the World Champions?".

I know right? Simple.

edutcher said...

I'm wondering if Eric Holder sent any of "his people" to watch over the polling places.

Ann Althouse said...

It was in this Wall Street Journal column 3 days ago informing us that "It seems 'Wisconsin Nice' is now gone with the wind.

It's a little like the Allied liberation of France, the Low Countries, or the Philippines after years of German or Japanese occupation. You found out just how horrific some of your neighbors really were.

Ann Althouse said...

I hadn't heard the term "Wisconsin nice," but I agree that the kind of niceness one encounters here is simply a social lubricant and not any sign of deep caring or warmth. To be fair, it's not even deceptive. It is what it is, and it hardly matters to me. I was used to living in NYC. I don't need people to pretend they like me. I assume they don't. What's the big deal?

Ann Althouse said...

Now, in Indiana, I really felt a deep, ingrained warmth. It was weird and beautiful. Meade is from Indiana, a truly amazing place.

Econophile said...

Voted around 8:00am in Madison's downtown/isthmus. It was certainly less busy than last November's midterms--at least in the 10 minutes I was there.

It took me some time to vote since for several races on my ballot, I have no choice but to vote for write-ins, who are typically intellectual heroes of mine, dead and alive. It's a bit sad, really... but also fun.

I'm still trying to understand why no ID is required of me to vote; I need only state my name and address. But anyone could state my name and address. I'd love to hear some argument against requiring photo IDs that isn't inspired by fraud.

James said...

I voted this morning just after 8:00 a.m. and I was #40 at my polling place. In addition to the SC election, Racine has elections for county supervisor, city mayor, alderman, and three referendum questions related to the funding of Racine Unified School District so turnout is expected to be higher than usual for a spring election.

Oddly enough, last night I got a robocall with talking points from the RUSD superintendent that started with "Hello Racine Unified employee; this is Jim Shaw." My wife sits on the Racine PTA Council - the umbrella organization for the various PTA groups - but neither of us have ever been employed by RUSD. In any event I don't see how any of the referenda will pass in the current environment but the district is nothing if persistent.

I've never heard the expression "Wisconsin Nice" before but "Minnesota Nice" was certainly quite commonly used when I lived in the Minneapolis suburbs.

former law student said...

The NYT can't tell the difference between Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Neither could that Brent Farve guy, right?

former law student said...

Now, in Indiana, I really felt a deep, ingrained warmth.

Heartburn from all the Bob Evans restaurants?

I visited an old girlfriend in Bloomington once. The surrounding area had two ethnic groups: Baptist and Methodist. We went to a steakhouse that would put your name on a plaque if you managed to eat the 108 oz steak.

LaPorte wine country is nice, nice enough for A's owner Charley Finley.

Original Mike said...

"Neither could that Brent Farve guy, right?"

Oh, he most certainly could tell the difference. When he wanted to get back at the Packers, he knew exactly which team to play for.

Too bad it didn't work out for him. {snicker}

Original Mike said...

I've lived in Wisconsin for 55 years and I've never heard the phrase "Wisconsin Nice". "Minnesote Nice", yes. "Wisconsin Nice", no.

Original Mike said...

"I'd love to hear some argument against requiring photo IDs that isn't inspired by fraud."

FLS is your man.

PaulV said...

Vote early, vote often.
Or, vote the dead, it is the Chicago Way.
Are you considered a come here?
Is that just a Virginia expression?

kate said...

I've lived in Wisconsin for 55 years and I've never heard the phrase "Wisconsin Nice". "Minnesote Nice", yes. "Wisconsin Nice", no.

51 years, here, with the same experience. As for Indiana, my many years of traveling and visiting there did not afford me the same experience...meaning not any warmer or cooler than other places I've been in the midwest.

AllenS said...

I voted in Polk County, Town(ship) of Alden. At 8:30 this morning, I was the 48th voter. This is a rural area. Drove through Star Prairie about a half hour ago, and there are quite a few cars at the town hall.

gs said...

"David Prosser 50.5% over JoAnne Kloppenburg."

Thanks, but that's only a prediction for the election. What about the recount?

themightypuck said...

Elections mean exactly what they actually do and nothing more. This is the essence of republican democracy. You don't get to infer shit.

Calypso Facto said...

I went in and absentee voted "out-state" on Friday. Lots of hemp-wear and patchouli-scent at the polls, so I'm assuming it's a Bride of Kloppen-stein win.

The union gravy train apparently has an inviolable third rail of entitlement.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

Now, in Indiana, I really felt a deep, ingrained warmth. It was weird and beautiful. Meade is from Indiana, a truly amazing place.

Deep warmth, weird, beautiful, amazing...

Nope, ain't gonna do it...

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Bride of Kloppen-stein

lol

Calypso, that's the funniest thing I've read in quite some time.

Irene said...

Turnout was heavy in the Town of Middleton at 10:00 am.

Voters were upset that three people stood by the polling place door with "Recall Walker" signs. The three were collecting signatures for future anti-Walker mailings. A number of voters chided them. My 87-year-old mother said, "Hey. Recall O-bahhh-ma."

Irene said...

It was not "nice."

AllenS said...

Irene,

The only person that the Recall people attracted at my polling place was me, and I wasn't there to sign anything. I told them to shove their sign up their ass.

Irene said...

AllenS,

The Recall people here mostly were attracting negative comments.

Lincolntf said...

Rock on, AllenS.

Nothing annoys me more than showing up at the polling place and having some shit-for-brains Lib (often Govt employees, which is a whole mess unto itself) try to hand me a flier with the "right" ballot boxes checked off.
I've made a habit of taking the flier and throwing it directly into the waste basket by the entrance. I never look over my shoulder, but I sincerely hope the idiots are watching.

Michelle said...

First time commenter! I was voter #342 in my ward in Wauwatosa (Milwaukee County). It's higher than the primary election, and a little lower than November's election. We'll see what happens as the day wears on.

No recall petitioners. Voted with a pencil.....a pencil!!

tim maguire said...

We think Wisconsinites are nice because to us they're basically Canadians.

edutcher said...

Irene said...

My 87-year-old mother said, "Hey. Recall O-bahhh-ma."

AllenS,

The Recall people here mostly were attracting negative comments.


Sounds like there may be a backlash in the works.

PS Love Mama Irene.

LakeLevel said...

"Out-State" and "Minnesota Nice" are common terms here in the land of loons. Seems the Wall Street Journal, like all coastal media, can't be bothered with distinctions between 2 similar states out here in flyover country.

Jim Lindgren said...

I read "Wisconsin nice" for the first time in a column about 6 weeks ago, but I've heard the phrase "Minnesota nice" many times over the last decade. I suspect that "Wisconsin nice" is an import from your neighbor.

lumiere said...

Voted over at Thoreau Elementary School in Madison at around 2:15. I was number 925.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

The polls seemed pretty busy in the village of Grafton this afternoon. The woman who gave me my ballet told me that most folks in my neighborhood had already voted.

There were a couple of women with clipboards hanging around outside. I assume they had recall petitions but they were being pretty low key and weren't generating much attention. In fact, they didn't even say anything to me as I walked past. I was almost disappointed. Maybe I was giving off negative Kloppenvibes.

Drew said...

I tried showing my ID at the polling place today, and the nice little old lady told me I didn't have to do it.

YET!

catondan said...

I think in Wisconsin people who vote tell everybody what their number was. Never heard of this custom anywhere else. May be part of Wisconsin-nice?

Lincolntf said...

catondan ...

In MA, I voted for decades and never heard of such a thing. But every time that I've voted in NC the doyenne of the Diebold told me my number.
I was #101 once, and I'm still bitter that I didn't cut in front of that scrub ahead of me!

Gabriel Hanna said...

I did by bit to cancel garage mahal's vote. Had to register first, since I've only been in the state a few months.

So if anyone is curious, election day registration works like this: you present photo ID and proof of residence, a current WI driver's license works for both, if you don't have one you need some bills and your SSN or sponsorship from a registered voter--there's lots of ways if you need them. If you manage to fail all of them, you can vote provisionally.

Then you fill out a form, and you have to put in every single district your residence is in. Lots of consulting maps for this part, as even the poll workers don't know off the tops of their heads. They said they tried to copy from other people's as much as possible.

Once you fill out the form and they sign it then they send you over to vote.

I didn't get a number, or even an "I voted" sticker, but I didn't think to ask.

James said...

I didn't get a number, or even an "I voted" sticker, but I didn't think to ask.

That's odd...they hand you a small slip of paper with a number along with the ballot. After you complete the ballot and insert it in the optical scanner you hand the paper with the number to the person supervising the scanner.

T J Sawyer said...

A substantial part of the population in "Outstate Wisconsin" actually lives in the suburban Twin Cities. So they can be excused for borrowing a few of our Minnesota cultural icons.

Minnesota Nice was documented back in 2003 here:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0323262/

(Likely Presidential candidate) Herman Cain used to describe "Minnesota nice" with considerable hilarity as it was represented to a lone black man at a suburban bus stop. I suspect "Wisconsin nice" plays about the same way.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@James:

No optical scanner, voting machine at my polling place. Buttons on a touch screen.

Mel said...

Voted tonite after jury duty. (south side Milwaukee) An elderly woman was having trouble getting the machine to accept her ballot. I saw she was voting for the bad guys and said, "Maybe you voted for the wrong people!" To which another woman (probably a teacher) replied, "No, we did that in November. We are here to correct that mistake." It really was all I could do, not to punch her.

Carol_Herman said...

Up at Free Republic, on a Wisconsin thread, they said students at Madison's UW campus were unenthusiastic. And, weren't voting.

Given that Prosser did so well in the primary, it should be interesting to see today's results coming in.

I still think neither Prosser, who is 68, or Shirley, the chief justice, who is 77 ... get to form a court that's gonna stick around for a decade.

Shirley has been pretty mad that she's only got two others on her "team." It also took Shirley a full year to first find Kloppenberg, in order to run her.

Union muscle is gonna make a difference?

What happened to Prosser's primary lead?

Ken Mitchell said...

Big cities aren't the same as the rest of the state. Austin is RADICALLY different that the rest of Texas; Sacramento is on another planet compared to the rest of California. (And San Francisco and Rocklin are practically in different UNIVERSES.)

So it seems fitting that the Wisconsin of Madison is not all that similar to the Wisconsin of the farmland and small towns.

Allison said...

Here in Minnesota, "outstate" refers to the outer parts of the state, outside of the metro areas. Maybe the author thought Wisconsin and Minnesota were interchangeable?

Allison said...

Althouse,

Interesting that you say "To be fair, it's not even deceptive". Is that a Wisconsin thing? Because Minnesota nice is completely deceptive to non-Minnesotans, who mistakenly think Minnesotans genuinely like them. It takes years for a non-Minnesotan to figure out that the niceness hides a passive aggressive hostility to us.