The Wisconsin Primary turned out to be more competitive than expected. In my opinion, a real problem with the 2004 Democratic Primary schedule has been the crowded nature of the contests. The schedule gives little time for the candidates to campaign in each state and little time for the voters to size-up those seeking the Democratic nomination. In Wisconsin, a single primary contested by multiple candidates resulted in a much closer result. Kerry “wins” the contest with 39.7% of the vote, followed by Edwards at 34.3% and Dean at 18.3%. The county map shown here is color-coded with red for Kerry and green for Edwards – with the various shades showing percenage of the vote in decades (>30%, >40%, etc.) Note that even though Kerry “wins”, he shares the delegates with the top three candidates (those that receive more than 15% in any of the congressional districts and state-wide at large). The current result predicts 30 delegates for Kerry to 24 for Edwards and 13 for Dean. Edwards won in two of the eight congressional districts (the first and fifth) and Kerry wins the remainder.
From a regional point-of-view, Kerry was the strongest in the north-west of the state and his best county was Menominee (62.7% – it is also the home of the Menominee Native American Tribe). Edwards had a better showing in the counties to the north and west of Milwaukee. His best county was Waukesha with 42% of the vote. Dean did not win a single county – likely a decidely disappointing result – and received the greatest percentage of votes in Douglas and Portage Counties (about 25%).