–submitted by Sharyn Alden
In speaking to the Madison Rotary Club November 16, Professor Barry Burden offered an important overview and political narrative pertaining to the 2022 mid-term elections.
“There were a complicated set of stories intersecting this year,” he noted.
Nationwide, the mid-terms brought out 40 percent of voters, one of the highest numbers in several years. In Wisconsin, known for strong voter turnouts, 60 percent of registered voters turned out to vote.
Interestingly, Burden pointed out some candidates who lost races might have won if it weren’t for their lack of experience or funding.
Concerns about the mid-terms were abundant before the election. They ranged from worries about keeping the integrity of democracy nationwide, possible violence in the streets, or election losers’ failures to concede. “None of that happened,” said Burden.
There had also been concerns that redistricting would shake things up, but across the country that didn’t appear to make a dent in the results.
Historically, it’s true that during midterm elections seats are typically lost within the party of the current president. “You pay a price for being the guy in the White House,” Burden said.
In tabulating votes in Wisconsin’s 72 counties, Governor Tony Evers was elected by a larger margin than projected while Senator Ron Johnson won by a smaller margin than expected.
One of things anticipated prior to the election was a “red (Republican) wave” of victories across the country. But Burden concurred with the amusingly proffered result offered by a Washington Post article that called it more of a “red puddle.”
Burden explained there was less shifting back and forth of voters of party preferences this time around because there are fewer blocks of swing voters as there were among hotly contested swing states in previous elections.
Many topics brought people to the polls to cast their ballots. A vote against Trump was one, along the pro-choice movement. In Wisconsin abortion and inflation were important voting motivators.
But at the end of the day, it appeared, at least by Wisconsin’s large voter turnout, people simply wanted to get involved and have their choices counted-a good sign of democracy in the works.
Our thanks to WisEye for videotaping our guest speaker on November 16. You can watch the video here: https://wiseye.org/2022/11/16/campaign-2022-rotary-club-of-madison-prof-barry-burden-post-2022-election-results/