Our favorite election night number cruncher Joe Handrick, a Republican strategist and redistricting expert, looked ahead at the special election primary on Tuesday in the 7th Congressional District to predict where voter turnout will be heaviest.
“I would expect the turnout distribution in the 7th district on Tuesday to shift eastward towards the 12th senate district and Wausau,” Handrick wrote on social media. “In fact, I expect the 12th Senate District and Marathon county to account for 1/2 or more of the turnout Tuesday. (Those areas accounted for 43% in 2018 primary.)”
Handrick, who is followed closely by the state’s political reporters on Twitter on election nights, wrote there are two reasons to expect voter turnout in the primary to shift to the east.
“The incumbent senator from the 12th is on the ballot while the other GOP candidate has no geographical base of any sort (he technically lives in St Croix county but is not widely known there),” Handrick wrote. “2) The candidates have put $$$$$$ into Wausau media.”
Handrick posted the following map showing the share of the 2018 GOP primary by county, which he gave RightWisconsin permission to repost.
Public relations expert Brian Fraley, the president of Edge Messaging, said the lack of a media campaign in the western part of the district was a lost opportunity for third party spending.
“It would have made sense for the third party organization to thrown some money into expensive MN TV markets because the candidates can’t afford it,” Fraley posted on Twitter. “Could have had the messaging field to themselves.”
Given the expected higher turnout in the eastern part of the district, Handrick predicts the turnout map could look something like this:
Half the vote could come from the 12th state senate district, which Tiffany represents, and Marathon County.
“The difficulty for Church is that, because he’s a DC candidate, he has very little geographic base in which he can roll up natural margin,” Handrick wrote. “Tiffany has a large geographic base and hails from the GOP epi-center (Minocqua area/Vilas County) of the #wi07.”
If Tiffany runs up large turnout totals in his area, it may be impossible for Church to make up the votes elsewhere.
“If I were Tiffany, I would hope to receive 65% (and at least 60%) of the vote in his 12thSD counties,” Handrick wrote. “If he does that and breaks even or better in Marathon, it would be nearly impossible for Church to win the #wi07 primary — even if he carried every other county.”
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