December 19, 2014

Crossover could impact vote

While many eyes are on whom Democrats will pick as their nominee to face Governor Scott Walker in the upcoming recall election, Republicans could end up playing a big role in the decision.

UW-Milwaukee political scientist Mordecai Lee says he’s expecting there to be a substantial number of Republicans voting across party lines today, with the intention of trying to elect a candidate they believe Walker could have an easier time defeating in the June 5th recall. Lee says that would likely be former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk because they feel Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett would be a tougher opponent.

A recent poll showed Barrett with a double digit lead in the primary, and also in a dead heat with Governor Scott Walker in the June 5th recall. If Republicans come out in force today, Lee says that lead could shrink or even put Falk on top. At this point, Lee says he would not be surprised to see that gap between Falk and Barrett shrink because of cross-party voting.

Wisconsin’s open primary allows voters to cast a ballot for either party, although they can only vote for an office once.

Governor Walker does face his own primary opponent, but Lee does not expect that to stop most Republicans from voting Democrat. He says they will want to “be where the action is” and he can see 95-percent of them crossing over.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:00)