LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) — Tuesday’s election in Wisconsin drew large numbers of voters, and the UW-La Crosse political science professor expressed concern and hopes as the election in November mid-term.
According to the Associated Press, nearly 1.2 million (26%) Wisconsin residents turned out to vote, the highest for a non-presidential election in 40 years. La Crosse County had a turnout of just under 35% according to county records.
UW-La Crosse political science professor Anthony Chergosky said the hope for every election is to have high voter turnout and that Tuesday’s numbers bode well for the medium term.
“I think we’re going to get a very high turnout in the November elections,” Chergosky said. “It’s because of the extraordinary amount of money that’s going to be spent on at least three elections that are really crucial in western Wisconsin – the race for governor, the race for the United States Senate, and the race for the United States House of Representatives replacing Ron Kind.”
He went on to say that the amount of money and intense campaigning will increase voter turnout.
In the 3rd Congressional District, residents will see Republican Derrick Van Orden and Democratic State Sen. Brad Pfaff compete to replace Rep. Ron Kind who is retiring after 26 years in Washington.
Chergosky said for now the race for that seat is a toss-up. What he said he sees in the district is that the Republican Party is historically winning over rural communities and the Democratic Party is winning over urban areas, creating an even bigger divide in the district.
“It’s one of the most competitive, most watched races and it’s just the most high-profile race in the country,” Chergosky said. “We’re seeing fewer and fewer seats in the House of Representatives that are actually competitive between the two parties. So this race really stands out.”
He warned that the competitive nature could fill the next few months with an overly negative campaign.
Chergosky wants voters to stay educated and vote knowledgeably, focusing on why one candidate is the best choice instead of just voting against the other side.
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