The Milwaukee Question

by Robert Costa

Milwaukee, Wis. — I’ve been chatting with Badger State conservatives and the consensus is that Milwaukee is the place to watch — not Madison.

Madison is a liberal hothouse — everyone agrees on that. It’s expected to go for Democrat Tom Barrett. But the greater Brew City region — home to both Barrett and Governor Walker — is a toss-up. Barrett, the Milwaukee mayor, is expected to win this deep-blue city’s downtown area, but in the conservative suburbs –Waukesha County and Washington County — Walker has an edge.

Last spring, in the state’s contentious Supreme Court election, conservative justice David Prosser swept this region, where a strong tally in Waukesha County was critical to his victory. Last fall, state senator Alberta Darling won in Washington County, beating a recall. Tonight, keep an eye on the margin in these two counties.

UPDATE: According to Patch, voters are flocking to the polls in Walker Country:

When the polls opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday at a local elementary school in Port Washington, voters were already waiting outside.

In 10 minutes, the school gym was packed, and there were another 20 people waiting to get into the hallway in this Ozaukee County community, where Republican Gov. Scott Walker took 66 percent of the vote in the 2010 election against Democrat Tom Barrett.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said an eight-year veteran poll worker.

Similar scenes could be found throughout the Milwaukee suburbs on Tuesday morning as voters flocked to the polls…. In the GOP stronghold of Waukesha, where Walker won in 2010 with 65 percent of the vote, one election official said early turnout was higher than in the 2008 presidential election.

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