The final adjusted exit polls show Scott Walker with a 52 to 48 percent lead over Tom Barrett. NBC has called the race for Walker.
Turnout was up everywhere in the state, with some Republican areas breaking all records. Milwaukee turnout was up but not quite as much as some Democrats are advertising. Tom Barrett is not the most popular mayor with liberals and union members in that town. A visitor to Grillo High School, a key precinct, found only two voters standing in line as the polls closed at 8 p.m. Central.
Democrats are astonished at the outpouring of voters in Madison, the liberal stronghold of the state, which saw 96 percent of voters registered to vote last week. Many were new voters, allowed to register on Election Day and immediately vote. The chaos this created tonight wasn’t pretty. Catherine Englerbrecht of the voter watchdog group True the Vote reports she had many of her volunteers tell her that the flood of same-day voter registrations overwhelmed election workers. “I am told the election workers cannot process the registrations fast enough so they just accept them and give the new voter a ballot without checking identification. Big mistake,” she told me. If the race is close, look for the lawyers from both sides to begin Round Two of the election in court immediately.