Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

What surprised you about voting results?

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Greg Peck
November 7, 2012

It didnít surprise me that Democrats won many of the key races here and statewide in Tuesdayís elections. I wasnít surprised that Democrat Deb Kolste beat first-term Republican Rep. Joe Knilans in Janesvilleís 44th Assembly District. After all, Janesville historically has been a union-driven Democratic stronghold. Even Congressman Paul Ryan was elected in the 1st District covering much of Rock, Racine, Walworth and Kenosha counties but apparently failed to top Democrat Rob Zerban in Rock Countyís vote totals.

I also wasnít surprised that Democratic Rep. Andy Jorgensen of Fort Atkinson ousted first-term Republican Rep. Evan Wynn in the 43rd District. Jorgensen, who served three terms in the 37th District, won despite the fact he will have to move into the newly revised 43rd after redistricting carved up his old district and placed his home in the new 33rd District.

I wasnít surprised that President Obama won Wisconsin over Republican challenger Mitt Romney. After all, Wisconsin usually votes for Democratic presidents, and even having Janesvilleís Ryan as his vice presidential running mate couldnít help Romney overcome that history. I also wasnít surprised that Obama won both in the Electoral College and the popular nationwide vote.

Republicans pointed out how Gov. Scott Walker fought off a June recall election and felt confident that the momentum would carry over to Tuesday. That sentiment ignored the fact, however, that many of those who backed Walker in that vote did so because they thought recalling the governor before he had a chance to complete his four-year term was simply wrong.

I thought maybe, however, former Gov. Tommy Thompson could hold off Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin in their bitter battle to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl. Do you think Baldwin rode Obamaís coattails to victory?

Finally, I thought it worth noting that voters backed all five school referendums we listed in our Page 1A chart today, including two in the Edgerton School District. Doesnít that suggest that taxpayers arenít as tapped out as tea-party followers would suggest when the issue is support for quality local schools?

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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