Wisconsin Primary Facts and Figures

Compiled by the U.S.News & World Report library staff.

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Compiled by the U.S.News & World Report library staff

Presidential Primary Winners

Democrats

  • 1988: Michael Dukakis
  • 1992: Bill Clinton
  • 1996: Bill Clinton
  • 2000: Al Gore
  • 2004: John Kerry

Republicans

  • 1988: George H.W. Bush
  • 1992: George H.W. Bush
  • 1996: Bob Dole
  • 2000: George W. Bush
  • 2004: George W. Bush

Sources:
Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections
Wisconsin Government Accountability Board: Elections Division

February 2008 Voter Registration Data

3,304,419 registered voters as of Feb. 12, 2008

(This may not reflect the eventual number of voters since, by law, Wisconsin residents may register to vote on Election Day.)

Source:
Wisconsin Government Accountability Board: Elections Division

General Election Winners — 1988-2004

  • 1988: Michael Dukakis
  • 1992: Bill Clinton
  • 1996: Bill Clinton
  • 2000: Al Gore
  • 2004: John Kerry

Sources:
Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections
Wisconsin Government Accountability Board: Elections Division

Exit Poll Demographics

2004 General Election

Sex

  • Male: 47%
  • Female: 53%

Race

  • White: 90%
  • African-American: 5%
  • Latino: 2%
  • Asian: 1%

Age

  • 18-29: 20%
  • 30-44: 30%
  • 45-59: 29%
  • 60 and older: 21%

"Are you a white conservative Protestant?"

  • Yes: 16%
  • No: 84%

Source: CNN

3 Things You Didn't Know about Wisconsin Primaries

1. Many historians consider Wisconsin to be the birthplace of the presidential primary. Early in the 20th century, the state's Progressive Party, led by Robert LaFollette, championed the system as a way to give voters a more direct role in selecting the candidates. Before this, nominees were selected by caucuses or party conventions.

2. Jimmy Carter won a surprising victory in Wisconsin's 1976 Democratic primary, beating Mo Udall by 1 percentage point. Some newspapers had already gone to press with early projections that the race would go the other way. Jimmy Carter was photographed holding a copy of the Milwaukee Sentinel's early edition: "Carter Upset by Udall." Udall would later keep a framed copy of that headline in his office, telling the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that it was "a warning never to take anything for granted—especially if it's in the early edition."

3. Wisconsin voters tend to turn out in large numbers for presidential primaries. In 2004, the state had the third-highest percentage of voter participation in the nation. In 1988, it was the highest, with 39 percent of voting-age adults casting ballots in the presidential primary. This year is also predicted to be busy—the state's Government Accountability Board is expecting a response around 35 percent. (It is difficult to predict turnout in advance, however, since Wisconsin voters can wait until Election Day to register.)

Sources:
Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections
Green Bay Press-Gazette
The Hotline
Madison Capitol Times
The Making of the President 1960
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Wisconsin Historical Society
Wisconsin State Journal
WisPolitics.com