Western Wisconsin’s 10th senate district was a classic swing district ’til over a decade ago when the GOP’s Senator Harsdorf took possession of the district. The district’s wrong turn to the right continued with Romney and Trump winning the district, and it appeared to be permanent property of the GOP.
Until yesterday… democrat Patty Schactner won a special election to fill the seat with 55% of the vote, despite being vastly outspent by the GOP and their “dark money friends”. More heartening, this is the kind of exurban and rural district that democrats have had difficulty winning- The census says this is a rural district!
So far I’ve only seen results broken down to the county level posted, and I’m looking forward to a deeper dive into the data when the precinct results come out. Our democratic candidate won the most exurban county, 53% rural St.Croix, with 55% of the vote. We won 54% rural Pierce county that includes dairy farms and University of Wisconsin- River Falls with a whopping 72% of the vote. 59% rural Dunn County, more rural and less exurban, gave 68% of it’s votes to our democratic candidate. Our democratic candidate lost only 85% rural Polk county with 47% of the vote and 100% rural Burnett county with 40% of the vote.
Their is good news here for fans of both urban and rural democratic strategies- Our democratic candidate Patty Schactner performed best in both exurbs and regional center/college small cities of 10,000+ population that are far beyond commuting range of the metro centers. This means exurban districts in the twin cities outer ring suburbs as well as “micropolitan” districts around cities like Willmar, Marshall, Detroit Lakes, and a bunch more I forgot are now winnable by democrats… Provided we campaign hard!
Respectfully submitted, Dyna Sluyter