2012 United States presidential election in Wisconsin

← 2008 November 6, 2012 2016 →
Turnout70.35% Increase [1]
 
Nominee Barack Obama Mitt Romney
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Illinois Massachusetts
Running mate Joe Biden Paul Ryan
Electoral vote 10 0
Popular vote 1,620,985 1,407,966
Percentage 52.83% 45.89%


President before election

Barack Obama
Democratic

Elected President

Barack Obama
Democratic

The 2012 United States presidential election in Wisconsin took place on November 6, 2012, as part of the 2012 United States presidential election in which all 50 states plus the District of Columbia participated. Wisconsin voters chose 10 electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, against Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan.

Obama won the state of Wisconsin with 52.83% of the vote to Romney's 45.89%, a 6.94% margin of victory.[2] While this represented half the victory margin of Obama's 13.91% win in 2008, when he won 59 of 72 counties and 7 of 8 congressional districts, it is still a much stronger Democratic victory than Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004, or even his running mate Joe Biden in 2020, who all won the state by less than 1% of the vote. Obama's win was also surprisingly comfortable in spite of the fact that Wisconsin was the home state of Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, making him the first Republican vice presidential nominee to lose their home state since Jack Kemp lost New York in 1996. Obama's win was attributed to victories in Milwaukee, the state's largest city; Madison, the state capital; northeastern Wisconsin; and the Driftless Region. Romney's strength was concentrated in the loyally Republican Milwaukee suburbs, particularly the WOW counties (Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha), where he carried a combined 67.03% of the vote to Obama's 32.00%. He also flipped 24 counties in the Northeast and Central Plain regions, though most of them were rural and therefore insufficient to overcome Obama's aforementioned victories. This remains the most recent election where Wisconsin voted to the left of New Hampshire[3][4], Colorado, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

As of the 2020 presidential election, this is the last time the Democratic presidential nominee won the following counties: Adams, Buffalo, Columbia, Crawford, Dunn, Forest, Grant, Jackson, Juneau, Kenosha, Lafayette, Lincoln, Marquette, Pepin, Price, Racine, Richland, Sawyer, Trempealeau, Vernon, and Winnebago. This remains the last time that any candidate won Wisconsin with more than 50% of the vote or by more than 1 percentage point, that the state weighed in as more Democratic than the nation as a whole, or that a Republican won greater than 60% of the vote in the traditional Republican strongholds of Waukeusha and Ozaukee counties.

Primary elections

Democratic primary

President Barack Obama ran unopposed in the Democratic Primary, winning 293,914 votes, or 97.89%. Uncommitted ballots received 5,092 votes, or 1.89% of the vote, while 849 votes, 0.28%, were scattered. 111 delegates, all of which were pledged to Obama were sent to the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.[5]

Republican primary

2012 Wisconsin Republican presidential primary

← 2008 April 3, 2012 (2012-04-03) 2016 →
 
Candidate Mitt Romney Rick Santorum
Home state Massachusetts Pennsylvania
Delegate count 33 9
Popular vote 346,876 290,139
Percentage 44.03% 36.83%

 
Candidate Ron Paul Newt Gingrich
Home state Texas Georgia
Delegate count 0 0
Popular vote 87,858 45,978
Percentage 11.15% 5.83%

Wisconsin results by county
  Mitt Romney
  Rick Santorum

The 2012 Wisconsin Republican presidential primary took place on April 3, 2012,[6][7] the same day as the primaries in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Mitt Romney edged out a victory, with 44.03% of the vote and 33 delegates, with former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania coming in second with 36.83% of the vote and 9 delegates. No other candidates won any delegates nor counties, though representative Ron Paul of Texas's 14th district received 11.15% and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich received 5.84%. All other candidates received less than 1%. Romney's strength was concentrated in Southeast Wisconsin, carrying Milwaukee and all of its suburbs (including the Kenosha and Racine as well as the ancestrally Republican counties of Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha), as well as Madison. Santorum's most significant victories were in Western Wisconsin and in Green Bay and its respective suburbs.[5]

2012 Wisconsin Republican presidential primary[5]
Candidate Votes Percentage Delegates
Mitt Romney 346,876 44.03% 33
Rick Santorum 290,139 36.83% 9
Ron Paul 87,858 11.15% 0
Newt Gingrich 45,978 5.84% 0
Michele Bachmann 6,045 0.77% 0
Jon Huntsman 5,083 0.65% 0
Uninstructed 4,200 0.53% 0
Scattering 1,668 0.21% 0
Total: 787,847 100% 42

General election

Results

Although Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan was from Wisconsin, representing the 1st district in Congress, the Republican Party lost by around a seven-point margin, which was, albeit an improved loss from Obama's landslide 13.91% margin in 2008,[8] a crucial loss.

2012 United States presidential election in Wisconsin
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic Barack Obama (incumbent) Joe Biden (incumbent) 1,620,985 52.83% 10
Republican Mitt Romney Paul Ryan 1,407,966 45.89% 0
Libertarian Gary Johnson Jim Gray 20,439 0.67% 0
Green Jill Stein Cheri Honkala 7,665 0.25% 0
Write-Ins Write-Ins 5,170 0.17% 0
Constitution Virgil Goode Jim Clymer 4,930 0.16% 0
Socialist Equality Jerry White Phyllis Scherrer 553 0.02% 0
Socialism and Liberation Gloria La Riva Filberto Ramirez Jr. 526 0.02% 0
Justice Rocky Anderson Luis J. Rodriguez 112 0.00% 0
Peace & Freedom Roseanne Barr Cindy Sheehan 88 0.00% 0
Totals 3,068,434 100.00% 10

Results by county

County Barack Obama
Democratic
Mitt Romney
Republican
Various candidates
Other parties
Margin Total votes cast
# % # % # % # %
Adams 5,552 53.87% 4,644 45.14% 101 0.99% 898 8.73% 10,287
Ashland 5,399 64.49% 2,820 33.68% 153 1.83% 2,579 30.81% 8,372
Barron 10,890 47.99% 11,443 50.43% 359 1.58% -553 -2.44% 22,692
Bayfield 6,033 61.64% 3,603 36.81% 152 1.55% 2,430 24.83% 9,788
Brown 62,526 48.50% 64,836 50.29% 1,566 1.21% -2,310 -1.79% 128,928
Buffalo 3,570 50.72% 3,364 47.79% 105 1.49% 206 2.93% 7,039
Burnett 3,986 45.94% 4,550 52.44% 141 1.62% -564 -6.50% 8,677
Calumet 11,489 43.49% 14,539 55.03% 392 1.48% -3,050 -11.54% 26,420
Chippewa 15,237 49.26% 15,322 49.53% 373 1.21% -85 -0.27% 30,932
Clark 6,172 44.72% 7,412 53.71% 217 1.57% -1,240 -8.99% 13,801
Columbia 17,175 56.23% 13,026 42.64% 345 1.13% 4,149 13.59% 30,546
Crawford 4,629 59.22% 3,067 39.24% 121 1.54% 1,562 19.98% 7,817
Dane 216,071 71.03% 83,644 27.50% 4,466 1.47% 132,427 43.53% 304,181
Dodge 18,762 42.17% 25,211 56.67% 515 1.16% -6,449 -14.50% 44,488
Door 9,357 52.95% 8,121 45.96% 193 1.09% 1,236 6.99% 17,671
Douglas 14,863 64.92% 7,705 33.66% 326 1.42% 7,158 31.26% 22,894
Dunn 11,316 51.46% 10,224 46.49% 452 2.05% 1,092 4.97% 21,992
Eau Claire 30,666 55.95% 23,256 42.43% 884 1.62% 7,410 13.52% 54,806
Florence 953 36.30% 1,645 62.67% 27 1.03% -692 -26.37% 2,625
Fond du Lac 22,379 41.91% 30,355 56.84% 668 1.25% -7,976 -14.93% 53,402
Forest 2,425 52.17% 2,172 46.73% 51 1.10% 253 5.44% 4,648
Grant 13,594 56.06% 10,255 42.29% 399 1.65% 3,339 13.77% 24,248
Green 11,206 58.00% 7,857 40.66% 259 1.34% 3,349 17.34% 19,322
Green Lake 3,793 39.20% 5,782 59.76% 100 1.04% -1,989 -20.56% 9,675
Iowa 8,105 64.66% 4,287 34.20% 142 1.14% 3,818 30.46% 12,534
Iron 1,784 49.12% 1,790 49.28% 58 1.60% -6 -0.16% 3,632
Jackson 5,298 56.89% 3,900 41.88% 115 1.23% 1,398 15.01% 9,313
Jefferson 20,158 45.52% 23,517 53.11% 606 1.37% -3,359 -7.59% 44,281
Juneau 6,242 52.78% 5,411 45.75% 174 1.47% 831 7.03% 11,827
Kenosha 44,867 55.46% 34,977 43.24% 1,053 1.30% 9,890 12.22% 80,897
Kewaunee 5,153 46.69% 5,747 52.07% 137 1.24% -594 -5.38% 11,037
La Crosse 36,693 57.82% 25,751 40.58% 1,018 1.60% 10,942 17.24% 63,462
Lafayette 4,536 57.04% 3,314 41.68% 102 1.28% 1,222 15.36% 7,952
Langlade 4,573 43.47% 5,816 55.29% 130 1.24% -1,243 -11.82% 10,519
Lincoln 7,563 49.70% 7,455 48.99% 198 1.31% 108 0.71% 15,216
Manitowoc 20,403 47.88% 21,604 50.69% 610 1.43% -1,201 -2.81% 42,617
Marathon 32,363 46.32% 36,617 52.41% 882 1.27% -4,254 -6.09% 69,862
Marinette 9,882 47.56% 10,619 51.11% 276 1.33% -737 -3.55% 20,777
Marquette 4,014 49.52% 3,992 49.25% 99 1.23% 22 0.27% 8,105
Menominee 1,191 86.49% 179 13.00% 7 0.51% 1,012 73.49% 1,377
Milwaukee 332,438 67.49% 154,924 31.45% 5,214 1.06% 177,514 36.04% 492,576
Monroe 9,515 48.83% 9,675 49.65% 295 1.52% -160 -0.82% 19,485
Oconto 8,865 44.64% 10,741 54.09% 253 1.27% -1,876 -9.45% 19,859
Oneida 10,452 48.27% 10,917 50.42% 283 1.31% -465 -2.15% 21,652
Outagamie 45,659 48.27% 47,372 50.08% 1,565 1.65% -1,713 -1.81% 94,596
Ozaukee 19,159 34.32% 36,077 64.63% 581 1.05% -16,918 -30.31% 55,817
Pepin 1,876 50.72% 1,794 48.50% 29 0.78% 82 2.22% 3,699
Pierce 10,235 48.69% 10,397 49.46% 388 1.85% -162 -0.77% 21,020
Polk 10,073 44.62% 12,094 53.58% 406 1.80% -2,021 -8.96% 22,573
Portage 22,075 56.12% 16,615 42.24% 647 1.64% 5,460 13.88% 39,337
Price 3,887 49.20% 3,884 49.16% 130 1.64% 3 0.04% 7,901
Racine 53,008 51.28% 49,347 47.74% 1,009 0.98% 3,661 3.54% 103,364
Richland 4,969 57.41% 3,573 41.28% 113 1.31% 1,396 16.13% 8,655
Rock 49,219 61.00% 30,517 37.82% 954 1.18% 18,702 23.18% 80,690
Rusk 3,397 47.24% 3,676 51.12% 118 1.64% -279 -3.88% 7,191
St. Croix 19,910 43.07% 25,503 55.17% 812 1.76% -5,593 -12.10% 46,225
Sauk 18,736 58.68% 12,838 40.21% 353 1.11% 5,898 18.47% 31,927
Sawyer 4,486 49.71% 4,442 49.22% 97 1.07% 44 0.49% 9,025
Shawano 9,000 44.38% 11,022 54.35% 257 1.27% -2,022 -9.97% 20,279
Sheboygan 27,918 44.56% 34,072 54.38% 661 1.06% -6,154 -9.82% 62,651
Taylor 3,763 39.56% 5,601 58.88% 148 1.56% -1,838 -19.32% 9,512
Trempealeau 7,605 56.41% 5,707 42.33% 169 1.26% 1,898 14.08% 13,481
Vernon 8,044 56.37% 5,942 41.64% 283 1.99% 2,102 14.73% 14,269
Vilas 5,951 42.99% 7,749 55.98% 142 1.03% -1,798 -12.99% 13,842
Walworth 22,552 43.12% 29,006 55.46% 745 1.42% -6,454 -12.34% 52,303
Washburn 4,447 47.88% 4,699 50.60% 141 1.52% -252 -2.72% 9,287
Washington 23,166 29.42% 54,765 69.55% 811 1.03% -31,599 -40.13% 78,742
Waukesha 78,779 32.31% 162,798 66.76% 2,279 0.93% -84,019 -34.45% 243,856
Waupaca 11,578 44.81% 14,002 54.19% 260 1.00% -2,424 -9.38% 25,840
Waushara 5,335 44.28% 6,562 54.47% 151 1.25% -1,227 -10.19% 12,048
Winnebago 45,449 50.97% 42,122 47.24% 1,602 1.79% 3,327 3.73% 89,173
Wood 18,581 47.77% 19,704 50.65% 615 1.58% -1,123 -2.88% 38,900
Totals 1,620,985 52.83% 1,407,966 45.89% 39,483 1.29% 213,019 6.94% 3,068,434
County Flips:

Counties that flipped Democratic to Republican

By congressional districts

Despite losing the state, Romney won 5 of the 8 congressional districts.[9]

District Romney Obama Representative
1st 51.65% 47.44% Paul Ryan
2nd 30.46% 68.3% Mark Pocan
3rd 43.82% 54.82% Ron Kind
4th 23.78% 75.33% Gwen Moore
5th 61.31% 37.75% Jim Sensenbrenner
6th 53.1% 45.77% Tom Petri
7th 50.92% 47.83% Sean Duffy
8th 51.26% 47.56% Reid Ribble

See also

References

  1. ^ "Wisconsin Voter Turnout Statistics | Wisconsin Elections Commission".
  2. ^ "Wisconsin Gov Accountability Board" (PDF). Retrieved January 16, 2013.
  3. ^ "More Wisconsin Elections Results". Wisconsin Elections Commission. Archived from the original on October 14, 2016. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  4. ^ Savicki, Drew (September 14, 2020). "The Road to 270: Wisconsin". 270toWin. Archived from the original on September 15, 2020. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c "Canvass Results for 2012 Presidential Preferenrce and Spring Election - 4/3/2012" (PDF). Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. April 3, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 15, 2016. Retrieved January 11, 2021 – via Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Primary and Caucus Printable Calendar". CNN. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  7. ^ "Presidential Primary Dates" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Archived from the original on April 12, 2006. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  9. ^ "Daily Kos Elections' statewide election results by congressional and legislative districts". Daily Kos. Retrieved August 11, 2020.