WOW counties is a common media term in southeastern Wisconsin in the United States which refers to the initials of Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington counties. They lie to the west, north, and northwest of Milwaukee, respectively, and are part of the Milwaukee metropolitan area. Collectively, the three counties have an estimated 2019 population of just over 650,000. Like the collar counties surrounding Chicago, these counties have a primarily white population, and unusually so considering the trend of suburbs around cities in the Rust Belt region becoming more racially diverse. Racine County to the south of Milwaukee County, excluding the city of Racine, also has the same demographics outside the city (though some communities have lower average income), but usually goes unmentioned due to the city of Racine's population being just under 69% of the county's population.
The WOW counties are generally among the most Republican areas in the state. All county offices are held by Republicans; indeed, there are almost no elected Democrats above the county level. None of the counties have supported a Democrat for president since Lyndon Johnson's national landslide of 1964. The vast majority of the state party's voter turnout efforts (along with those of outside organizations) are focused on maximizing turnout from those three counties to counteract the turnout from Milwaukee and Dane counties (home to Milwaukee and Madison) and the cities of Racine and Kenosha, which generally lean Democratic. Local conservative talk radio stations such as WISN (1130) and the late morning and midday shows of WTMJ (620) also target their program's topics and talking points more to the WOW counties rather than their city of license, Milwaukee.
|2020||60.88% 253,780||37.67% 157,029|
|2016||60.92% 224,747||32.59% 120,246|
|2012||67.03% 253,640||32.00% 121,104|
|2008||62.40% 225,053||36.50% 131,637|
|2004||67.57% 240,471||31.63% 112,574|
|2000||65.65% 205,422||31.15% 97,464|