GRAND CHUTE — Wisconsin is a passionate state when it comes to politics – from the recalls this past summer to the ongoing presidential election.
But in the process has politics lost its cool?
A scuffle between Mitt Romney supporters and protesters erupted when one woman spit in the face of another at a Republican event in Grand Chute Friday.
As Republican State Senator Alberta Darling spoke, a protester interrupted her, questioning her stance on Planned Parenthood.
An event supporter then told the protester to let Darling finish.
The protester then spit in the face of the supporter – who then responds by hitting the woman over the head and scratching her.
The protester was then asked to leave.
FOX 11 showed the video to voters to get their thoughts on whether politics is becoming more or less civil.
"Wow," said Deborah Peterson of Racine after watching the video.
"I think as a country, we've kind of lost respect for people's views and we don't respect what someone else is saying - and we need to do that," said Peterson, adding that it goes for everyone, no matter where they sit on the political spectrum.
"We pick a side and we are so strong that we cannot even accept someone else's views," said Peterson.
For Lucas Whitman of Greenville, that especially means on the internet.
"I think it's more of a problem, with people in general, online - is that they're not civil with each other," explained Whitman.
While some might say politics is reaching an unseen emotional level, political experts say that might not necessarily be the case.
"Every time there are high stakes elections and a polarized electorate, you get an escalation of rhetoric that tends to lend to this kind of escalation of behavior," said Tim Dale, a political science professor with the University of Wisconsin Green Bay.
Dale says the spitting incident is newsworthy because it is rare.
He says the public's idea of physical displays of political anger usually surrounds foreign policies – not domestic.
But he says that's not to say incidents – like what happened in Grand Chute – should be considered out of the ordinary.
"We've seen this in American history before,” explained Dale. “We've had a lot of contentious political debates where people have even committed violence. And so, we aren't really seeing violence, we're just seeing people – every once in a while misbehaving because the emotions are so high."
Dale says one factor to consider is the ease at which information can be distributed now - compared to 10 years ago.
He says the spitting incident might not have even made news then; but TV cameras were there this time.
Dale says another factor to consider in this day in age is cell phones.
The ease at which people can take video and pictures and then quickly edit them and post them to the internet - in just a few clicks.
Grand Chute police tell us they are still reviewing the spitting incident.
The department is expected to determine whether charges will be filed in the case next week.
Copyright 2013 WLUK TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Did you like this article? Vote it up or down! And don't forget to add your comments below!