2012: The year of elections

While a number of memorable events happened in 2012, there was one thing no one could get away from. Elections.

And the results of those decisions will affect the state into 2013 and beyond. So let's recall and remember what you decided in 2012.

"If we win Wisconsin, we win,” said Vice President Joe Biden.

2012 was the year of the election in Wisconsin. Six times: February 21st, April 3rd, May 8th, June 5th, August 14th, and finally November 6th. Add 'em up and the state elections board reports Wisconsin voters overall cast roughly 9 million votes for local, state and national candidates during the year.

"You want to see voters get out and participate in the process. And they did just that,” said Darlene Marcelle, Brown County Clerk.

Most notably was for a seventh consecutive time voting in November for the Democratic candidate for president. This time Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes helped re-elect Barack Obama. Although it was by a significantly smaller margin than his 14 point victory in 2008. 

And analysts suggested some consolation for Republicans.

"Romney was able to push the map back to a traditional Wisconsin looking map where the Democrats have an edge, but the Republicans do respectable in these parts of the state,” said Arnold Shober, Lawrence University political science professor.

And Wisconsin was at the center of the campaigning right up until Election Day. How crucial was the state?  Well, the candidates were here...

"Good to be back in Green Bay, Wisconsin,” said President Barack Obama.

So were their spouses and campaign surrogates, including a former president.

"We are going to build a new modern 21st century economy that everybody in Wisconsin who is willing to work hard can be a part of,” said Bill Clinton.

In the campaign's home stretch, more television ads were run in the Green Bay market than any other market in the country. Statewide, over the entire campaign, spending is estimated at $48 million.

"We aren't probably as important as Ohio in terms of what both campaigns are doing, but we're right up there,” said Phil Clampitt, UW-Green Bay communications chair.

The statewide Democratic majority vote also swept Wisconsin's first female U.S. senator into office, Tammy Baldwin.  

While the national stage took the spotlight for the last half of the year, the first half was dominated by an unprecedented recall election that cost state taxpayers $7 million. In June for the first time ever, a Wisconsin governor had to face voters during a term.

In this case, Scott Walker faced Democrat Tom Barrett again and won again. 

"Now, it's time to move on and move forward,” said Walker.

With one successful recall, Democrats briefly gained control of the state Senate, only to lose that control in November.

"We're very pleased to take the majority back in the state Senate. It allows us to work with the Republican Assembly which was also retained,” said State Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau.

Looking ahead, while there will be plenty of local spring elections, 2013 is shaping up as a rather tame election year compared to the unprecedented 2012.

Copyright 2014 WLUK TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Wisconsin (change)

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Wisconsin’s population totaled 5,686,986, a 6.0% increase over the 2000 U.S. Census count of 5,363,715. (Source: Wisconsin Blue Book)
Offices & Officials

Governor: Scott Walker
Lieutenant Governor: Rebecca Kleefisch
Attorney General: J.B. Van Hollen

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