Talking Points Memo: Turnout For Wisconsin Court Race Went Off The Charts

April 6, 2011- In another sign of just how big a contest the Wisconsin Supreme Court became — going from sleepy spring election and likely easy win for incumbent conservative Justice David Prosser, to a hot race in which liberal-backed challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg now has a very narrow lead — the results show that turnout was incredibly high.

Craig Gilbert at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

With 99% of the returns in, almost 1.5 million people had voted in the state Supreme Court race, which would represent a turnout of 33.5% of voting-age adults.

That's 68% higher than the official state prediction of 20% turnout, which was based on recent historical norms.

A 20% turnout would be about 874,000 votes. Tuesday's turnout exceeded that by almost 600,000 votes.

Another way to look at it: Each candidate has just under 740,000 votes right now — compared to the 874,000 votes total that would have occurred under typical conditions.

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