Ryan vanquishes Nehlen

As many are aware, Wisconsin held its primary for Congressional and state legislative races yesterday.  One Congressional contest, that of Speaker Paul Ryan against Paul Nehlen, a vocal supporter of Donald Trump, became a national news story.  Although Trump eventually endorsed Ryan, several Trump surrogates, including Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter, campaigned for Nehlen. Ryan's district is rated safe Republican by all the major election analysts.

Wisconsin is an open primary state. Voters do not have to be a member of a political party to vote in that party's primary.

Here are the numbers from the race in Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District.

Republican Primary

 

 

Democrat Primary

 

 

Paul Ryan(i)

57,319

84%

Ryan Solen

14,611

58%

Paul Nehlen

10,852

16%

Tom Breu

10,110

42%

At the other side of the Wisconsin, in another district considered safe Republican, there were also contested primaries for both parties.  These races generated only local media attention.  Here are the numbers from race in Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District.

Republican Primary

 

 

Democratic Primary

 

 

Sean Duffy (i)

29,421

89%

Mary Hoeft

27,232

81%

Don Raihala

3,565

11%

Joel Lewis

6,508

19%

Raihala also challenged Duffy in the 2014 primary, getting 12.3 % of the vote.  In 2010, when it was an open seat due to the retirement of long time Democrat incumbent David Obey, Raihala was an unsuccessful candidate in the Democrat primary for this seat, earning 15% of the vote in a two candidate race.   I suspect that to the voters in Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District, Raihala has built a reputation as a bit of a political crank, but they continue to give him over 10% of the vote.

Glancing at all other primary races across Wisconsin, a popular incumbent who drew a primary opponent would win with someplace between 81 to 91% of the vote.  This tracks with my experience in elections in other states.  If there are two names on the primary ballot, even an underfinanced, unknown candidate is likely to receive between 10 to 20% of the vote simply because no politician can please all party member all the time.

Thus it seems like all the national media attention probably increased the total turnout in Speaker Ryan's primary but not the result: A popular incumbent readily dispatched his quixotic challenger,

As many are aware, Wisconsin held its primary for Congressional and state legislative races yesterday.  One Congressional contest, that of Speaker Paul Ryan against Paul Nehlen, a vocal supporter of Donald Trump, became a national news story.  Although Trump eventually endorsed Ryan, several Trump surrogates, including Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter, campaigned for Nehlen. Ryan's district is rated safe Republican by all the major election analysts.

Wisconsin is an open primary state. Voters do not have to be a member of a political party to vote in that party's primary.

Here are the numbers from the race in Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District.

Republican Primary

 

 

Democrat Primary

 

 

Paul Ryan(i)

57,319

84%

Ryan Solen

14,611

58%

Paul Nehlen

10,852

16%

Tom Breu

10,110

42%

At the other side of the Wisconsin, in another district considered safe Republican, there were also contested primaries for both parties.  These races generated only local media attention.  Here are the numbers from race in Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District.

Republican Primary

 

 

Democratic Primary

 

 

Sean Duffy (i)

29,421

89%

Mary Hoeft

27,232

81%

Don Raihala

3,565

11%

Joel Lewis

6,508

19%

Raihala also challenged Duffy in the 2014 primary, getting 12.3 % of the vote.  In 2010, when it was an open seat due to the retirement of long time Democrat incumbent David Obey, Raihala was an unsuccessful candidate in the Democrat primary for this seat, earning 15% of the vote in a two candidate race.   I suspect that to the voters in Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District, Raihala has built a reputation as a bit of a political crank, but they continue to give him over 10% of the vote.

Glancing at all other primary races across Wisconsin, a popular incumbent who drew a primary opponent would win with someplace between 81 to 91% of the vote.  This tracks with my experience in elections in other states.  If there are two names on the primary ballot, even an underfinanced, unknown candidate is likely to receive between 10 to 20% of the vote simply because no politician can please all party member all the time.

Thus it seems like all the national media attention probably increased the total turnout in Speaker Ryan's primary but not the result: A popular incumbent readily dispatched his quixotic challenger,