CRAWFORD COUNTY - As the partisan divide in the United States deepens, voters willing to split ballots between the two major parties are increasingly harder to find. However, there are pockets of this rare breed of swing voters scattered across the country–particularly in rural areas.
It seems in almost every election there is a large group of swing voters in Crawford County and this past election held November 3 was no exception.
In the four contested elections featuring Republicans and Democrats in Crawford County, the Republicans won three of them and the Democrats one won of them.
The Democrats victory in Crawford County was gained by incumbent Congressman Ron Kind (D-LaCrosse) with 4,551 votes over Republican challenger Derrick Van Orden with 4,086 votes.
On the same ballot, the Republicans largest victory margin in Crawford County came when former State Senator Dan Kapanke (R-LaCrosse) got 4,903 votes to defeat Brad Pfaff (D-Onalaska), who received 3,714 votes.
So, what do those two races tell us about the swing vote in Crawford County earlier this month?
Well, let’s do the math– Kind, the highest vote getter of the four Democrats running in the contested races in Crawford County, received 837 more votes than Pfaff, the Democrat with the lowest total.
Meanwhile, Kapanke, the candidate with the highest total of votes among the Republicans running in the county, received 817 more votes than Van Orden, the Republican with the lowest vote total in the county.
So, more than 800 Crawford County voters split their ballot voting for both Democrat Ron Kind for Congress and Republican Dan Kapanke for the Wisconsin State Senate. This means that approximately 9.6 percent of the county’s voters functioned as swing voters in the most recent election.
For the record, Democrat Ron Kind won re-election in U.S. Congressional District 3 with 199,083 votes to Van Orden’s 187,548. In the 32nd District of the Wisconsin State Senate, Republican Dan Kapanke with 48,264 votes was defeated by Democrat Brad Pfaff with 48,853.Well in the words of the old jazz tune… ‘It don’t mean a thing, if ain’t got that swing.’ There’s 10 percent of the voters in Crawford County who are still swinging.