Wisconsin voters cross party lines - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin voters cross party lines

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Wisconsin helped re-elect Barack Obama last night, as the state voted democratic for the 7th presidential election in a row. The president won 53 percent of the vote in our state.

But republicans still control most of state government, after winning the senate back last night.

Our state hasn't voted for a republican presidential candidate since 1984.

But political experts say there's a reason why Wisconsin goes red at the state level, and blue on the federal.

In his victory for a second term, President Barack Obama won the state of Wisconsin and all ten electoral votes that come with it.

But if you look at state government, it's pretty red. Republicans control the governor's office and the assembly, and they just re-captured the state senate.

"We're not necessarily that polarized, we're just divided on which specific candidates we want to support," UWSP Political Science Professor John Blakeman said.

Blakeman says voters are picking candidates less on party lines, and more on the issues.

"You'll have voters in any given state vote one party for the president and one party for the governor," Blakeman told Newsline 9.

In June, most counties in Wisconsin went red, voting for Governor Scott walker in the recall election. But for the presidential race, it was a much different picture.

"At the state level, the electorate tends to favor republicans. At the federal level, the electorate tends to favor democrats," Blakeman said.

UW-Stevens Point student Matt McMahon says for him, it's not about red or blue.

"I vote for the best candidate I feel is going to be the best for the job. Not for certain parties," McMahon said.

And political experts say it's easy to understand why voters may favor one party over another in different races.

"At the state level, they realize what state issues are at stake and which party may be better with dealing with that," Blakeman said.

And now -- republicans added state senate control to go along with the state assembly and governor's office.

But for president -- that went to the democrats, as our politically complicated state continues to attract a lot of attention.

Democrats still control the state senate. But that will change in January when the new session begins.

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