Republican Scott Walker won his third election for governor in four years. As many remember, Walker secured his governorship first in the gubernatorial election in 2010 against Tom Barrett and then faced a recall election in 2012 where he beat Barrett again. Walker defeated the democratic candidate Mary Burke this time around by over 5 percentage points.
Walker garnered 52.2 percent of the vote while Burke received 46.5 percent. In the previous two elections, Walker beat Barrett by around 6 percentage points, 52 to 46 percent in 2010 then 53 to 46 percent in 2012.
More than 2.4 million people voted in the election, which is 54.5 percent of the greater than 4.4 million of voting-aged adults. The 54.5 percent turnout is the highest turnout in a November election ever for Wisconsin. The previous high was established in 1962 at 52.4 percent. However, this is not the greatest turnout an election in Wisconsin has seen as the 2012 recall election had 57.8 percent of the voting public turnout.
“A few moments ago I got on the phone and took a phone call from Mary Burke and I want to say thank you to her tonight,” said Walker.
Scott Walker said that he hopes to receive support and respect over the course of the next four years from those that did not vote for him. He talked about the unity that he saw during the heat of the campaign through a photo that the two candidates tweeted out from a Green Bay airport.
“I know there are disagreements in policy issues, but I think that picture tonight signalizes [sic] that she has a great love for her state, just like her supporters did,” said Walker. “Together we are Wisconsinites more than we are Republicans or Democrats.”
The campaign was seen as within the margin of error in polls released since about May. However, in a poll released about a week before Election Day by the Marquette University Law School Burke trailed Walker by around seven points.
Burke took some time during her concession speech to look back on the journey that just ended.
“13 months ago we started an improbable, incredible journey together and soon after this I hung a poster on the wall of my campaign office that has had special meaning to me,” said Burke to a group of supporters in her concession speech. “It’s a poster of coach Lombardi with my favorite quote of his and it reads, ‘It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.’”
While stating that it is okay for democrats to be disappointed she also insisted that she would continue to push for affordable education for all, equality in pay and women’s rights.
Previously, Walker campaigned for governor in 2006 before dropping out due to fundraising issues.
A presidential run could be next for Walker. Walker attacked Washington in his victory speech.
“We believe in the dignity that comes from work,” Walker said. “That is who we are…. In America the opportunity is equal, the outcome is up to you. That is the difference between what we believe in in Wisconsin and what they are selling in Washington. We believe the opportunity is equal, but the outcome is up to each and every one of us.”
Walker carried many of the same voting demographics in this election that he has for the previous two elections. He won with males, adults 65-and-older and rural voters in all three elections.