WHEELERWeek – Election Statistics

The following is an analysis done by The Wheeler Report of Wisconsin elections since 2012 (when the redistricting maps were put in place).  Unopposed seats are seats which have neither a primary nor a general election.  These seats are unopposed either because only one person filed nomination signatures for ballot access, or another individual who filed signatures was denied ballot access for insufficiencies in their signatures.  The second analysis is for individuals who only had a primary and no general election, meaning candidates were only challenged from within the same party, and not from another party.

Candidates and senate districts unopposed for primary and general elections:

2012 2014 2016 2018
Senate District 2

Cowles (R)

Senate District 3

Carpenter (D)

Senate District 8

Darling (R)

Senate District 3

Carpenter (D)

Senate District 8

Darling (R)

Senate District 27

Erpenbach (D)

Senate District 16

Miller (D)

Senate District 11

Nass (R)

Senate District 16

Miller (D)

  Senate District 20

Stroebel (R)

Senate District 15

Ringhand (D)

Senate District 26

Risser (D)

  Senate District 22

Wirch (D)

Senate District 33

Kapenga (R)

    Senate District 26

Risser (D)

 
    Senate District 28

Craig (R)

 

Number of Republican unopposed: 7

Number of Democrat unopposed: 9

Very few senate districts 2012-2018 were unopposed more than one time. Districts 3, 8, 16, and 26 were the only districts with more than one unopposed election.

7 out of 16 unopposed candidates for senate elections were Republican, which is 43.75% of the unopposed candidates. 9 out of 16, or 56.25%, of the candidates were Democratic candidates.

Candidates and assembly districts unopposed for primary and general elections:

2012 2014 2016 2018
Assembly District 16

Young (D)

Assembly District 2

Jacque (R)

Assembly District 10

Bowen (D)

Assembly District 10

Bowen (D)

Assembly District 19

Richards (D)

Assembly District 3

Ott (R)

Assembly District 12

Kessler (D)

Assembly District 11

Fields (D)

Assembly District 40

Petersen (R)

Assembly District 6

Tauchen (R)

Assembly District 13

Hutton (R)

Assembly District 17

Crowley (D)

Assembly District 57

Schaber (D)

Assembly District 9

Zepnick (D)

Assembly District 15

Sanfelippo (R)

Assembly District 19

Brostoff (D)

Assembly District 58

Strachota (R)

Assembly District 11

Barnes (D)

Assembly District 18

Goyke (D)

Assembly District 20

Sinicki (D)

Assembly District 59

LeMahieu (R)

Assembly District 12

Kessler (D)

Assembly District 19

Brostoff (D)

Assembly District 37

Jagler (R)

Assembly District 64

Barca (D)

Assembly District 13

Hutton (R)

Assembly District 22

Brandtjen (R)

Assembly District 44

Kolste (D)

Assembly District 66

Mason (D)

Assembly District 14

Kooyenga (R)

Assembly District 23

Ott (R)

Assembly District 46

Hebl (D)

Assembly District 73

Milroy (D)

Assembly District 18

Goyke (D)

Assembly District 24

Knodl (R)

Assembly District 47

Anderson (D)

Assembly District 76

Taylor (D)

Assembly District 21

Rodriguez (R)

Assembly District 36

Mursau (R)

Assembly District 48

Sargent (D)

Assembly District 77

Berceau (D)

Assembly District 24

Knodl (R)

Assembly District 44

Kolste (D)

Assembly District 54

Hintz (D)

Assembly District 91

Wachs (D)

Assembly District 25

Tittl (R)

Assembly District 45

Spreitzer (D)

Assembly District 57

Stuck (D)

Assembly District 92

Danou (D)

Assembly District 29

Murtha (R)

Assembly District 46

Hebl (D)

Assembly District 65

Ohnstad (D)

Assembly District 95

Billings (D)

Assembly District 31

Loudenbeck (R)

Assembly District 48

Sargent (D)

Assembly District 66

Neubauer (D)

  Assembly District 34

Swearingen (R)

Assembly District 53

Schraa (R)

Assembly District 69

Kulp (R)

  Assembly District 35

Czaja (R)

Assembly District 58

Gannon (R)

Assembly District 71

Shankland (D)

  Assembly District 36

Mursau (R)

Assembly District 59

Kremer (R)

Assembly District 73

Milroy (D)

  Assembly District 40

Petersen (R)

Assembly District 62

Weatherston (R)

Assembly District 76

Taylor (D)

  Assembly District 46

Hebl (D)

Assembly District 64

Barca (D)

Assembly District 78

Subeck (D)

  Assembly District 48

Sargent (D)

Assembly District 65

Ohnstad (D)

Assembly District 79

Hesselbein (D)

  Assembly District 52

Thiesfeldt (R)

Assembly District 69

Kulp (R)

Assembly District 80

Pope (D)

  Assembly District 53

Schraa (R)

Assembly District 71

Shankland (D)

Assembly District 81

Considine (D)

  Assembly District 56

Murphy (R)

Assembly District 73

Milroy (D)

Assembly District 90

Gruszynski (D)

  Assembly District 61

Kerkman (R)

Assembly District 74

Meyers (D)

Assembly District 95

Billings (D)

  Assembly District 62

Weatherston (R)

Assembly District 77

Berceau (D)

Assembly District 97

Allen (R)

  Assembly District 64

Barca (D)

Assembly District 82

Skowronski (R)

Assembly District 98

Neylon (R)

  Assembly District 65

Ohnstad (D)

Assembly District 84

Kuglitsch (R)

Assembly District 99

Duchow (R)

  Assembly District 71

Shankland (D)

Assembly District 90

Genrich (D)

 
  Assembly District 73

Milroy (D)

Assembly District 93

Petryk (R)

 
  Assembly District 76

Taylor (D)

Assembly District 95

Billings (D)

 
  Assembly District 77

Berceau (D)

Assembly District 97

Allen (R)

 
  Assembly District 80

Pope (D)

Assembly District 98

Neylon (R)

 
  Assembly District 82

Skowronski (R)

Assembly District 99

Duchow (R)

 
  Assembly District 84

Kuglitsch (R)

   
  Assembly District 89

Nygren (R)

   
  Assembly District 91

Wachs (D)

   
  Assembly District 95

Billings (D)

   
  Assembly District 98

Neylon (R)

   

*Bold where an assembly district was unopposed the same year that its senate district was unopposed

Number of Republican unopposed: 48

Number of Democrat unopposed: 64

In total, there were 112 unopposed assembly elections out of 396* elections from 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018, not including special elections. 28.3% of the elections, therefore, were unopposed. Out of 66** state senate elections, sixteen were unopposed, which means that 24.2% were unopposed. The percentage of unopposed elections were roughly within 4.1% of each other for assembly and senate elections, but it is very likely that this happened by chance.

Assembly districts are more often unopposed than senate districts, and statistically this would be because the number of elections is higher, so the odds of being unopposed are higher, as are the odds of it being a highly competitive election.

48 out of 112 unopposed elections had unopposed Republican candidates, which is 42.9% of the unopposed elections. 57.1%, 64 out of 112, of the unopposed elections had Democratic candidates.

Looking at a map of all 99 assembly districts, districts that are more densely populated are often (but by no means have to be or are more likely to be) unopposed elections. Examples of this are in Assembly Districts 19, 77, and 95. These districts are located in Milwaukee, Madison, and La Crosse, and all have three or more unopposed elections. There are also frequently (two or more unopposed elections) unopposed districts in the Green Bay, Eau Claire, Racine, Kenosha, and Superior areas.

Looking at a map of the 33 senate districts in Wisconsin, districts that have two or more unopposed elections are Senate Districts 3, 8, 16, and 26. All of these districts are located in or near Milwaukee and Dane counties, and at least one of their assembly districts had at least one unopposed election at the same time.

The 7th and 8th Districts are the only two districts in Milwaukee County that have not been unopposed in the 2012, 2014, or 2016 election cycles.

*This number does not include any special elections. 99 assembly seats would be up every two years, and over 4 election cycles this would be 396 elections.

**This number does not include any special elections. 16 seats would be up for election every 2 years, and 17 seats would be up every 2 years over these four election cycles, equaling 66 elections.

 

Senate districts that only had a primary election, and no general election:

2012 2014 2016 2018
Senate District 6 (D) (none) Senate District 4 (D) (none)
    Senate District 6 (D)  

 

The only two senate districts that have had only a primary election were the 4th and 6th Senate Districts. All of the primaries were Democratic primaries, and the 4th and 6th Senate Districts are in Milwaukee County. There were no primary-only elections in 2014 or 2018.

Assembly districts that only had a primary election, and no general election:

2012 2014 2016 2018
Assembly District 7 (D) Assembly District 10 (D) Assembly District 8 (D) Assembly District 12 (D)
Assembly District 8 (D) Assembly District 16 (D) Assembly District 9 (D) Assembly District 16 (D)
Assembly District 9 (D) Assembly District 33 (R) Assembly District 11 (D) Assembly District 18 (D)
Assembly District 10 (D) Assembly District 45 (D) Assembly District 16 (D) Assembly District 59 (R)
Assembly District 11 (D) Assembly District 58 (R) Assembly District 17 (D) Assembly District 77 (D)
Assembly District 12 (D) Assembly District 59 (R) Assembly District 20 (D)  
Assembly District 22 (R) Assembly District 60 (R) Assembly District 47 (D)  
Assembly District 65 (D) Assembly District 78 (D) Assembly District 80 (D)  
Assembly District 79 (D) Assembly District 97 (R) Assembly District 83 (R)  

 

Number of Republican Primaries: 8

Number of Democratic Primaries: 24

In 2012, seven of the nine assembly districts that only had a primary election were in or included a part of Milwaukee County. The other two were in Dane and Kenosha Counties. Only one of the primaries was a Republican primary.

In 2014, five of the nine assembly districts with only a primary had Republican primaries. Four of nine had Democratic primaries.

In 2016, only one district held a Republican primary. The rest were Democratic. Most of these were held in or included a part of Milwaukee or Dane County.

All but seven of these assembly districts had just one primary-only election since 2012. Assembly Districts 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, and 59 were the districts with two or three primary-only elections.