"It has been 60 years since a candidate for governor got as many votes in a Wisconsin primary as Republican Scott Walker did Tuesday.Those sixty-year-old numbers are striking.
"And it’s been 60 years since turnout in a gubernatorial primary was as high as it was Tuesday."
"In 1952, Gov. Walter Kohler got 699,082 votes running unopposed in a Republican primary. (He would defeat future Sen. Bill Proxmire in the general election that year).Also in 1952, incumbant Republican U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy won his primary with 515,481 votes, 67.89% of 759,273 cast. (Using these and Mr. Gilbert's figures, that Republican Senate primary vote represented almost 34% of the voting-age population.) Kohler defeated Proxmire for Governor again in 1954, but lost to him in the 1957 special election for the remainder of McCarthy's Senate term.
"Kohler’s vote total represented 31% of the state’s voting-age population at the time. Walker’s vote Tuesday [626,538] represents 14.4% of the state’s 2011 voting-age population.
"Wisconsin’s overall turnout Tuesday was 1,316,736, or 30.3% of the state’s 2011 voting-age population."