| Yesterday, Scott Walker blamed David Prosser's apparent loss on Madison and, to a lesser extent, Milwaukee. He said that he was confident that the recall elections would be okay for his party because, in his words, "Those Senate recall elections both on the Democrat and Republican side are not being held in Madison and not being held in Milwaukee. They're being held in other parts of the state". This is pretty disingenuous; the elections aren't being held in Waukesha, either, and Kloppenburg carried 30 counties in addition to Dane county (Madison) and Milwaukee county. But let's indulge Walker's fantasy for a moment. Imagine that Wisconsin were to split into two separate states. Dane and Milwaukee counties form the new Democratic People's Republic of Fake Wisconsin, or just Fake Wisconsin for short (don't forget to buy the official state underwear). The rest of the state then forms the state of Real Wisconsin (like Real Virginia, only with more cheese). There might be legal issues arising from having a state that is composed of two non-contiguous parts, but technically I don't think that the constitution requires states to be composed of contiguous territory. Leaving aside the legal issues, though, it turns out this proposal might not be as good for the GOP as Scott Walker thinks it would be.
In the 2008 election, Obama still would have gotten 52.5% of the vote in Real Wisconsin. He would also have carried the state of Fake Wisconsin with 70.3%. The Fake Wisconsin secession would have added two electoral votes to Obama's total, as Fake Wisconsin would have two electoral votes in addition to the two it would steal from Real Wisconsin. In 2004, taking out Milwaukee and Dane only leaves Kerry with 45.6% of the vote in Real Wisconsin. But Kerry would have carried Fake Wisconsin with 63.9% of the vote. Kerry would have lost Real Wisconsin's
six eight electoral votes but kept Fake Wisconsin's four, leaving him down a total of two. Under this scenario, if Kerry had won Ohio he still would have become President. These two elections give Real Wisconsin a Cook PVI of approximately R+2, or in other words the same as Virginia or Florida. Even without Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin is still basically a swing state. Fake Wisconsin, on the other hand, would have a PVI of D+17, or four points more Democratic than Vermont, currently the most Democratic state in the union.
Not only would the secession of Dane and Milwaukee not benefit the GOP in presidential elections, it would decidedly hurt them in the senate. Fake Wisconsin would now have two senators in addition to the two senators from Real Wisconsin. It's basically guaranteed that Fake Wisconsin's senators would be Democrats (probably Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl, as both of them live within the boundaries of the new state), while Real Wisconsin could easily elect one or two Democratic senators as well. Ron Johnson lives in Real Wisconsin, so he would remain a senator, at least until 2016. But the other senate seat of Real Wisconsin would be open, and one of the strongest potential Democratic senate candidates, Rep Ron Kind, would have a good chance of winning it in 2012. The best the GOP could hope to do is break even among senators from the former Badger State, and likely the Democrats would come out with one or two more senators.
Of course, the biggest reason that splitting Milwaukee and Dane from Wisconsin wouldn't be good for Walker is that Walker would be a resident of Fake Wisconsin. Even back in the days when he could win an election for county executive in Milwaukee, Walker still probably couldn't win the governorship of Fake Wisconsin, as governor's elections are more partisan than county executive elections, not to mention the fact that he would have to deal with Dane county as well. I suppose Walker could move to the suburban counties and run for the governorship of Real Wisconsin. Maybe he could make sure that his house remained an enclave of Real Wisconsin, or change the laws so that anyone named Scott Walker doesn't have to be a resident of Real Wisconsin to be governor. This is his dream world, after all.
All things considered, it seems that the secession of Fake Wisconsin from Real Wisconsin would probably be a good thing for Democrats. This idea may be the one thing Scott Walker and I agree on.