Here's a round-up of my thoughts on the primary results.
1) Was the turnout a bad sign for Democrats? I know we were told to expect 1.3-1.5 million -- which appears to be what we got -- but I'm not sure that I saw Walker getting such a high percentage of that vote. Many Walker voters might have stayed away, as his race was not well publicized (and it was a blow-out). Yet, he got nearly as many votes as all of the Democratic Gubernatorial candidates combined. Gray Davis' recall saw a much higher voter turnout than in his original election victory in 2002. Is this something that will be cause for concern for Democrats?
2) In three of the six Democratic primary votes in the 2011 recalls, turnout topped 30,000. Despite the fact that a big Gubernatorial primary was headlining the ticket, none of the four races yesterday saw that type of turnout. This may be a function of the shape and size of the districts, or perhaps it is just lack of down ballot voting (undervoting), but that is not a great sign for the 4 recalls.
3) The Democrats owe a debt of thanks to Arthur Kohl-Riggs, the Fake Democrat/Placeholder who made sure that Walker faced a primary. While Walker looked good racking up big numbers 626K, the larger issue may be what those voters would have done if Walker wasn't running. Would those voters have all stayed home, or would they have caused some headaches with strategic voting in the Democratic primary?
4) Why was there such a huge undervote for the LG race? Could the Republicans have taken advantage with tactical voting to protect Kleefisch? The total vote for Governor was 1,316,736. The vote for LG was 758,070. That's a large drop-off -- only 57.5% of the voters who cast a ballot in Gov race went down an tried to vote in the LG race. It is clear that a large part of Walker's 626K voters must have ignored the LG race. I don't think tactical voting occurs that often-- it's more of a what if then anything else. But there was ever a time to use it, the LG race was clearly it.
5) Do voters understand the open primary system? This is not a knock on anyone. I just think that the undervote is extreme. One possible explanation: Did Republican voters not realize that they could vote on the Walker race and then switch to the Democratic races later (Wisconsin primary law allows voters to jump around from party to party in the vote for each separate office). It is a huge disparity between the Gov and LG positions.