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Wisconsin Votes
An Electoral History
Robert Booth Fowler


"This work is certain to be a mainstay . . . in Wisconsin’s political history.”
—Edward Miller, University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point

Winner, Award of Merit for Leadership in History, American Association for State and Local History

This is the first full history of voting in Wisconsin from statehood in 1848 to the present. Fowler both tells the story of voting in key elections across the years and investigates electoral trends and patterns over the course of Wisconsin’s history. He explores the ways that ethnic and religious groups in the state have voted historically and how they vote today, and he looks at the successes and failures of the two major parties over the years. Highlighting important historical movements, Fowler discusses the great struggle for women’s suffrage and the rich tales of many Wisconsin third parties—the Socialists, Progressives, the Prohibition Party, and others. Here, too, are the famous politicians in Wisconsin history, such as the La Follettes, William Proxmire, and Tommy Thompson.

“A fascinating look at the voting behavior of Wisconsinites, providing unique historical insight into how a relatively small, midwestern state became a presidential campaign target, how Jim Doyle has presided over a Democratic resurgence at the statehouse, how the underestimated Tommy Thompson came to dominate the state political scene, how the Progressives fell from power, and how the slavery issue impacted early voting in a new state. This very readable book manages to bring alive a myriad of statistics, weaving them into a narrative that dares to analyze without hyperbole or bias the impact that key racial and demographic groups, and their geographic bases, have at the ballot box. A must read for anybody interested in Wisconsin politics.”—Jeff Mayers, WisPolitics.com


Robert Booth Fowler is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has also authored Enduring Liberalism: American Political Thought since the 1960s and The Greening of Protestant Thought: 1970–1990.

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The cover of Wisconsin Votes is white, and covered with a collage of political buttons and other items.

May 2008
LC: 2007040020 JK
376 pp.   6 x 9
21 b/w photos, 11 maps,
3 tables

Book icon Paper $29.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-22744-9
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The cloth edition, ISBN 978-0-299-22740-1, is out of print.


Distribution of this book to Wisconsin’s public library systems is supported by the Evjue Foundation, the charitable arm of the Capital Times newspaper.

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