"Swing-Counties" in WI Could Determine Outcome of Presidential Race

By KBJR News 1

October 24, 2012 Updated Oct 24, 2012 at 6:58 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - When you ask Spooner residents and retired school teachers, Ann and William Schroeder, why they'll be voting for Obama this November, they'll tell you, among other reasons, that Governor Walker's efforts to strip unions of their collective bargaining rights is a major factor.

"We retired early. [We] didn't want to retire early, but I could see the writing on the wall," said Schroeder.

When you ask Schroeder what makes the traditionally left–leaning state of Wisconsin so evenly divided on the Presidential race, it's not as simple to answer.

"That is a great question," he said, laughing with his wife.

Schroeder says both sides seem to be taking a "statewide" approach to the national issue of our next President.

While many Democrats oppose the conservative concept of cutting what they call excessive government spending toward programs, like education—as Governor Walker has...

"Teachers are an easy scapegoat because your taxes go toward paying their salary. Let's face it, people don't want to put any more in property taxes," said Schroeder.

...others, like Hayward resident Marian Mackie, say the efforts of Governor Walker to bring Wisconsin out of debt for the first time in 30 years reflects in Governor Romney, and why Wisconsin has grown more conservative.

"I feel that it's the debt that we're incurring, as well as the jobs that we don't have," said Mackie.

Mackie says she agrees with Schroeder that feelings about state government officials will likely determine many people's vote for president in Wisconsin.

"I think that people who are happy with our Governor will probably vote for Romney, and people who are not happy with our Governor will vote for Obama," said Mackie.

But as far as a definitive answer as to who will take over this November...

"I really can't say. It is close," she said, laughing.

...which is why, in Counties like Sawyer, and Washburn, every vote will count this November.

Overall, Wisconsin is listed has having 32 "swing–counties" in all, the majority of which are located in the Northwestern part of the state.