State’s ‘Whitest’ Districts Tend to Elect GOP Legislators

January 15, 2018

As Wisconsin and the nation prepare to honor civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., a review of U.S. Census data shows Wisconsin residents elect Republican legislators in districts with the highest percentage of white residents, and Democrats in districts with the highest ratio of non-white residents.

In the state Senate, which has 33 legislative districts, Republicans represent nine of the 11 districts with the largest proportion of whites, ranging from 92.5 percent to about 95 percent. Meanwhile, Democrats were elected in nine of the 10 senate districts with the smallest proportion of white residents, ranging from 23.4 percent to about 86 percent. (See Tables 12).

In the state Assembly, which has 99 legislative districts, Republicans represent 29 of the 30 districts with the largest proportion of whites, ranging from about 93 percent to 96 percent. Meanwhile, Democrats were elected in 21 of the 30 assembly districts with the smallest proportion of white residents, ranging from about 15 percent to 84.6 percent. (See Tables 3 & 4).

According to the 2010 Census, “Wisconsin’s population is about 83% white, 6% black, 6% Hispanic, 2% Asian, and 1% American Indian. Individuals of other and multiple races make up less than 2% of Wisconsin’s population.”

Wisconsin’s minority populations are largely concentrated in the state’s only major urban area – Milwaukee.

As a result, 27 of the 33 Senate districts have populations that are more than 80 percent white, and 13 of those districts are more than 90 percent white.

In the Assembly, 81 of the 99 districts are more than 80 percent white, and 52 of the 99 districts are more than 90 percent white.

Table 1
Senate Districts With Largest White Population

Legislator

Senate District

Party

% White

% Non-White

Howard Marklein

17

R

94.9

5.1

Terry Moulton

23

R

94.4

5.6

Sheila Harsdorf*

10

R

94.2

5.8

Duey Stroebel

20

R

94

6

Frank Lasee*

1

R

93.4

6.6

Luther Olsen

14

R

93.3

6.7

Tom Tiffany

12

R

92.8

7.2

Scott Fitzgerald

13

R

92.8

7.2

Kathleen Vinehout

31

D

92.6

7.4

Patrick Testin

24

R

92.5

7.5

Jennifer Shilling

32

D

92.5

7.5

*Recently resigned

Table 2
Senate Districts With Smallest White Population

Legislator

Senate District

Party

% White

% Non-White

LaTonya Johnson

6

D

23.4

76.6

Lena Taylor

4

D

27.6

72.4

Tim Carpenter

3

D

40.2

59.8

Robert Wirch

22

D

62.7

37.3

Fred Risser

26

D

76.2

23.8

Mark Miller

16

D

78.4

21.6

Chris Larson

7

D

82

18

Dave Hansen

30

D

82.5

17.5

Roger Roth

19

R

83

17

Janis Ringhand

15

D

85.8

14.2

Table 3
Assembly Districts With Largest White Population

Legislator

Assembly District

Party

% White

% Non-White

Travis Tranel

49

R

96

4

Rob Swearingen

34

R

95.7

4.3

Rob Summerfield

67

R

95.7

4.3

Lee Nerison

96

R

95.7

4.3

Joel Kitchens

1

R

95.4

4.6

Todd Novak

51

R

95.4

4.6

Warren Petryk

93

R

95.4

4.6

Mary Felzkowski

35

R

95.1

4.9

John Nygren

89

R

95

5

Bob Gannon*

58

R

94.6

5.4

Romaine Quinn

75

R

94.6

5.4

Adam Jarchow

28

R

94.5

5.5

Kevin Petersen

40

R

94.5

5.5

John Spiros

86

R

94.5

5.5

Rob Stafsholt

29

R

94.3

5.7

Sondy Pope

80

D

94.3

5.7

Keith Ripp**

42

R

94

6

Robert Brooks

60

R

94

6

Chuck Wichgers

83

R

94

6

Shannon Zimmerman

30

R

93.9

6.1

Bob Kulp

69

R

93.9

6.1

Cindi Duchow

99

R

93.8

6.2

Kathy Bernier

68

R

93.7

6.3

Jesse Kremer

59

R

93.5

6.5

Nancy VanderMeer

70

R

93.3

6.7

Ed Brooks

50

R

93.2

6.8

John Jagler

37

R

92.9

7.1

Joel Kleefisch

38

R

92.9

7.1

Mark Born

39

R

92.8

7.2

Andre Jacque

2

R

92.7

7.3

*Recently passed away. **Recently resigned.

Table 4
Assembly Districts With Smallest White Population

Legislator

District

Party

% White

% Non-White

JoCasta Zamarripa

8

D

15.2

84.8

Leon Young

16

D

22.2

77.8

Jason Fields

11

D

22.6

77.4

Evan Goyke

18

D

23.4

76.6

David Crowley

17

D

24.6

75.4

David Bowen

10

D

27.6

72.4

Fred Kessler

12

D

32.4

67.6

Josh Zepnick

9

D

33.4

66.6

Cory Mason*

66

D

47.8

52.2

Tod Ohnstad

65

D

65.2

34.8

Daniel Riemer

7

D

70.3

29.7

Jimmy Anderson

47

D

70.8

29.2

Terese Berceau

77

D

71.9

28.1

Lisa Subeck

78

D

75

25

Peter Barca

64

D

75.2

24.8

Melissa Sargent

48

D

75.9

24.1

Mark Spreitzer

45

D

78.3

21.7

Christine Sinicki

20

D

78.9

21.1

Chris Taylor

76

D

81.7

18.3

Dan Knodl

24

R

82.1

17.9

Jonathan Brostoff

19

D

82.3

17.7

Ken Skowronski

82

R

82.4

17.6

Scott Allen

97

R

82.7

17.3

Jeremy Thiesfeldt

52

R

83

17

Eric Genrich

90

D

83

17

Thomas Weatherston

62

R

83.2

16.8

John Macco

88

R

83.7

16.3

Patrick Snyder

85

R

83.8

16.2

Terry Katsma

26

R

84.1

15.9

Tyler August

32

R

84.6

15.4

*Recently resigned.