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  [WI] Lonely vote for 'instant runoff'
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ContributorHomegrown Democrat 
Last EditedHomegrown Democrat  Jul 15, 2012 03:16am
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AuthorSteven Walters
MediaNewspaper - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
News DateFriday, July 13, 2012 09:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionTwo polls last week suggested that the winner of the Aug. 14 four-way Republican primary for the party's U.S. Senate nomination may claim the nomination with less than 40% of the vote.

In a Marquette University Law School poll, former Gov. Tommy Thompson was backed by 35% of respondents, followed by Eric Hovde, 23%; Mark Neumann, 10%, and Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, 6%. That monthly survey found that Hovde's campaign had momentum.

A Public Policy Polling survey gave Hovde a 31%-29% lead over Thompson, which was a tie considering the margin of error. That poll gave Neumann 15% and Fitzgerald, 9%.

A candidate's ability to win a nomination for important offices such as U.S. Senate, governor or even a seat in the Legislature with much less than 40% of the votes of their fellow Republicans or Democrats prompted University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee political scientist Mordecai Lee to dust off the idea that Wisconsin consider an "instant runoff" or "second choice" system of deciding who wins primaries.

Wisconsin was one of five states to adopt it - and quickly scrap it - 100 years ago.

"It was part of the second tier of the LaFollette Progressive reform agenda, with regulation of railroads and open primaries at the top of the list," Lee said last week. "But it lasted only one election. Municipal clerks . . . apparently hated it."
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