The Village of Spring Valley sits astride the county line separating Wisconsin’s St Croix and Pierce counties. Most of the village is in Pierce County, but one small rural neighborhood lies within St Croix county. Redistricting in 2011 created Ward 3 of the Village, an unusually small ward with just a handful of homes and voters. This tiny ward has served as a microcosm of Wisconsin elections in recent years.
The number of voters has grown with the addition of a new home and some new voters within one of the families. Back in 2010-2012 only 3-4 votes were recorded. The results were split between Republicans and Democrats. This included 2010 election of Scott Walker and his recall election, both split 2-2. In Walker’s first re-election bid in 2014 he garnered 2 of 3 votes.
Ward 3 voters tilted heavily to the GOP in 2016 with Republicans winning 6-0 from the top to the bottom of the ticket including State Representative, US Congress, and President. This shift continued in 2018 with the exception of the vote for Governor. Again in 2018 Republicans swept the lower races 7-0, including State Rep, State Senator and US Congress. But Scott Walker lost the votes of 4 of these GOP voters. The tally in the race for Governor was Walker 3, Evers 2 and Libertarian 2. Walker narrowly lost statewide.
In 2020 the Ward 3 voters again voted Republican for State Rep 9-0, the largest turnout in the history of this neighborhood. Votes were cast by mail and in-person, on paper ballots and on electronic ballot marking devices.
At the top of the ticket in 2020 the two voters split their ballot, yielding a Republican vote of 8-1 to re-elect Tom Tiffany to US Congress, and voting 7-2 to re-elect Donald Trump as President. Two voters crossed over to vote for Joe Biden while continuing to support the down ticket Republicans. These ballots can be viewed below in the links to ballots #1 and #2. These are typical of ballots cast across the state of Wisconsin in 2020. Trump voters in 2016 voted instead for Biden in 2020 costing Trump Wisconsin’s electoral votes.
The Trump “undervote”, i.e. the number of votes that other Republicans garnered but Trump lost to Biden, was particularly significant in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Green Bay and elsewhere. In many places the Trump underperformance in comparison with down ticket GOP candidates reached high single digits to even low double digits. This vote deficit among GOP voters proved insurmountable. This is the real untold story of how Trump lost Wisconsin in 2020.