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

January 15, 2018

Wisconsin Assembly Districts

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 1 & 2).

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.