A Sober Oktoberfest for Feingold

If you couldn't make it to Munich for Oktoberfest, Wisconsin is a pretty good substitute. The state has the most dedicated beer-drinking population and has won some of the most awards in the nation for its brew, and Sheboygan is America's bratwurst capital. 


Indeed, Wisconsin has some of the highest concentrations of German descendants in America, and so it was no surprise that embattled three-term Sen. Russ Feingold has hit Oktoberfests in the last few weeks in LaCrosse, Appleton, and New Glarus (a town named after a village in Alps). Unfortunately for Feingold, Wisconsin voters of German descent are the most Republican in the state. 

The map below from Daily Kos shows German immigration in Wisconsin and then the 2004 presidential race when John Kerry edged out George W. Bush in the state by 0.4 percent. As you can see, German heritage trends very closely with Republican voting. 

Feingold also smartly campaigned on Saturday at the University of Wisconsin before the underdog Badgers beat the top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. Feingold has been evoking football in his campaign ads, chiding his opponents for "dancing in the end zone" before the game is over. But as Chuck Todd wrote last week, "Feingold right now is down by two scores with five minutes left." 

To use another analogy, Feingold's stein could be down to its last drops.

Wisconsin Immigration and Electoral Map
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Patrick Ottenhoff has been writing The Electoral Map blog since 2007. A former staff writer for National Journal Group and project manager at New Media Strategies, he now attends Georgetown's McDonough School of Business. More

Patrick Ottenhoff attends Georgetown McDonough School of Business in the Class of 2012. He previously served as a project manager in the Public Affairs Practice of New Media Strategies and was a staff writer for National Journal Group. Patrick has been writing The Electoral Map blog since 2007. As the name implies, the blog covers news and commentary at the intersection of politics and geography, but it also analyzes the stories, people, culture, sports, and food behind the maps and the votes. Patrick is a native Virginian and graduate of Union College in New York. You can follow The Electoral Map on Twitter and Facebook, and follow Patrick on YouTube.

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