A Sober Oktoberfest for Feingold

By Patrick Ottenhoff

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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http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/10/a-sober-oktoberfest-for-feingold/64695/