LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Tuesday's primary will be the fifth statewide election this year for Wisconsin voters.
La Crosse County Clerk Ginny Dankmeyer said the county tends to see a higher turnout of voters than the rest of the state.
But she doesn't expect that trend to show next week.
"A typical primary in the fall, depending on what races are on the ballot, usually draws not more than 20 percent voter turnout," Dankmeyer said.
"But don't expect more than 12 percent turnout here," she added, "Because there are not a lot of races on ballot to draw out voters."
The Tuesday primary will also be Wisconsin's first election held in August since 1946.
Voting day was moved up from its previous date in September to comply with a federal law aimed at giving members of the military stationed here and overseas more time to fill out absentee ballots.
"With the election in August, will people be prepared?" Dankmeyer said. "I know there are a lot of families still doing vacations before school starts."
But Dr. Joe Heim, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, said the summer voting could favor the man he sees as the front runner – former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson.
"Who would be the most likely people to go to the polls in August?" Heim said. "The answer is older people who are not on vacation. Those people know Tommy Thompson's name."
"Also, you have to keep in mind the civic minded regulars," Heim said. "When I say civic minded, I mean people who are independents, who always vote and who don't have real strong party allegiance."
"I think those people, to the degree that they vote, could determine the election," he said.
Heim also said he expects Thompson do well with voters in Western Wisconsin -- mainly due to his recognizable name and his recent spike in television advertising.
Thompson is facing former US Congressman Mark Neumann, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and businessman Eric Hovde, the CEO of Hovde Properties, LLC, in Tuesday's GOP primary.
The winner will square off against Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin in November's general election.
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