4 Historic Presidential Primaries in Wisconsin History
As Wisconsin heads into a hotly contested presidential primary election for both major parties, WPR has looked back at years when the state's voters played an important role in selecting parties' nominees. Wisconsin helped pioneer the open presidential primary in 1912. Since then, it hasn't always been considered a crucial primary state, but in some years it has exerted a strong influence on the nomination process. The state once again looks to play an important role in 2016 for candidates in both the Democratic and Republican parties.
WPR's Erika Janik and WisContext's Scott Gordon recently explored notable episodes in Wisconsin presidential primary history:
- Wendell Willkie's ill-fated run in 1944
- John F. Kennedy's modern, game-changing campaign in 1960
- Jimmy Carter's fight in a crowded Democratic field in 1976
- A decisive showdown between Republicans Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in 2012
Listen to Janik and Gordon discuss how each of these primaries can illuminate the evolution of the national political scene and the Wisconsin electorate. More coverage of the 2016 race is available at the Wisconsin Presidential Primaries series.
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