Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District elections, 2012

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Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
August 14, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Reid Ribble Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Reid Ribble Republican Party
Reid Ribble.jpg

Wisconsin U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Wisconsin.png
The 8th Congressional District of Wisconsin held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. Incumbent Reid Ribble won the election.[1]
This is the 8th Congressional District prior to the 2011 redistricting.
Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
June 1, 2012
August 14, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: Wisconsin has an open primary system, in which any registered voter can choose which party's primary to vote in, without having to be a member of that party.

Voter registration: Voter registration requirements may vary by municipality, although voters with valid ID must be granted a provisional ballot at the polls.[2]

See also: Wisconsin elections, 2012

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Reid Ribble (R), who was first elected to the House in 1992.

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District includes Door, Kewaunee, Brown, Outagamie, Waupaca, Shawano, Menomnee, Oconto, Marinette, Florence, Forest, Oneida, and Vilas counties.[3]


Note: Election results were added on election night as races were called. Vote totals were added after official election results had been certified. For more information about Ballotpedia's election coverage plan, click here. If you find any errors in this list, please email: Geoff Pallay.

General election candidates

Democratic Party Jamie Wall
Republican Party Reid Ribble Green check mark transparent.png

August 14, 2012, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Republican Party Republican Primary

Election results

General Election

U.S. House, Wisconsin District 8 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Jamie Wall 44% 156,287
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngReid Ribble Incumbent 55.9% 198,874
     Miscellaneous N/A 0.1% 303
Total Votes 355,464
Source: Wisconsin Government Accountability Board "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election" (dead link)

Race background

Wisconsin's 8th was considered to be Leaning Republican according to the New York Times race ratings. Republican incumbent Reid Ribble was challenged by Jamie Wall (D) in a district known to swing. Democrats thought the seat was up for grabs after the tumultuous partisan conflicts in the state in the previous two years.[6]

Wisconsin's 8th District was included in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue List," which identified districts that the organization specifically targeted to flip from Republican to Democratic control.[7]

Incumbent Reid Ribble was a part of the National Republican Congressional Committee's Patriot Program, a program to help House Republicans stay on offense and increase their majority in 2012.[8]

After the election, the Sunlight Foundation listed four races where outside spending likely pushed the winner over the top. Ribble was listed as one of the four, spurred on by a 4-to-1 advantage over his opponent in spending by independent groups, including the National Republican Campaign Committee.[9][10]

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Wisconsin

Following the 2010 Census, Wisconsin kept its 8 congressional seats. In redistricting, the Wisconsin Legislature sought to even out the districts, which due to the census information, required making the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Districts smaller, and making the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th larger. The new district map was signed into law on August 9, 2011.

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. Wisconsin's 8th District became more balanced because of redistricting.[11]

  • 2012: 51D / 49R
  • 2010: 51D / 49R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measured each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District had a PVI of R+2, which was the 216th most Republican district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 54-46 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 56-44 percent over John Kerry (D).[12]

District history

Candidate ballot access
Ballot Access Requirements Final.jpg

Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.


On November 2, 2010, Reid Ribble won election to the U.S. House of Representatives, defeating incumbent Steve Kagen (D).[13]

U.S. House of Representatives General Election, Wisconsin, Congressional District 8, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngReid J. Ribble 54.8% 143,998
     Democratic Steve Kagen Incumbent 45.2% 118,646
Total Votes 262,644

See also