Wisconsin’s highly-watched GOP gubernatorial primary last week resulted in the closest race for the Republican nomination and first plurality winner in more than 75 years in the state. Tim Michels defeated Rebecca Kleefisch by 3.9 points with 47.0 percent of the vote – the tightest contest since Governor Walter Goodland edged former state adjutant-general Ralph Immell by 3.4 points in 1946 with a 42.5 percent plurality. The 25 GOP primaries between 1948 and 2018 had been decided by an average of 71.7 points and none by single digits. The 2022 contest goes down as the fifth most narrowly decided GOP race for governor across the 44 primaries for the office since 1912. Governor Emanuel Philipp eked out a 0.3-point win in 1918, Attorney General John Blaine won by 2.9 points in 1920, and attorney Alexander Wiley was nominated by 3.6 points in 1936.

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