Big win by liberals in Wisconsin is bad news for GOP and Scott Walker

In another major pre-midterm election, the left has won again -- this time in a race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court....

Posted: Apr 4, 2018 2:59 PM
Updated: Apr 4, 2018 2:59 PM

In another major pre-midterm election, the left has won again -- this time in a race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Although the elections are officially nonpartisan, that's really in name only. Liberal candidate Rebecca Dallet won by 12 percentage points over conservative Michael Screnock, who was backed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker. It was the first time Democrats won an open seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court since 1995.

This Wisconsin result is merely the latest sign that it's not 2016 anymore and Democrats have momentum heading into the congressional midterms this fall.

One of the most interesting trends in the previous special elections in 2017 and 2018 is how the results correlated with the 2016 and 2012 presidential results. What we might expect is that the more recent election (2016) would be more predictive of the race to race correlation than the one before it (2012). That is, the areas that President Donald Trump did worse in relative to Mitt Romney would continue to trend that way, while Democrats would continue to lose ground in the areas where Trump did better than Romney.

We haven't seen that, however, in these elections. The 2012 electoral map has actually given us a better understanding of how each race will go than the 2016 map. Democrats have actually picked up the most ground in areas where Trump did better than Romney.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court race was not a special election, but it is another example that Democrats would be wise not to give up on areas that swung heavily to Trump. It's not just that liberal candidate Dallet won a state that Hillary Clinton lost and Barack Obama won twice. Dallet won in a number of areas in the state where Trump was able to rack up huge numbers relative to Romney. Counties like Kenosha, which is home to House Speaker Paul Ryan's congressional district and where Trump won and Romney lost by double digits. In Tuesday's election, Dallet won it by 14 percentage points.

Put another way, Democrats might be enticed to put a lot of midterm eggs in baskets where Clinton did better than Obama (i.e. well-educated areas). The results in the elections so far in Wisconsin and other places suggest that may be a mistake.

The outcome in Wisconsin is interesting for another reason: what it could mean for Walker. While Obama was winning the state twice, Walker won the state three times when Obama was president. Indeed, it seemed like Wisconsin had more races built up as bellwethers than almost anywhere in the country during that time.

One of these key Wisconsin races during the Obama presidency was the high profile state supreme court election in 2011. The race was seen as a referendum on Walker who was passing a conservative agenda with the help of the state legislature. The conservative candidate in that supreme court election squeaked by to victory -- and Walker would go on to win two more elections in the following three years.

Walker is on the ballot once again this November seeking a third four-year term. With an approval rating of 47% in the latest Marquette University Law School poll, he could be vulnerable. That could be why Walker seemed to be hitting the panic button on Tuesday night when he tweeted about a potential Democratic wave hitting the state later this year.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 118587

Reported Deaths: 3310
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds8050179
DeSoto728580
Harrison549185
Jackson480088
Rankin404686
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Lee366582
Forrest311878
Jones296684
Washington2627100
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Marshall148430
Lincoln143359
Pike140656
Copiah139336
Scott127029
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Union125825
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Winston85221
Tishomingo82741
Attala80527
Clarke77053
Clay71022
Jasper69617
Walthall64427
Calhoun63313
Noxubee60217
Smith60216
Yalobusha56416
Montgomery55823
Lawrence54414
Claiborne53916
Tunica53717
Perry52423
Carroll50312
Stone49114
Greene48118
Humphreys45117
Amite42813
Quitman4236
Jefferson Davis42112
Webster37813
Benton36710
Wilkinson34221
Kemper33315
Sharkey28715
Jefferson27910
Franklin2513
Choctaw2096
Issaquena1074
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 161537

Reported Deaths: 2718
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23769383
Mobile17039318
Tuscaloosa10539141
Montgomery10435199
Madison946798
Shelby756365
Baldwin674369
Lee662465
Calhoun468962
Marshall445251
Etowah436552
Morgan426335
Houston421234
DeKalb351229
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St. Clair307042
Limestone295131
Walker285593
Talladega273937
Cullman260025
Lauderdale237143
Jackson221917
Autauga210331
Colbert208232
Franklin207732
Blount198825
Russell19763
Chilton190932
Dallas188127
Coffee182611
Dale180852
Covington176729
Escambia175331
Clarke138017
Chambers137047
Pike135514
Tallapoosa135387
Marion110331
Barbour10459
Marengo103522
Butler101541
Winston94313
Geneva9357
Lawrence87733
Pickens87418
Bibb85615
Randolph84316
Hale78030
Cherokee76114
Clay75812
Washington75412
Henry7286
Lowndes71728
Monroe66010
Bullock65017
Crenshaw61130
Perry5966
Fayette59413
Cleburne5779
Wilcox57112
Conecuh56513
Macon54120
Lamar5165
Sumter47721
Choctaw39412
Greene34616
Coosa2143
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