Conservatives scored a big win in Wisconsin, on Tuesday, as the voters sent a message by electing a conservative to their state’s Supreme Court. Democrats had hoped the state was turning blue, especially after scoring a victory in defeating Republican incumbent Scott Walker for the governorship in the 2018 mid-terms.
Wisconsin represents a crucial battleground state for the coming 2020 presidential election, as it was part of Trump’s path to victory in 2016. Rightfully so, Democrats and Republicans are looking at every statewide election in the Badger state as an indicator of the direction the electorate is leaning, ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
Heavily favored, the “house money” was on the Democrat-backed candidate, Judge Lisa Neubauer. This was heightened by the fact that the challenger, GOP-backed Judge Brian Hagedorn, was a member of former-Governor Scott Walker’s administration.
President Trump and Republicans across the nation rightfully cheered the apparent “red-shift” shown by Wisconsin voters on Tuesday.
Congratulations to Brian Hagedorn on his big surprise win over a well funded Liberal Democrat in the Great State of Wisconsin for a very important Supreme Court seat. Republicans are producing big for Wisconsin!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 5, 2019
Congratulations to Judge Brian Hagedorn on his Wisconsin Supreme Court victory!
Voters have chosen replace a liberal Supreme Court justice with a strong conservative.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) April 4, 2019
While highlighting the victory as a positive step, others remained vigilant, imploring Republicans to not get cocky and keep their eye on the ball.
While Republicans flipped a Wisconsin state Supreme Court seat,
democrats flipped a state senate seat in Pennsylvania.
We need to take these local seats seriously, knocking on doors, making phone calls, & getting out the vote.
I’m just one guy. #WednesdayWisdom
— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) April 3, 2019
It should be noted, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, that the margin between the two state Supreme Court candidates is razor-thin—o.5% or about 6,000 votes. This has prompted the liberal challenger to call for a recount, though, the size of the margin is likely still too large to represent an actual threat of an overturned result.
Even the New York Times was forced to admit that if the result holds up, it would stand as a big victory for the GOP and indicate a red-shift in the state ahead of 2020.
“Democrats received doubly bad news in a Wisconsin Supreme Court election this week.
Brian Hagedorn, a conservative judge who also worked for former Gov. Scott Walker, seems to have beaten the liberal candidate, Lisa Neubauer. The margin — 0.5 percentage points, or about 6,000 votes — is narrow enough that Neubauer is requesting a recount. But a 6,000-vote lead rarely disappears in a recount.
The first problem for Democrats is what Hagedorn’s win will mean for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. He will have flipped a seat previously held by a liberal, giving conservatives a five-to-two majority. Only one seat is up for election next year. (Judicial elections are officially nonpartisan in Wisconsin, but effectively become left-vs.-right races.)
. . .
The second bit of bad news for Democrats was the outcome’s political signal.
Wisconsin Supreme Court races are statewide, and Hagedorn’s win suggests that Wisconsin remains up for grabs heading into President Trump’s re-election campaign. Republican voters now seem quite energized, and turnout was high in conservative areas, like Waukesha County, just west of Milwaukee. ‘The GOP’s win in Wisconsin Supreme Court race showed a base that’s waking up,’ Reid Wilson of The Hill noted.”
A “waking up” of the Republican base is exactly what the doctor ordered for the GOP, heading into the preliminary proceedings of the primaries for 2020. Especially considering the concerted effort on the part of Democrats and the media to disparage President Trump as a Russian stooge and traitor.
The odds the conservative Judge Hagedorn was facing in this election cannot be overstated. National Review ran a piece that highlights exactly how much wind was in the Democrats’ sails heading into this election, as well as the effect the outcome will have on the perception of the political landscape inside the purple state of Wisconsin.
“Outside liberal groups heavily outspent conservative groups, and Democrats seemed to have all the momentum: They dominated the special elections last year, ousted incumbent governor Scott Walker in November by one percentage point, and reelected Senator Tammy Baldwin by eleven points. Tuesday’s results show that the conservative base is re-energized, and that the state remains a 2020 battleground.