How To Watch Tonight’s Wisconsin Judicial Race

Scott Walker

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Wisconsin voters will decide Tuesday whether they'll send another conservative or a liberal to the state's supreme court.

Though judicial races are nonpartisan, both Republicans and Democrats spent heavily and engaged voters in the state. Former attorney general Eric Holder also prioritized the race as part of his effort to shift the national redistricting map more in Democrats' favor after a series of statehouse and statewide elections like these gave Republicans a real edge over the past decade.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker, a outsize figure in Wisconsin, backed Michael Screnock, the conservative, while Democrats lined up behind Rebecca Dallet, a liberal. (In the primary earlier this year, Dallet defeated an Our Revolution–backed candidate.)

In Wisconsin, conservatives tend to do well in state judicial elections, and currently hold a 5–2 margin on the state's supreme court. And, in the past, conservative strength in April has boded well for Republican strength in November.

Though for a national audience the race might seem a little obscure, the results offer a) a look at newly christened battleground state Wisconsin's November elections, and b) demographic data that will give us a better picture of how people are voting in Midwestern suburbs ahead of the 2018 midterms.

Two years after Donald Trump infamously beat Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin and undermined the “blue wall” in the Midwest, the state will play host to two hotly contested election's later this year: Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin's reelection bid, and that of Gov. Scott Walker, who's running for a third term after his noted battles with public-sector unions in the state.

Tuesday's results may provide some insight into how those contests will play out later this year.

The statewide nature of the election also provides another big set of data for the midterms more broadly: In previous special elections and 2017 contests, Democrats have outperformed expectations in suburban areas, like Pennsylvania's 18th District, which contains parts of suburban Pittsburgh. Rural turnout for Republicans has also been soft in some places — like in last year's Alabama special election —without Trump atop the ballot.

The answers to these kinds of questions — if Democrats can break into suburban areas in a midterm year, and if rural turnout is lower than normal — give a clearer picture of what the fall could look like.

LINK: Why A Judicial Race In Wisconsin Is A Big Deal For Midterms

LINK: Why Trump Really Won Wisconsin And Pennsylvania


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