Republicans are just short of a legislative supermajority Wednesday afternoon, a situation that all but certainly sets Democratic Gov. Tony Evers up to continue blocking high-priority GOP measures for the next two years.
After dozens of hard-fought campaigns on both sides for the first election under Wisconsin's new 10-year legislative maps, Republicans are likely to achieve a two-thirds majority in the state Senate but not the Assembly, falling shy of the required margin to override vetoes.
"Through our efforts, we not only succeeded tonight, but also laid the groundwork to compete for the majority in elections to come," Assembly Minority Leader Greta Neubauer, D-Racine, said in a statement.
Still, Republicans appeared poised late Wednesday afternoon to win races in the northern 73rd and 74th districts, which were previously held by Democrats. A Republican also won in the 13th Assembly District, also previously held by a Democrat. The Republicans forecasted to win those races are Angie Sapik, Chanz Green and Tom Michalski, respectively.
People are also reading…
Republicans needed just one pick-up in the Senate to obtain a supermajority in that chamber, which they obtained with GOP candidate Romaine Robert Quinn winning the previously Democratic-held 25th Senate District. The incumbent Democrat had a 1-point lead late Wednesday morning in the competitive 31st Senate District with about 99% of votes counted.
Experts previously said Republicans obtaining a two-thirds majority in both chambers is possible but unlikely. An especially unlikely outcome was that Republicans would reach a two-thirds majority but Evers kept his seat, UW-Madison political science professor Barry Burden said.
The new 10-year legislative maps — which the Wisconsin Supreme Court chose after a court battle that reached the U.S. Supreme Court — favors Republicans to a large degree.
If half of the voters statewide went for Democrats and the other half went for Republicans, Democratic candidates could expect to win just 36 of the Assembly’s 99 seats and 10 of the Senate’s 33 seats, according to an analysis by John Johnson, a research fellow in the Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education at Marquette Law School.
Republicans would need a 7.2-point statewide advantage, or 53.6% of the vote, in order to have a chance of securing a two-thirds supermajority in the Assembly, according to the analysis.
Election recap: Get full results and exclusive coverage of Tuesday's election
"Unfortunately the math doesn’t add up," Michels told supporters. "I just called Gov. Evers and I conceded."
Leading by around 40,000 votes with an estimated 93% of ballots counted early Wednesday, Johnson said he's confident Barnes cannot make up his deficit.
In a race centered around abortion and his public safety record, Kaul's showing notched Democrats another statewide win Tuesday night.
Democrat Barrett defeats GOP challenger Hamilton in the first competitive Dane County sheriff’s race in eight years.
Stoughton and Waunakee referendums were among those heading toward passage.