An unexpected victory this Tuesday by a Republican in a race for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court appears to have inspired the fear of God (or Satan?) in some Democrats.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice-elect Brian Hagedorn defeated challenger Lisa Neubauer despite performing poorly in polls, being outspent and being smeared for being a religious man who believes in traditional Christian morality vis-a-vis homosexuality, which is a sin.
According to reports, he defeated Neubauer because of an impressive turnout among the base.
“Clearly, Republicans got their base activated this year in a way they didn’t last year,” Wisconsin Democrat strategist complained to The Hill.
This quote was included in a telling piece titled, “GOP base wakes up in Wisconsin.”
Wisconsin voters on Tuesday delivered a stinging defeat to Democrats hoping to hold a seat on the state Supreme Court — and a hint that a sleeping Republican base is beginning to wake up just in time for the 2020 presidential election.https://t.co/5rU4oWzw4X
— Amy (@RightHookUSA) April 4, 2019
Sleeping giant indeed.
“The results show a Republican base that is becoming more interested in and energized by politics, cutting into an enthusiasm gap that has fueled Democratic wins since President Trump was sworn into office,” The Hill warned.
Other outlets have echoed this warning.
“Turnout in GOP areas was up sharply from last spring’s judicial election. Hagedorn appears to have ridden a wave of votes from northern and north-central Wisconsin that counteracted Neubauer’s margins in Dane and Milwaukee Counties,” former conservative radio show host turned left-wing “Never Trump” commentator Charlie Sykes wrote for The Atlantic, a demonstrably left-wing magazine.
“This upset should serve as a warning to Democrats, but it’s certainly not a reliable predictor of what will happen in 2020,” he continued, though he added a caveat to seemingly make folks feel better.
“Wisconsin conservatives scored a major victory in the April 2008 state Supreme Court election, when Judge Michael Gableman ousted the liberal incumbent Justice Louis Butler by winning 51.2 percent of the vote. Later that year, Barack Obama won Wisconsin with 56.2 percent of the vote.”
It’s unclear whether Obama’s victory made Sykes, who purports to be a conservative, happy.
— Charlie Sykes (@SykesCharlie) April 5, 2019
The good news for Democrats going into 2020 is that President Donald Trump boasts poor ratings in key battleground states, including Wisconsin, according to polling data.
The bad news is that this polling data may be incorrect. The Hill notes that even polls conducted by Republican groups in Wisconsin showed Neubauer leading Hagedorn by nearly 10 percentage points. Yet he won the election by over 5,000 votes.
Trump is down double digits in key battleground states since the presidential election, according to Morning Consult. Here’s how Trump’s net approval has shifted since he won in 2016:
Florida (-24 net approval)
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 5, 2019
Could the same thing happen to the president? If it did, it’d likely mean total victory.
“Simply put, if Trump wins Wisconsin, he is almost certain to win re-election,” conservative commentator Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, has noted. “That’s because a win for Trump in Wisconsin would likely mean victories for him in swing states that he carried that are more Republican than Wisconsin — such as Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Iowa.”
As such, “Democrats would be mistaken to dismiss the Wisconsin result,” columnist David Leonhardt of The New York Times has warned. “Their big wins in last year’s midterms were foreshadowed by wins in state and local races in 2017 and early 2018, and there weren’t many unpleasant surprises like Hagedorn’s victory.”
How is the left-wing base responding to these warnings? Some have responded with fear and concern.
— Laura de Mander (@TXdeMander) April 4, 2019
We are still processing this heart-breaker up here.
Our messaging was poor & I am owning some of that.
We KNOW what Trump’s GOP is. But what are WE for …?
This MUST be our message going forward.
— D. Earl Stephens (@EarlOfEnough) April 5, 2019
So…. Tim Ryan will go chasing those Obama Trump voters as well.
Wisconsin Supreme court is a warning. If you don’t turn out black voters, you’ll lose when the GOP Shows up at the polls full force.
— NewDemRicoP (@reesetheone1) April 4, 2019
4/ ? This is a major warning for 2020.
Anti-gay right-wing base is still winning w/o traditional big business support.
If the Democrats cannot win back Wisconsin, then they need to flip another Trump state. Don’t say Florida, not after the 2018 double-fail.
— Jed Shugerman (@jedshug) April 3, 2019
But a surprising number of liberals have instead responded with arrogance, choosing to either downplay or dismiss the results of the Tuesday election in Wisconsin.
More bullshit from the @nytimes ! 26% of the total electorate voted and they squeaked out some wins.
— Arthur W Walsh (@desprdo39) April 5, 2019
In speaking to that opinion piece trump is down double digits in Wisconsin compared to 2016. I believe Nuebaur lost because only a 5th of the people in WI voted. Citizens don’t get the consequences of this smaller election.
— virgo82 (@ruffnrogue) April 5, 2019
Only 27% of people statewide voted. That’s why Hagedorn won. It reflects nothing but the regular dereliction of our democracy that allows republicans to win. That’s it. That’s all. 13.525% of the state voted for Hagedorn. That’s not a mandate, nor is the state up for grabs.
— Diasporadic (@Tihkallisti) April 5, 2019
Big win? Hagedorn had 50.25 percent of the vote over fellow Court of Appeals Judge Lisa Neubauer’s 49.75 percent, a difference of 5,962 votes. This is within recount territory, you are bragging about NOTHING Donny.
— Professor Chappell (@AdultIntegrity) April 5, 2019
The latter tweet was written in response to Trump congratulating Hagedorn:
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
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