Wisconsin is set to be the swingiest of swing states in 2020. But if you can't wait that long, Tuesday is providing a sneak preview.
State court elections, especially in Wisconsin, don't usually get a lot of national attention. But all eyes are on Tuesday's election for state Supreme Court, which, despite being a supposedly nonpartisan position, has featured harsh debates between its GOP- and Democratic-backed contenders, NBC News reports.
Lisa Neubauer and Brian Hagedorn are both appeals judges running for a vacated spot on Wisconsin's Supreme Court, and both have pledged to keep partisanship off the bench. Yet Neubauer has used their debates to call out Hagedorn for his anti-LGBTQ blog posts, while Hagedorn has decried Neubauer for her apparent liberal partiality, Milwaukee public radio station WUWM reports. Partisan groups have even poured millions of dollars into ad buys for their preferred candidates, NBC News notes.
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Despite electing a Republican governor in 2010, Wisconsin's presidential picks were reliably blue until President Trump's 2016 victory. But again in 2018, the state narrowly ousted Scott Walker in favor of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, easily re-elected Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, and safely put a Democratic-backed candidate on the state Supreme Court. Tuesday's election should provide yet another indicator of whether that blue resurgence will last.
Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney did tell Wisconsin Public Radio that spring elections usually attract just "20 to 25 percent of the voting age population." That's far less than the 59 percent turnout Wisconsin saw in the 2018 midterms. But with a 10-year Supreme Court term on the line, Magney suggested anything is possible.
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