In this Sept. 21, 2015 photo, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker pauses as he speaks at a news conference in Madison, Wis., where he announced that he is suspending his Republican presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Liberal judge Rebecca Dallet’s victory over Conservative judge Michael Screnock on Tuesday in Wisconsin’s Supreme Court is seen as more evidence that the Democrats’ party is heading for a wave victory in the November midterm elections.
Dallet won by a 11.5-percent margin — 56 percent to 44 percent. NRO’s John Fund tweeted:
In Wisconsin’s statewide primary in Feb for Sup Ct, GOP-backed candidate won 46% or primary vote against two Dems. In runoff tonight, GOP candidate has only 43.5%. Major defeat for Scott Walker. Suburban problem surfaces again for GOP.
Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who had endorsed Screnock, warned Republicans that more losses could be coming:
“Tonight’s results show we are at risk of a #BlueWave in WI,” Walker, who is up for re-election in November, tweeted. “Big government special interests flooded Wisconsin with distorted facts & misinformation. Next, they’ll target me and work to undo our bold reforms.”
Turnout topped 22 percent. That is the highest turnout for a Wisconsin spring election since 2011 when the Supreme Court race came in the middle of the massive protests against Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining restrictions and topped 34 percent.
Worse for the Republicans, as also tweeted by John Fund, the results marked first time since 1995 that a liberal candidate for Supreme Court won in a race where the seat is open. The victory reduces conservative control of the court from 5-2 to 4-3.
Yes Democrat voter surge is real, but not unexpected for a midterm election where the Republicans control both houses of Congress and the presidency. But results of past Wisconsin Supreme Court elections have not consistently proven to be predictive of what will happen in November.
Dallet’s victory follows a surprising Democrat win in January in a special election for a state Senate seat held by Republicans for 17 years. Two other special legislative elections are coming this June, giving Democrats more chances to build more momentum heading into the fall.