Jay Heck knew something was up Tuesday afternoon when he headed for his polling place on Madison's east side. The average of all spring elections since 2000 was 19 percent. More than 1.5 million votes were cast, and it took a historical six-week recount to declare Prosser the victor - by a margin of only 7,004 votes.
Milwaukee County District Judge, and former prosecutor, Rebecca Dallet began following most of this playbook in a 3-person primary with Sauk County District Judge Michael Screnock and Madison lawyer Tim Burns, portraying herself as the "centrist" between the two "extremists".
"Normally when you have low voter turnout, republicans have an advantage and I think people are looking at that to see if the democrats rise up essentially. or more moderates I should say and if they put in Dallet and she wins, that will be interesting in a low turnout election", Dr. Ed Miller, a professor of political science at UW-Stevens Point explained. Biden recorded a robocall for Dallet that went out on Monday night encouraging people to vote for her.
Voters also defeated a ballot measure that would have abolished the state treasurer's office, and which was backed by Gov.
"There was just great motivation on the part of people who were not comfortable with the status quo", Heck reflects. "It demonstrates a strong pull in the direction that Wisconsin could be headed in the fall election".
"She strikes me as the kind of judge who will direct rationality into the system", Holder said at a mid-March campaign stop for Dallet.
"We believe that Wisconsin's court is best served by justices who interpret the law as it is written, instead of legislating from the bench by imparting their personal views on court cases", WMC President Kurt Bauer said. In that race, the conservative candidate narrowly prevailed. When Screnock was a private attorney, he defended Walker's collective-bargaining law and the Republican-drawn redistricting plan, which is now faces a U.S. Supreme Court challenge. He ran a thoroughly disingenuous campaign, claiming, against all evidence, to be free of ideological or partisan leanings.
Screnock was controversially backed by the state's Republican Party, and his campaign received an endorsement from the National Rifle Association as well. The liberal Greater Wisconsin Committee has spent about $650,000 on ads attacking Screnock.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that during a debate Friday, Screnock says he empathized with the family but would not the call for the ad to be altered.
"Republicans are perhaps a little complacent after some of the wins that they have had", he said.
JOHNSON: Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske says Holder and others are trying to seize on Democratic enthusiasm.
"That means there's an very bad lot of people that stayed on the sidelines this week who will come in by the fall and we don't know whether they will tilt in the same direction or not", Franklin said.