Compared to Hillary Clinton’s anemic support in Western Wisconsin, Judge Lisa Neubauer did well. But in the Milwaukee suburbs that had seemed to sour on Republicans in 2018, she fell far short.
While we’re waiting for our own Miles Coleman to parse through the precinct data from last night’s contests for some excellent maps, let’s go over what happened last night in Wisconsin.
For the sake of clarity- Supreme Court elections are nonpartisan in Wisconsin, but that label lost its meaning a while ago, as each ideological side has their judge of choice and hits the ground hard for them now. Like we’ve done, I’ll identify the two judges as liberal and conservative.
Liberal Judge Lisa Neubauer and conservative Judge Brian Hagedorn were locked in quite the close contest last night. As Outagamie County, which had experienced technical problems uploading its precinct and summary totals, slowly trickled out files, Hagedorn’s early deficit evaporated and he now sports an almost 6,000 vote lead.
As of now, Neubauer can request a recount- at her expense. Barring an oversight (frankly, many, many oversights) from municipal and county clerks, Hagedorn has won, but until those unofficial counts are certified, or Neubauer outright concedes, we aren’t going to officially call this contest.
Compared to last year’s liberal victory, this race saw an increase in turnout in more traditionally Republican areas, while Milwaukee County produced an anemic 150,000 votes. Milwaukee’s drop-off in participation alone does not account for the difference between the two contests- Hagedorn had dramatically improved over 2018 losing justice Michael Screnock’s vote shares all of the BOW-WOW- traditionally swingy Brown, Outagamie and Winnebago, and traditionally dark red Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington. He carried the swing counties of Buffalo, Racine and Kenosha, winning 50 of 72 counties.
We’ll have graphics breaking vote counts down by municipality later on that will highlight some of these changes, in the meantime we will continue to monitor the state for any updates from its various election authorities.