Conservatives in Wisconsin have been considerably outspent in today’s crucial Supreme Court election. While ideological control of the court won’t flip tonight regardless the outcome, the ideological balance is critical heading into next year’s election- one that coincides with a Presidential primary. In 2020 an incumbent conservative justice will face an almost certainly Democratic leaning electorate.
Supreme Court elections in Wisconsin are officially non-partisan but Democratic and progressive groups have united behind Judge Lisa Neubauer, Chief Judge of the state Court of Appeals. Republicans and conservatives are aligned with Judge Brian Hagedorn and is also a member of the state Court of Appeals.
Both candidates were elected to their Court of Appeals seats in District II, centered around Waukesha County.
Ahead of today’s vote the TV ad battle has been considerably lopsided. The Greater Wisconsin Political Fund and the Greater Wisconsin Committee, combined with Neubauer’s own campaign, have spent $3.421 million while the Republican State Leadership Committee and Hagedorn’s own campaign have spent a total of $1.22 million on cable and broadcast.
Decision Desk HQ has partnered with Medium Buying (@mediumbuying) to analyze campaign ad spending:
The bottom line is that Democratic-aligned groups have massively outspent Republican ones. Republican groups are clearly avoiding spending in the Madison broadcast market with only minimal cable airtime in Dane targeting the Republican voter minority there. Meanwhile, Democrats, with their spending advantage, are playing in all regions of the state.
Here’s their breakout in spending by both sides by DMAs.
For geographic reference on media markets, and an estimate on their expected share of the overall vote tonight:
Polls close at 9pm eastern in Wisconsin. We will have results as soon as they are available here at DecisionDeskHQ.com