Ballot Blocking Backfires Bigly: The Fuller Picture


As I wrote last night, the Republican empty suits really need to come up with some ideas and some policies and some candidate that, though right of center, might just appeal to 51 percent of the voters, at least some of the time. As things are going now, they face political extinction, which is what they deserve.

As the Washington Post expatiates, Wisconsin’s Supreme Court race is just the latest win for Democrats in this presidential swing state:

In a bellwether state in the 2020 presidential election, not much has gone right for Republicans in Wisconsin. In fact, since President Trump won Wisconsin in a surprise that arguably won him the White House, Democrats have dominated elections in that state.

The most recent and perhaps most impressive win came Monday, when results were released in a competitive state Supreme Court race that surprised even national Democrats: Liberal challenger Jill Karofsky threw out Daniel Kelly, a Trump-endorsed conservative judge running for reelection. And she won by a significant margin of 11 points .,,

Karofsky’s win came despite significant hurdles. A sitting state Supreme Court justice in Wisconsin hasn’t lost reelection in a dozen years, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. And Wisconsin Republicans played a key role in allowing that state’s primary to go forward last week with in-person voting in the middle of a pandemic. Democrats credibly accused Republicans of wanting low turnout so Kelly would win and keep his seat.

Democrats won that race anyway, and now have a chance to stop a purge of voter rolls before the 2020 election, a purge they fear will make Democratic-leaning, lower-propensity voters less likely to vote in the November election.

But this election-year win for Democrats was just the latest victory for them in Wisconsin in the Trump era.

In the 2018 midterm election, Democrats won the ultimate prize by unseating Republican Gov. Scott Walker. They also unseated the Republican lieutenant governor and the Republican secretary of state, a sweep of competitive statewide elections. …

Democrats also have done well in two other major presidential swing states — Michigan and Pennsylvania — which Trump narrowly won in 2016 and probably will be key to his reelection hopes.

In the 2018 midterm election, Democrats picked up the governor’s seat in Michigan. (That’s Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a potential vice presidential pick for Joe Biden and someone Trump has been attacking over the coronavirus.) Michigan Democrats also swept state executive races and picked up two congressional seats.

In Pennsylvania, Democrats flipped three congressional seats (in part because of a redistricting case gone their way), easily kept the governor’s mansion, and picked up five state Senate seats and 11 state House seats. …

“I think it indicates to Republicans that their use of the coronavirus as voter suppression tactic does have the potential to backfire,” Fiddler [of the Daily Kos blog] said.

Or, as Jennifer Rubin has observed,

You could almost hear the sound of thousands of Republican officials harrumphing and gnashing their teeth Monday night when the results of a key Wisconsin Supreme Court race came in. Republicans had gone to great lengths to suppress the vote, refusing to postpone the election despite the coronaviruspandemic and racing to the U.S. Supreme Court to block an extension of time for voters to return absentee ballots. This was the perfect example of Republicans’ go-to tactic: Make it hard to vote, hoping your own (whiter, older) voters will turn out but Democrats won’t. That strategy bombed in Wisconsin, suggesting Republican efforts to tamp down on voting by mail (or other means) may be self-destructive.

As I watch from the audience, I can hear the fat lady warming up in the wings: