After far-left Democrats scored a major victory in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election last Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal editorial board described the Democrat win in this traditional swing state as a “five-alarm warning” to the Republican Party.
In an editorial on Wednesday, the editorial board said the decline of the GOP in Wisconsin suburbs spells danger for the Republicans in the upcoming 2024 election.
Liberal judge Janet Protasiewicz soundly defeated conservative candidate former state Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly by ten points in what was the most expensive state Supreme Court campaign ever. More than $42 million was spent on the race that flipped the once-conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court to liberal control.
And according to the Journal’s editorial board, the Wisconsin race indicates that this once reliable swing state is poised to vote solidly blue in 2024.
The editorial notes that Judge Protasiewicz turned the race into a “referendum on abortion rights,” and argued that if Republicans want to remain competitive in swing states like Wisconsin, they must ease up on proposing outright bans on abortion which are not popular with voters in swing states. The editorial warns that Republicans will lose the White House again in 2024 if they continue pushing for abortion bans.
And while abortion did play a key role in the Wisconsin race, so too did Judge Kelly’s ties to former President Donald Trump. Kelly, who lost his bid for the state Supreme Court in 2020 with Donald Trump’s full endorsement, was involved in the former president’s scheme to contest the 2020 election results in Wisconsin.
The Democrats hanging Trump around Kelly’s neck did him no favors in Wisconsin, especially in more suburban voting districts where Trump is deeply unpopular.
Additionally, Republicans were outspent by Democrats by a wide margin in the race.
In the final reporting period before last Tuesday’s election, the Democrat Party poured nearly $9 million into the race while the Wisconsin Republican Party donated less than $500,000 to support Kelly’s campaign.