Is the Solidarity Sing-along finally over?
The people have spoken, the bastards!
It was not the economy, stupid.
Our state and the nation are at record employment. Wages are up. Taxes are down. University tuition frozen. Scott Walker landed the biggest single employer in history. Shockingly, he went down to defeat. That special Senate election in January up in the Eau Claire area was, indeed the proverbial canary in the coal mine. (Walker was not alone as neighboring Michigan and Illinois traded down for Democrats in the governor’s mansions.)
Just as shocking is Brad Schimel’s loss to Josh Kaul for attorney general.
Even so, the GOP won 57 of 66 contested seats in the Assembly and 9 of 13 in the Senate, increasing their advantage by one to 19-14. Democrat cookie lady Kris Marion was supposed to unseat State Sen. Howard Marklein in southwest Wisconsin. Not really close, at 54-46%.
On the national level, Trump has foreign terrorists on the run. North Korea is behaving itself. The Russia investigation seems to have petered out. NAFTA has been renegotiated. But voters on the ground rewarded Nancy Pelosi’s party. They did put up good candidates, not the usual assortment of flower children.
Except in Wisconsin. Randy Bryce was once the Iron Stache, darling of the Chelsea Handler crowd. In the close scrutiny of an election he became Mr. Probation Hold and lost to Paul Ryan’s protege, Bryan Steil, 55-42%. Not even close.
Down in Florida, former UW-Madison chancellor and Clinton camp follower Donna Shalala was supposed to lose to a much more engaging Cuban-American. Instead, she won.
Was Speaker Ryan clairvoyant in stepping down while on top? Now he returns the gavel to the Democrat from San Francisco after accepting it from her two years ago.
But the U.S. Senate was a different story. Beto O’Rourke, defeated in Texas to new Trump convert, Ted Cruz. Democrat incumbents in North Dakota, Indiana, Missouri — defeated. And poised (as of this writing) to take Florida while potentially losing Dean Heller in Nevada. That’s a net gain of three seats, which would make the upper body 54-46 Republican. Mike Pence can turn off his cell phone.
Another day-after election lesson: friends come and go but enemies accumulate. The massive government employee voting bloc never forgave Act 10. Suburban professionals were put off by Trump’s crass language and general louche behavior. Mike Pence is looking better all the time. Mitt Romney is tanned, rested, and a U.S. Senator.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Notice something? The usual suspects are not complaining of voter suppression, not with Tony Evers elected. In fact, Wisconsin recorded the highest voter turn-out in the nation. Voter I.D. lives!