Wisconsin Republicans rout in historic victories

The following election speed read comes by way of Dentons 50 partner Tony Langenohl.

For the first time since Ronald Reagan won re-election in 1984, Republican Donald Trump carried the state of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin was a state that Trump visited several times since the Republican primary.  In contrast, Secretary Hillary Clinton became the first presidential candidate not to visit Wisconsin during the general election since 1972.

Wisconsin US Senate Election

For the first time since Republican Bob Kasten won election to the US Senate in 1980, a Republican has won a US Senate election in a presidential election year in Wisconsin.

Senator Ron Johnson (R-Oshkosh) was given little chance of winning re-election based on political modeling done by several news outlet.  On Election Day his re-election chance rankings ranged from 1.7% according to HuffingtonPost to 34% the NY Times.

Assembly Election Results

50 seats are needed for a majority in the State Assembly. Prior to the election, Republicans controlled the Wisconsin State Assembly with a 63-36 majority.

Following the elections, Republican successfully defended all of their incumbent seats and increased their majority by one seat, to 64-35, with the defeat of incumbent Representative Chris Danou (D-Black River Falls).

The 64 seats are the most that Republicans have controlled at any one point in recent political history. With the exception of the 2008 election, Republicans have maintained a majority in the State Assembly since 1994.

Senate Election Results

Republicans entered Tuesday with a 19-14 majority in the upper chamber.  Conventional political wisdom had them largely protecting their significant majority, guarding against attempts to shrink their margin.

Republicans protected their incumbent seats and expanded their majority by at least one seat, with Republican challenger Patrick Testin of Stevens Point defeating incumbent State Senator Julie Lassa (D-Plover).  The other race that was too close to call was the race between Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse), the minority leader, and former State Senator Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse).

Republicans will enter the 2017-2018 Legislative Session with at least a 20-13 majority.  That is the largest majority that either party has had since the mid-1980s and the largest majority Senate Republicans have had in recent political history.

Control of the State Senate has traditionally been volatile, but Republicans have now maintained control of the Senate for four election cycles in a row, the longest streak by one party since the 1980s.

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James Richardson

About James Richardson

James Richardson is a strategic communications counselor with 15 years’ experience advising presidential candidates, Global Fortune 500 executives, national nonprofits, and sovereign governments on strategic communications and reputation management. He helps lead Dentons’ 3D Global Affairs practice.

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