After years of political domination by Republicans in the state of Wisconsin, Democrats have begun to emerge victorious. In what was a pivotal moment for the party, liberals have finally secured their first majority on the state Supreme Court in 15 years. These victories include Democratic gains in the state Legislature, as well as more favorable congressional lines and a strong incumbent U.S. Senator. However, these newfound gains have been attributed to the controversial presidency of Donald Trump, who has galvanized Democratic voters to turn out in opposition to conservatives.
Despite Wisconsin’s long history of Midwestern progressivism, the state became a center for the Tea Party movement in 2010, leading to the election of conservative Republicans. Governor Scott Walker’s tenure further established Wisconsin as a model for conservative policies, including anti-union measures, concealed-carry legislation, abortion limits, voter-ID laws, and gerrymandered political maps that cemented Republican majorities in the Legislature. However, this stronghold has been gradually weakened, marking a turning point for Democrats.
Consequently, the energy felt by state Democrats and their victories in recent political races have underscored a fundamental shift in the state’s politics. Likewise, the resurgence of progressive ideals in Wisconsin could have significant implications for the 2024 election and future political landscapes.