RightWisconsin asked a number of sharp-eyed political observers to stick their necks out to predict the results of Tuesday’s elections in Wisconsin. Predictions are not guarantees so, please, no wagering on the election.
Steve Scaffidi: I think Governor Walker wins by a very narrow margin on Tuesday night, although it could be very early Wednesday morning before a winner is declared. I’m still not convinced Milwaukee’s voter turnout will as large as predicted, but I know Madison will have some very high voter numbers. If they get to record voting levels for a midterm, that could be just enough to flip the race to Evers.
I think State Senator Leah Vukmir would make a terrific U.S. Senator, but whether it’s voters who don’t like to see both Senators from the same party in Washington, D.C., or just the insane number of ads that Tammy Baldwin has put up blurring her extremely liberal voting record, it might be too much for Vukmir to overcome on election night. I hope I’m wrong, but wouldn’t be surprised to see Baldwin win by 4-6 points.
One surprise we might notice on election night is Hispanic voting totals down from previous elections.
John Schulze: Governor Walker is elected to a third term with 50.5% of the vote, as the SE Wisconsin suburbs and exurbs break late and reward him for record low unemployment, property tax relief, and Foxconn. Republicans hold the State Senate 17-16 and control the Assembly with 60 (losing 4 open seats). AG Schimel is the leading statewide GOP vote getter. Small business executive Bryan Steil replaces Speaker Ryan in the 1st Congressional district, and the rest of the federal delegation remains unchanged.
Nathan Schacht: While the soup du jour is the Blue Wave, I can’t get over the MU poll’s 54-42 right/wrong direction among likely voters. In the end, voters will ignore the shiny objects and focus on what really matters to them – their wallet.
In the governor’s race Walker and the booming economy win 50-48, the “two-party system is rigged bro” crowd gives 2% to the other guy. Attorney General Brad Schimel wins 51-49 as 90% of voters go to the polls and say “Josh Kaul who?” In the U.S. Senate race Baldwin pulls out a 53-47 win in an election that comes down to money. With Baldwin raising $30 million this cycle, and the “conservative” groups that seemed so interested in the GOP primary all but forgetting Wisconsin in the general, the anti-money-in-politics Senator ironically wins by a comfortable margin because of money in politics.
In the U.S. House and Senate, the GOP hold slim majorities. Both Steil and Grothman win their close seats in Wisconsin and nationally the GOP holds the House by 4 votes. In the U.S. Senate, the GOP picks up 1 seat. In the Wisconsin Statehouse the Assembly maintains a strong majority (+25) and in the Senate the GOP holds on by 1.
Walker over Evers by 5 points
A strong Wisconsin economy, record low unemployment, new companies bringing new technology to the state, tax cuts, a freeze on state college tuition and a fully-funded pension are just some of the reasons why Tony Evers will lose this race. Even Democrats quietly admit Governor Walker is probably one of the strongest cheerleaders for the Badger State we’ve seen in some time. Walker eats, sleeps and breathes Wisconsin while Evers is milk toast and unproven. Evers says, “It’s time for a change” but Wisconsin voters are smart enough to know that ‘change’ means opposite of what’s taking place now in Wisconsin.
Baldwin over Vukmir by 3 points
Baldwin’s name recognition and big money spend will be the deciding factor which will give her a very narrow victory. Vukmir was stronger in all of the debates leaving Baldwin to search and stutter her way though. Vukmir is the better candidate. Unfortunately, that won’t be enough to overcome the big money from outside Wisconsin. Dems want that seat in Washington D.C. and will pull out all the stops to keep it.
Kooyenga over Henszay by 9 points
Even with Wauwatosa turning more liberal it won’t be enough for Henszey to take this high profile seat, especially when she is seen as sort of kooky and vague on the issues. Voters will recognize Kooyenga’s family values, military service and his hawk-eye CPA smarts in the state legislature as the right person for Wisconsin State Senate.
Sensenbrenner over Palewicz by 20 points
Yes, Jim Sensenbrenner has been in Congress forever but he knows his stuff and is well informed on issues both foreign and domestic. More importantly, Sensenbrenner connects to Joe Six Pack through his many town hall meetings. Sensenbrenner is still a force to be reckoned with.
Steil over Bryce by 9 points
District support for Paul Ryan and the overall weakness in Democrat candidate Randy Bryce will have Steil the winner in this race. Bryce’s record of arrests, his failure to pay child support and outside Hollywood money won’t sit well with Wisconsin voters. Steil is a Paul Ryan look alike and the voters of that district won’t put in someone as radical and unpredictable as Bryce in office.
1. Walker wins with 51%.
2. GOP holds onto both houses of the Legislature.
3. Baldwin is reelected.
4. GOP holds onto the Senate and barely holds on to the House.
5. Stupid voters reelect Phony Fighting Doug (the non-) LaFollette.
My predictions are ironclad, so pay close attention. For example, when the FoxConn deal was announced I predicted an easy 55-45 Walker re-elect.
Governor: The campaign has wrapped up on a high level, with each side “guilty” of being soft on sex offenders. Thanks to an 11th hour conversion by Tony Evers, both candidates now promise no tax increases and boatloads of new spending. Whatever it takes, I guess. After Tony Evers wins a squeaker, he will stumble out of the gate and never gain traction. Competition for, and speculation about, the 2022 GOP nomination begins November 7.
U.S. Senate: Senator Tammy Baldwin will install a plaque in her office thanking the Club for Growth for helping elect her in 2012 and again this year. She will remain an obscure non-factor in the Senate minority.
U.S. House: In my first draft of these predictions I accepted the blue wave Kool Aid and said the House would flip. But that’s wrong, just as the conventional wisdom in 2016 came up short. The next Speaker will be Kevin McCarthy, not Nancy Pelosi. Wisconsin will retain all its GOP seats, including that vacated by Paul Ryan.
Wisconsin Legislature: Once conservative Wauwatosa goes the way of Shorewood. Rep. Robin Vos remains speaker. Sen. Scott Fitzgerald returns as Senate Majority Leader.
Nik Nelson: Scott Walker will win on Tuesday. Though polling says it’ll be close (and it will) those same numbers reflect an electorate that believes the state is doing well. The palpable economic effects of last summer’s Foxconn deal will outweigh the flimsy talking points designed to discredit it. In 2012, Walker beat a recall attempt just months before the same electorate, no doubt buoyed by enthusiastic Barack Obama voters, that elevated Tammy Baldwin to the US Senate. This election will be a litmus test for the moralistic and inconsistent Wisconsin voter’s ability to split the ticket on the same ballot, and they just might break to keep both Walker and Baldwin in statewide office
Bill Feehan: I predict that Trump voters show up strong in the 3rd District. Assemblyman Treig Pronschinske holds onto the seat he won last cycle which includes Trempealeau and Jackson Counties. I predict that Republicans will hold more than 60 Assembly seats.
Mel Pittman will win the 31st state Senate seat vacated by Kathleen Vinehout which also includes Trempealeau and Jackson counties. Over all I see Republicans gaining seats – we likely will have 20.
Governor Walker will be re-elected with 52% of the vote, and that means Leah Vukmir has a fighting chance to defeat Tammy Baldwin. Lets not forget that polls showed Ron Johnson trailing Feingold by double digits in 2016. This one will no doubt be very close.
At the Federal level Ron Kind keeps his 3rd District seat, but Dems fall short of taking control of the house and Republican gain three seats in the US Senate.
James Wigderson: Looking into the crystal martini pitcher, I think my prediction from the beginning of the year stands. Governor Scott Walker will win narrowly despite the last-minute claim by Tony Evers he will not raise taxes. Looking at the right track – wrong track numbers, it’s hard to see a scenario where Walker loses.
Unfortunately, Walker’s win is too narrow to help state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield). The hope that a Republican woman candidate could negate the gender gap has not borne out and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D), one of the most liberal U.S. Senators, will win re-election pretty handily. Republicans will wonder how they let Baldwin win.
Attorney General Brad Schimel will actually have the best night of the GOP candidates, getting a higher percentage of the vote than Walker. Josh Kaul will move to Washington after the election. Democrat Sarah Godlewski will defeat Republican Travis Hartwig for state treasurer.
In other races, voters in the 1st congressional district will reject Randy Bryce, leaving Democrats to wonder why they nominated the wrong candidate. Every other member of Congress from Wisconsin wins re-election, including Rep. Glenn Grothman. Republicans hold onto the Wisconsin Senate by one vote and lose four Assembly seats. Former state Rep. André Jacque is unsuccessful in his attempt to defeat Sen. Caleb Frostman, but state Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) prevails in the ugliest election of this cycle.