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2018 Wisconsin elections

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Wisconsin general elections, 2018 were held in the U.S. state of Wisconsin on November 6, 2018. All of Wisconsin's executive officers were up for election as well as one of Wisconsin's U.S. Senate seats and Wisconsin's eight seats in the United States House of Representatives. The Democrats swept in all of the statewide elections, unseating three incumbent Republicans, including two-term Governor Scott Walker, and winning the open race for State Treasurer. Republicans maintained control of both chambers in the Wisconsin Legislature however, as well as a majority of the state’s U.S. House seats. [1]



Incumbent Democrat Tammy Baldwin, first elected in 2012, won re-election to a second term by a 11 percentage point margin against Republican challenger Leah Vukmir. This was the widest margin of victory won by a statewide candidate in Wisconsin’s 2018 elections, and marked the widest margin won by a U.S. Senate candidate in Wisconsin since Herb Kohl’s landslide victory in the 2006 election.

United States Senate election in Wisconsin, 2018[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tammy Baldwin (incumbent) 1,472,914 55.4
Republican Leah Vukmir 1,184,885 44.5
n/a Write-ins 2,964 0.1
Total votes 2,660,763 100.0
Democratic hold

House of Representatives

All 8 of Wisconsin's congressional districts were up for election in November. Seven incumbents ran for re-election, while the 1st District saw an open race after incumbent and then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced his retirement. [3] No seats flipped in the election, with Republicans continuing to hold 5 of the state's House seats to the Democrats' 3.

District Democratic Republican Others Total Result
Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes %
District 1 137,508 42.27% 177,492 54.56% 10,317 3.17% 325,317 100.00% Republican Hold
District 2 309,116 97.42% 0 0.00% 8,179 2.58% 317,295 100.00% Democratic Hold
District 3 187,888 59.65% 126,980 40.31% 121 0.04% 314,989 100.00% Democratic Hold
District 4 206,487 75.61% 59,091 21.64% 7,509 2.75% 273,087 100.00% Democratic Hold
District 5 138,385 37.99% 225,619 61.93% 284 0.08% 364,288 100.00% Republican Hold
District 6 144,536 44.46% 180,311 55.47% 218 0.07% 325,065 100.00% Republican Hold
District 7 124,307 38.50% 194,061 60.11% 4,472 1.39% 322,840 100.00% Republican Hold
District 8 119,265 36.28% 209,410 63.69% 99 0.03% 328,774 100.00% Republican Hold
Total 1,367,492 53.18% 1,172,964 45.61% 31,199 1.21% 2,571,655 100.00%



All of Wisconsin’s executive offices saw close election results, with the largest vote difference in any race being eight-term incumbent Secretary of State Doug La Follette‘s 5.5 percent margin of victory. Every executive office was won by the Democratic candidate.


Incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker, first elected in 2010, sought re-election to a third term. Despite having won two prior elections and a recall by fairly comfortable margins, Walker faced rising unpopularity due to his policies regarding infrastructure and education, among other issues, resulting in a close race. [4] [5] Low approval in Wisconsin of incumbent Republican U.S. President Donald Trump also harmed Walker in the election. [6]

In the end, Walker was ultimately defeated by Democrat Tony Evers by a narrow one percent margin, ending 8 years of unified Republican control of the state.

Other candidates included Libertarian Phil Anderson and Independent Maggie Turnbull.

Wisconsin gubernatorial election, 2018[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tony Evers 1,324,307 49.5
Republican Scott Walker (incumbent) 1,295,080 48.4
Libertarian Phil Anderson 20,255 0.8
Independent Maggie Turnbull 18,884 0.7
Green Michael White 11,087 0.4
Independent Arnie Enz 2,745 0.1
n/a Write-ins 980 0.1
Total votes 2,673,308 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican

Lieutenant Governor

Former State Representative Mandela Barnes defeated incumbent Republican Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, who had served since 2010, and Libertarian Patrick Baird.[7] Barnes became Wisconsin's first African-American Lieutenant Governor, and the second African-American ever elected to state office in Wisconsin. [8]

Attorney General

Republican incumbent Brad Schimel, first elected in 2014, ran for re-election to a second term.[9] Voting rights attorney and former federal prosecutor Josh Kaul, the Democratic nominee, defeated Schimel in the general election.[10] Terry Larson, the Constitution Party nominee, also garnered around 2% of the vote, greater than the vote difference between Schimel and Kaul.

Wisconsin Attorney General election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Josh Kaul 1,305,902 49.4
Republican Brad Schimel (incumbent) 1,288,712 48.8
Constitution Terry Larson 47,038 1.8
n/a Write-ins 1,199 0.0
Total votes 2,642,851 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican

Secretary of State

Incumbent Democrat Doug La Follette, first elected in 1982 (and also serving from 1975–1979), won re-election to a tenth non-consecutive term. Madison Alderwoman Arvina Martin challenged La Follette in the Democratic primary.

Jay Schroeder was nominated in the Republican primary to run against La Follette, pledging to abolish the position if elected.[11]

Libertarian sports announcer Rich Reynolds declared his candidacy for the position as well, joining the "TeamGuv" bill with Phil Anderson and Patrick Baird.

Wisconsin Secretary of State election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Doug La Follette (incumbent) 1,380,752 52.7
Republican Jay Schoroeder 1,235,034 47.2
n/a Write-ins 2,162 0.1
Total votes 2,617,948 100.0
Democratic hold


Earlier in the year, a referendum had been held on whether or not to abolish the State Treasurer office, a move that Wisconsin voters rejected by a margin of more than 20 percent. [12]

Incumbent Republican Matt Adamczyk, first elected in 2014, chose not to run for reelection. Sarah Godlewski, the Democratic nominee, defeated Republican Travis Hartwig in the general.

Wisconsin Treasurer election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sarah Godlewski 1,324,110 50.9
Republican Travis Hartwig 1,216,811 46.8
Constitution Andrew Zuelke 59,570 2.2
n/a Write-ins 1,471 0.1
Total votes 2,601,962 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican


State Senate

Two special elections had been held earlier in the year for the 1st and 10th districts. Both races were won by Democrats, despite the respective districts’ usual Republican leanings. [13] [14]

The 17 odd-numbered districts out of the 33 seats in the Wisconsin Senate were up for election in 2018, including the 1st District. In total, Republicans had 10 seats up for election, while Democrats had 7. Democrat Caleb Frostman ended up losing re-election in the 1st District to Republican André Jacque, whom he’d faced just five months prior and won against, [15] resulting in a gain of one seat for Republicans in the Senate and giving them a majority of 19-14.

State Assembly

All 99 seats in the Wisconsin State Assembly were up for election in 2018. Republicans lost one seat to the Democrats, resulting a 63-36 seat Republican majority.


Accusations of Gerrymandering

In the weeks following the election, Wisconsin’s legislative districts came under wide scrutiny as an example of gerrymandering due to the fact that while Republicans won a fairly wide majority in the Wisconsin State Assembly, the Democrats garnered nearly 9 percent more of the overall statewide vote. [16] [17] In addition, Wisconsin was notable for being the only state in the 2018 elections where Republicans won a majority of the state’s seats in the U.S. House while Democrats won a majority of the overall votes.

Lame Duck Legislative Session

Early in December 2018, a special legislative session was called by outgoing Governor  Scott Walker to pass a series of bills to limit the powers of Governor-elect Tony Evers, whom Walker had lost to in the election, as well as incoming State attorney general Josh Kaul. [18]

Other bills being considered included restrictions on early voting and the passage of Medicaid work requirements, which Walker had previously held off on due to the election. [19]A similar law restricting early voting that was passed several years prior had been ruled as unconstitutional. [20]

The bills were widely denounced by Democrats and others as a “power grab.” Congresswoman Gwen Moore of Wisconsin’s 4th district described the move as a “coup” that “hijacked the voters’ will.” [21] Lawsuits were filed by Evers and various labor unions almost immediately after Walker signed the bills into law. [22]

See also


  1. ^ "Wisconsin Election Results". New York Times. 2018-11-06. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ "Paul Ryan explains why he decided to retire". CNBC. 2018-04-11. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  4. ^ "'Scott-Holes' campaign targets voters already upset over state's roads". Daily Reporter. 2018-07-27. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  5. ^ "Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's assault on public education could be coming back to bite him". New York Times. 2018-10-18. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  6. ^ "Trump approval sags in trio of midwestern states". NBC News. 2018-07-25. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  7. ^ Marley, Patrick (November 6, 2018). "Tony Evers denies Scott Walker a third term as Wisconsin's governor". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  8. ^ Marley, Patrick (November 7, 2018). "Mandela Barnes To Become First African-American Lieutenant Governor". Wisconsin Public Radio. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  9. ^ DeFour, Matthew (May 14, 2016). "Glenn Grothman cites transgender bathroom legal battle as sign of 'moral decline'". Racine Journal Times. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  10. ^ Beck, Molly (November 7, 2018). "Josh Kaul declares victory over Brad Schimel in attorney general's race". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  11. ^ "Schroeder Campaign:Eliminate Secretary of State Position" (PDF). February 19, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2019.
  12. ^ "Voters by a wide margin keep Wisconsin's 170 year old state treasurer's office". journal sentinel. 2018-04-04. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  13. ^ "Democrats flip State Senate Seat In Wisconsin". Washington Post. 2018-01-16. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  14. ^ "Caleb Frostman defeats André Jacque in 1st Senate District special election". Green Bay Press Gazette. 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  15. ^ "André Jacque wins Senate District 1 Seat". Green Bay Press Gazette. 2018-11-07. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  16. ^ "Chart of the Day: Wisconsin gerrymandering was awesome". Mother Jones. 2018-12-04. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  17. ^ "Wisconsin gerrymandering: data shows stark impact of redistricting". 2018-12-06. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  18. ^ "Wisconsin Republicans seek to hobble Democrats in lame duck session". The Guardian. 2018-12-02. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  19. ^ "Scott Walker, in fight for political life, slow walks Medicaid work rules". Politico. 2018-10-16. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  20. ^ "Judge strikes down Wisconsin voter ID, early voting laws". journal sentinel. 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  21. ^ "Tony Evers: calling Wisconsin GOP power grab a coup 'seems strong'". Huffpost. 2018-12-09. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  22. ^ "A look at lawsuits challenging Wisconsin's lame duck laws". AP News. 2019-02-04. Retrieved 2019-07-22.

External links

Official Attorney General campaign websites
Official Secretary of State campaign websites
Official Treasurer campaign websites
This page was last edited on 9 September 2019, at 21:00
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