Assembly GOP Seeks Supermajority

 Joe Murray, WRA director of political and governmental affairs  |    August 01, 2022

In Wisconsin, Republicans have controlled the state Assembly since 2011. Today, Republicans control the lower chamber of the Wisconsin legislature 61-38. By modern-day political standards, this is a very large majority.

But Assembly Republicans believe they have a legitimate shot at achieving a “supermajority” of 66 seats in the November 2022 midterm elections. This is only possible if they hold all 61 seats they have today and also flip five more seats from blue to red in November.

Assembly Republicans are hoping for a supermajority for one reason: a two-thirds majority would make it possible to override gubernatorial vetoes of legislation passed but vetoed by Gov. Tony Evers. Evers has vetoed a record number of bills passed by the GOP-controlled legislature. 

Assembly Democrats, of course, will do everything they can to stop the Republicans from achieving their goal. While Democrats have a small number of legislative seats from a historical perspective, they could remain strong enough to keep Republicans from being able to override gubernatorial vetoes.

This means both Democrats and Republicans will target the most politically competitive Assembly seats to organize and fund this fall. Competitive districts are typically districts that have quality candidates running on both sides, and the partisan makeup of the district shows it to be competitive for either party.

For the fall 2022 election cycle, there are 13 potentially competitive Assembly seats where both Democrats and Republicans will almost certainly spend a lot of their time and money. These 13 districts are geographically spread around the state and break down as follows:

Incumbents: Nine of the 13 seats have incumbents running for reelection, and four seats are open. Since most incumbents running for reelection win, this is a significant point. Open seats are often easier to flip from one party to the other.

Opportunity: Of the 13 competitive districts, four are/were held by Democrats, and nine are/were held by Republicans. This means Democrats have more potential target seats to chose from than Republicans. This may be the one advantage Democrats have this cycle because of the large Republican majority in the state Assembly.

Geography: Seven of the competitive districts are located in western Wisconsin and six on the eastern side of the Badger State. Western Wisconsin tends to be the swing side of the state, and three of the four Democratic seats are located on the western side. This could make it more difficult for Democrats to hold these three swing seats in November.

In 2020, Democrats were concerned about a possible supermajority by Republicans as well. With Joe Biden winning Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Democrats’ “Save the Veto” campaign, they were successful in stopping a two-thirds Republican majority. Will they succeed in 2022?

Watch for more information on state legislative elections in future editions of Wisconsin Real Estate Magazine.

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When measuring the partisan makeup of a district, no single election result makes for a perfect measure, and the composite of several races is analyzed. The Republican or Democratic percentages listed with each district above represent the multi-race partisan composite for each district.

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