Republicans Target Wisconsin Senate for Supermajority

 Joe Murray, WRA director of political and government affairs  |    July 05, 2022
Republicans Target

Wisconsin Republicans believe they have a legitimate shot at achieving a two-thirds supermajority in the Wisconsin state Senate this November. A two-thirds majority would allow Senate Republicans to override gubernatorial vetoes if Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is reelected this fall.

Today, Republicans control the state Senate with a 21-12 majority. If the Republican members hold all the seats they currently have and pick up one more seat on November 9, they will have the largest majority in the upper chamber for either political party in decades.

To achieve this goal, Republicans have targeted five seats they believe provide the best chance to reach supermajority status. This article explores the five targeted districts as well as several factors that will influence the outcome in these seats.

Targeted Wisconsin Senate districts

The outcome in these five districts will determine if Republicans achieve supermajority status in 2023. Currently, Republicans hold three of the five seats, and Democrats hold two. The GOP needs to hold all 21 seats they have today and net one additional seat in November.

Factors that influence the election

2022 election trends: The 2022 midterm election is trending strongly in favor of the GOP nationally and in Wisconsin. Election prognosticators project the 2022 elections to be the fifth midterm in a row classified as a “wave election.” The other wave elections occurred in 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018. In the April 2022 Marquette Law School poll, the job approval rating for President Joe Biden in Wisconsin was 43%, while disapproval stood at 53%. Presidential job approval is a key metric in midterm elections, and Biden’s job approval is historically low as it stands today. If Biden’s job approval number doesn’t improve before November, Democrats are likely to experience more difficulty when competing in these five districts.

Open seats vs. incumbents: Three open seats, located in districts 5, 19 and 25, are on the target list along with two seats with incumbents running for reelection in districts 17 and 31. Generally, it’s easier to flip competitive legislative districts from one party to the other in open seats that are not held by an incumbent. Two of the three open seats are currently held by Republicans in districts 5 and 19. Democrats will likely zero in on these two seats to deny the GOP of a supermajority, and more financial resources will almost certainly flow to these two districts this fall.

Political geography: Three of the five targeted seats are located in western Wisconsin, which is traditionally political swing territory. If Democrats are successful in denying the Republican supermajority, it’s most likely due to holding on to the two seats they currently have in the west in districts 25 and 31.

The 2022 midterm is the first election that legislative Democrats will have to run with President Biden in the White House, and all indications point to a good midterm election cycle for Republicans. Geography plays a large role in elections, and western Wisconsin is prone to swinging back and forth between the two parties. If current trends hold into November, the big question for this year will be the size of the potential red wave. If a red wave develops, it could minimize the importance of political geography.

Watch for more information about these elections and others in future editions of Wisconsin Real Estate Magazine.

Republicans Target insert image

Copyright 1998 - 2024 Wisconsin REALTORS® Association. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy   |   Terms of Use   |   Accessibility   |   Real Estate Continuing Education