Wisconsin has a new governor.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who survived a heated recall and became the face of collective bargaining reforms, has lost the 2018 election for governor. Evers, the state Schools superintendent, led Walker by 2% with 100 percent in after thousands of City of Milwaukee ballots were counted in the early morning hours of November 7, 2018. The Associated Press called the race for Evers.
“My name is Tony Evers, and I’m going to be the next governor of the State of Wisconsin,” said Evers, the state schools superintendent, as he took the stage around 1:30 a.m. on November 7, 2018. He promised “better schools, better roads” and to deliver people’s healthcare needs. He said he would avoid “picking political fights… It’s time for a change, folks. And it is a change that we have delivered.”
In the end, these were the election results:
Tony Evers: 1,316,247 50%
Scott Walker: 1,287,374 48%
The above results, which are from WISN-TV in Milwaukee, were settled in the early morning hours. These were the results before the City of Milwaukee ballots were counted around 1 a.m. on November 7:
Tony Evers: 49% 1,261,238
Scott Walker: 49% 1,260,176
(98 percent in)
This is how those Milwaukee ballots broke down: Milwaukee announced that Walker received 7,181 of those votes, and Evers received 38,674 of them.
That was enough to give Evers the victory, but the Republican lieutenant governor took to the podium and announced a recount was being considered. The Milwaukee ballots also flipped the Attorney General’s race from incumbent Republican Brad Schimel to Democratic challenger Josh Kaul, but by a slightly smaller margin
A losing candidate has to request a recount in Wisconsin but can do so without having to pay for it if the margin is within 1 percent of the vote, Fox 6 Milwaukee reports. Walker could still ask for a recount even though the final results were not in that margin, but he would have to come up with the money, WTMJ reported.
Adding to the drama in a night with a lot of it: According to CBS 58 Milwaukee, four wards in Republican-leaning New Berlin in Waukesha County were still out because of “a machine issue” late into the evening.
In Waukesha County, an extremely pro Walker County, the incumbent governor’s percentage of the vote dropped from 2018 to 2014. That’s part of the narrative of this race; Walker has underperformed in some areas where he did well in 2014.
Walker is a two-term governor who launched a failed bid for president and became the face of Wisconsin’s Republican takeover in the Midwestern state. President Donald Trump won Wisconsin by a small margin, surprising many experts, so the Wisconsin governor’s race was being looked at as a potential canary in the mine for 2020. However, Walker was a late supporter of Trump during the Republican presidential primary.
Where You Can Find Detailed Wisconsin Election Results
Detailed Wisconsin election results are available through local news sites. For example, WISN-TV has full election results here. WTMJ-TV also has live election results here. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper also has election results.
This is the page where the Election Commission posts election results.
Decision Desk HQ is a great site to follow Wisconsin election results and election results around the country because it breaks the results down by county (what matters when watching early returns is where they are coming from). Be aware you need to create a free account to monitor the site’s results.
The New York Times has pages for live election results for governor races, for Senate races, and also has a live election results dashboard here. Here is the New York Times’ Wisconsin election results overall page. Politico also has a page for Wisconsin election results.
Libertarian candidate Phil Anderson was positioned to play spoiler as he has earned around 3 to 6 percent in various recent polls but scored less on election day. In the six polls measuring a three-way contest, Evers led in three, two were a tie, and Walker led in one (by 1 percent). However, four of those were by the same pollster – Marquette University.
Evers, a public educator his entire life, led in six of the 10 polls in the Wisconsin governor’s race since June 2018. The only polls showing Walker with a fighting chance – by Marquette Law School – showed the race tied in the waning days of the election.
Who Was on the Wisconsin Ballot
Walker and Evers are not the only race on the ballot in Wisconsin. According to the Election Commission, these were the races on the 2018 midterm ballot in Wisconsin:
Governor and Lt. Governor
Secretary of State
Representative in Congress
State Senator (odd-numbered districts)
Representatives to the Assembly (all districts), and
County offices of Sheriff, Clerk of Circuit Court and Coroner (where applicable).
Brad Schimel, the Republican state Attorney General (who incidentally has been turned into a Netflix “villain” in Making a Murderer 2 lately) was behind Democrat Josh Kaul, the son of former Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager. However, the margin was close enough that the race could end up in a recount.
You can see a list of all state candidates in Wisconsin here. In addition, Wisconsin has closely watched federal races. Incumbent Senator Tammy Baldwin kept her seat against a challenge from Republican legislator Leah Vukmir. Baldwin, a Democrat, led in the polls by a wide margin for the entire race. The race has already been called in Baldwin’s favor.
Bryan Steil, a Republican, defeated Randy Bryce, a Democrat, to assume the seat of retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan in Congress. One poll showed Steil ahead 50% to 44%, but it was taken in September 2018.
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