Tuesday’s win for a Democratic-endorsed candidate for Wisconsin’s Supreme Court has Republican officials worried about a Democratic resurgence in a state that voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 United States Presidential election. The surprising landslide result gave liberal Rebecca Dallet the victory over conservative Michael Screnock in the race for a seat for ten years on the state’s highest judicial. As results were still continuing to trickle in late Tuesday, Screnock conceded the race when it was obvious that Dallet was holding a commanding double-digit lead. Although the candidates did not run with a party affiliation, the Wisconsin Democratic leadership put their support behind Dallet.
The race was significant, as it marked the first time in 23 years that a liberal candidate who was not an incumbent had won one of the seven available judicial seats. The historic election was troubling enough to Republican Governor Scott Walker to immediately respond with a tweet warning that the party is “at risk of a #BlueWave” in the November mid-term elections.
Historically, Wisconsin has been known as a swing state, however, the tide shifted to the Republicans during the 2016 election cycle. Dallet’s victory will take the court’s 5-2 conservative majority down to only 4-3, as she will replace outgoing conservative Justice Michael Gableman. The overwhelming victory worries Republican officials as it could possibly indicate that the 2018 general election could swing in the favor of the Democrats. The foreshadowing of a “blue wave” has been building steam following a string of special election victories for Democrats around the nation over the last few months.
Around the country on Tuesday night, Democratic officials praised the landmark victory and Dallet’s resolve to make a change. The Democratic National Committee chairman, Tom Perez, delighted in the results, calling the victory “the latest example of the unprecedented energy we’re seeing across the country.” Dallet garnered a number of significant endorsements for her election, including U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, and former Vice President Joe Biden. She will be sworn into office on August 1.