- Republicans in Wisconsin failed to secure a veto-proof majority in the state Assembly and Senate.
- Since January 2021, Governor Evers has vetoed 126 bills that passed the GOP-led legislature and has successfully thwarted the party’s efforts to change and improve various policies and laws.
- Some of the top priorities for registered voters were the same for Republicans, including the economy, inflation, and crime.
- Republicans typically don’t do incredibly well among more progressive-leaning voters, as ideas usually clash.
- Speaker Robin Vos has already mentioned he is considering compromising with Evers on amending the abortion law if the Governor is willing to return the favor on another issue.
- We will likely need to see red and blue work together over this next four-year term if we want to see any progress concerning important issues.
Unfortunately, Republicans in Wisconsin failed to secure a veto-proof majority in the state Assembly and Senate. The GOP needed to win two-thirds majority in each chamber to possess the power to override Governor Evers’ vetoes.
Wisconsin Republicans managed to flip one Senate seat, obtaining 22 seats in that chamber, but they fell short in the Assembly.
Republicans vs. Gov. Evers’ Veto Pen
Since January 2021, Governor Evers has vetoed 126 bills that passed the GOP-led legislature and has successfully thwarted the party’s efforts to change and improve various policies and laws.
One of the bills included the “Parental Bill of Rights,” which would have ensured parents access to all education-related information regarding their children and enabled them to opt out of questionable courses or curricula. Another bill would have prohibited COVID-19 vaccine mandates, and another would have banned teaching the radical and divisive Critical Race Theory in schools.
Losing the opportunity to gain the veto-proof supermajority is a disappointment for Republicans. The past four years have been unproductive; some would even say counterproductive. Evers has vetoed more bills than any other governor in Wisconsin history.
Working with the Republican party was not and is not on his agenda. Instead, he is laser-focused on the LGBTQ+ community, keeping public schools and students under his thumb, forcing parents out of the classroom, and turning away any pro-life bills that cross his path.
The main problem with falling short of securing that supermajority is that Wisconsin Republicans will once again have to battle Evers’ veto pen to push their policy agenda through, and it’s not going to be easy.
Despite coming short of their goals, Republicans will maintain a solid majority in the legislature.
Where Did Republicans Succeed?
Some of the top priorities for registered voters were the same for Republicans, including the economy, inflation, and crime. So let’s briefly examine how Ron Johnson snagged another term and identify his strong points regarding WI voters.
Voters seemed to have sided with Johnson concerning these critical problems, leaving Mandela Barnes defeated. According to the Fox News Voter Analysis, parents also went for Johnson over Barnes.
Education in Wisconsin was another voter issue, with the controversial curriculum being a central focal point. More than half of all voters reported they thought schools were spending too much time teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity. These voters also went for Johnson.
The economy was by far the top issue, and close to half of the voters reported that it was their top concern, and they broke for Johnson by more than 2 to 1. Abortion voters opted for Barnes, but only 1 in 10 reported that it was their top concern.
Johnson did well among MAGA voters, white evangelical voters, rural voters, men, and men who do not have a college degree. Republicans typically don’t do incredibly well among more progressive-leaning voters, as ideas usually clash. Progressive voters chose Barnes, but there wasn’t enough of them to secure a win.
- Republicans resonated with voters about the economy and inflation, a top issue.
- Republicans did well relating to parents. They attempted to establish the Parental Bill of Rights to empower parents and give them more power over their children’s education. Republicans have also consistently maintained their support for universal school choice.
- Republicans did well speaking to the blue-collar workers of Wisconsin, those in rural areas, or those who didn’t have the privilege to attend college.
- Republicans did well highlighting that school proficiency numbers won’t improve if the Governor continues focusing most of his attention on vetoing bills that could improve scores in core subjects, endlessly funding public schools without any legitimate game plan to improve them, teaching CRT and inappropriate curriculum to particularly young students, etc.
- Republicans did well with all Wisconsinites by offering the most significant tax break in history, over $2 billion in tax relief, even though Governor Evers tried to take credit for it.
Where Can Republicans Do Better?
According to that same voter analysis from Fox News, Enthusiasm wasn’t a problem for either candidate. Supporters for each side were equally supportive of Johnson and Barnes.
The bottom line is that it may have come down to party support. Equal numbers of Democrats supported Barnes as Republicans supported Johnson. Johnson may have come out on top because WI Republicans made up the 49% of the electorate compared to 44% of Democrats.
We also know that Democrats should maintain their distance from Biden and his radical policies ad agenda, while some GOP members have been focusing on distancing themselves from Trump.
Biden’s approval rating is abysmal in Wisconsin, with 57% of respondents disapproving of his performance.
Nationwide survey data collected June 28-30 shows that Biden’s approval rating among Democrats (77%) is lower than Trump’s was among Republicans (85%) over a comparable period four years ago.
It’s even worse for Biden, considering his embarrassing lack of support from his base. Only 38% of Democrats “strongly approve” of his job performance, whereas 51% of Republican voters stated the same about Trump back in 2018.
Wisconsin Republicans should continue focusing on creating bills that help control crime and help residents live better, more rewarding, and more affordable lives. In addition, they need to keep pushing for universal school choice to help parents and students gain the power to choose a school that is best for them regardless of zip code or income.
Republicans must keep pushing to improve literacy and math proficiency in Wisconsin K-12 schools. It is essential to generate more ideas and plans to serve students and help them succeed in core subjects.
Republicans may also need to be more willing to compromise on the state’s abortion law and consider amending it to include cases of rape and incest. Doing this could help secure more faith in undecided and independent voters who support abortion under these more severe circumstances.
Speaker Robin Vos has already mentioned he is considering compromising with Evers on amending the law if the Governor is willing to return the favor on another issue.
We will likely need to see red and blue work together over this next four-year term if we want to see any progress. Participating in compromises and showing the willingness to meet halfway may make it easier for Republicans to gain support from more voters and make some headway when proposing future bills to the Governor.
Evers will also need to do his fair share of compromising to show residents of the badger state he truly cares. He must be willing to do more for the hard workers, parents, students, tax-payers, business owners, law-abiding citizens, and families struggling to stay afloat in Wisconsin. He simply cannot keep shooting down bills blatantly designed to offer help and expect his reputation to stay afloat.
Wisconsinites are less concerned about abortion and LGBTQ+ rights than they are about crime and the ability to pay their bills and feed their families, and that is a fact. The proof is in the pudding, and surveys have consistently shown us what voters care about most. It is also safe to say most residents of Wisconsin would want violent criminals in prison where they should be rather than walking among them in their communities and neighborhoods.
Gov. Evers must show voters that he can sympathize with residents’ needs and prioritize what the voters prioritize, even if that means he’ll have to swallow his pride and support some Republican-backed bills during his next term.