You would have to be a fool to predict the outcome of elections that will take place almost 14 months from now. Yeah. So, what’s your point?
I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that Gov. Tony Evers will win a second four-year term in November, 2022. Here are a handful of reasons.
Money. Evers’ has $7.3 million in the bank and counting. That’s an extraordinary war chest, but it will only grow as Democrats have been far outpacing Republicans in fundraising for the past couple of cycles. Moreover, Wisconsin will be a crucial state in the mid-terms. National money will pour in.
Support. Democrats are united behind Evers. There’s no appetite for a primary. I know. I suggested one in the wake of Evers’ signing a thoroughly Republican budget in July and the response ranged from outrage at the mere suggestion to a yawn.
The Opposition. Anyone who gets the Republican nomination will have to have certified nut job credentials. They’ll have to show unwavering support for Donald Trump, deny the severity of COVID and climate change, question the integrity of demonstrably fair and accurate elections and on and on.
Evers Himself. The guy is so low key that he’s hard to attack. The Republicans will try to portray him as some sort of fire-breathing socialist, AOC clone, but that’s just not going to fly because it’s not who he is. He is not at all scary. In fact, I have argued from time to time, that Evers could be a little bit more scary. I have made no secret of the fact that I wish the Democrats could come up with somebody who combined Evers’ electability with more grit to stand up to Speaker Robin Vos. I think those candidates are out there, but it’s also clear that Democrats are in no mood to take chances with somebody else. Evers is the horse they will ride.
Abortion. This is the factor that sealed the deal for me. With the Supreme Court non-ruling on the new Texas law, abortion is now back on the front burner. It seems likely that in the their new term the Court will substantially weaken Roe v. Wade and put the issue squarely before state governments. With Evers as the only thing standing between a Republican Legislature and an abortion ban, Evers will get a jolt of support. Yes, the Republican candidate will as well, but with the majority of Americans supportive of Roe, all things being equal, this should play to the Democrats’ advantage.
It’s true that the Democratic brand is weak on crime, homelessness and woke politics, and that will hurt them in a lot of races. But the better known an individual candidate is, the less the brand will matter. As the sitting governor, Evers is plenty well-known, so he’ll be less subject to overall impressions about his party.
The Republican candidate will really have only one big advantage: the party that controls the White House typically gets hammered in the off year election. Here in Wisconsin that truism will be put to the test in a big way. In addition to Evers, Democrats will have to defend Ron Kind’s purple district House seat and they’ll try to defeat Sen. Ron Johnson or whoever the GOP puts up in his place.
That’s a tall order, but among those three races, it seems to me that Evers has the best chance of coming out on top.
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