I am notoriously bad at making election predictions. Researchers tell me that a chimp making random choices on a key board would have a better record than mine. Last night didn’t help much.
In the marquee race I thought Rebecca Kleefisch would beat Tim Michels in the Milwaukee suburbs and gadfly candidate Tim Ramthun would take just enough rural voters from Michels to put the former Lieutenant Governor over the top. Nope. Kleefisch did win the overall vote in the Milwaukee ‘burbs (she lost Washington County), but not by enough and Michels was stronger than even expected outstate.
I thought Michels would be a slightly weaker candidate against Gov. Tony Evers because he’s not as comfortable on TV and not as popular with suburban voters as Kleefisch. We’ll see.
I also picked Adam Jarchow to defeat Eric Toney for the GOP Attorney General nomination. Toney defeated Jarchow narrowly. In my own defense I did note that Jarchow was at a disadvantage for not having prosecutorial experience, but I thought his money (he outspent Jarchow over four-to-one) would make up for that. Guess not.
In a pleasant surprise Aaron Richardson won the Democratic nomination for Treasurer. I thought he was the better choice, but I also thought Gillian Battino would win because she had more of her own money to spend on the race. I saw some Battino ads, but I saw nothing at all from Richardson. I’m not sure what he did to win, but, hey, it worked.
I was right about Assembly Speaker Robin Vos facing down political death at the hands of his little known, but Trump supported, opponent Adam Steen. Vos won by only 260 votes. In a gratifying moment, Vos called Michael Gableman, the former Supreme Court Justice he hired to “investigate” the 2020 election, “an embarrassment to this state.” Gableman has been that since the day Vos hired him, but it took Gableman’s endorsement of Steen to make Vos say the obvious.
I was also right about the Lieutenant Governors races where Democrat Sara Rodriguez and Republican Roger Roth came out on top. Secretary of State candidates Democrat Doug La Follette and Republican Amy Loudenbeck also won as expected. And Brad Pfaff won the Democratic primary in the important Third Congressional District. In the most anti-climatic moment of the night Mandela Barnes won the Democratic nomination to take on Sen. Ron Johnson. But none of those were especially tight races.
Overall not a great night for the mighty YSDA Political Analysis Desk. I may have to fire myself.