What They’re Saying: One Year Out From Election Day, Democrats Brace for Red Wave
[Madison, WI] – Today marks one year out from Election Day 2022, when Wisconsinites will head to the polls to reject Democrats like Tony Evers, Josh Kaul, and whichever candidate the far-left decides to nominate for the U.S. Senate.
One year from Election Day, Democrats are already bracing themselves for the next round of the red wave that is sweeping the nation. Tuesday’s election results show that voters have had enough of Democrat leadership, and major Republican wins in nearly every corner of the country show Americans are ready for a change. Meanwhile, Democrats like Tony Evers run visionless campaigns that focus on running against Republicans in the Legislature while simultaneously taking credit for their accomplishments.
Check out what they’re saying on Republicans’ momentum in Wisconsin and across the country:
Democrats were already steeled for tough races, but the upset loss in Virginia’s governor’s race and a close win in deeply blue New Jersey’s confirmed the difficult conditions ahead. In both places, the party was largely caught off guard by the potency of culture-war debates over schools and struggled to stop voters once turned off by former President Donald Trump from migrating back to Republicans.
“Biden’s approval is pulling down Democrats everywhere,” said Charles Franklin, the pollster at Marquette Law School, which released a survey this week showing Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ approval rating had slid even more. “There’s no question national forces are playing a big role.”
Last week alone, the GOP saw the stirrings of a full-fledged suburban revival from Virginia to New Jersey to New York — and also possibly ended the careers of as many five Democratic incumbents with punishing new congressional maps in three other states.
Retirements by Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) and Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) — and Rep. Vicente Gonzalez‘s decision to run in a neighboring safe seat rather than a swing district that more closely resembles his current South Texas seat — have deprived Democrats of well-funded incumbents for tough races. Wisconsin Republican Derrick Van Orden has banked $1.2 million, and Republican Esther Joy King in Illinois has over $655,000. Meanwhile, no Democratic candidates posted significant fundraising by the end of the third quarter.
He’s talking about 2009 and 2010, when Republican Chris Christie won blue New Jersey’s race by about four points and Republican Bob McDonnell similarly swept blue Virginia. The story of 2010 and the Tea Party wave is well known: U.S. House Republicans picked up more than 60 seats, and Wisconsin’s legislature and governor’s mansion both flipped red–staying that way for a decade before Gov. Tony Evers ousted Gov. Scott Walker by barely a percentage point in 2018.
The latest Marquette Law School poll, released Wednesday, had results similarly projecting a tough gubernatorial election for Gov. Evers next fall. It found 40% of registered voters polled said they would vote to reelect Gov. Evers, while 53% said they would vote for someone else and 6% didn’t know or wouldn’t say.
Republicans had a satisfying Election Day last week, particularly in Virginia, where Glenn Youngkin captured the governor’s mansion after former President Donald Trump lost the state by 10 points in 2020. There were a number of factors behind that big swing; one of the biggest was the GOP’s strength in the rural parts of the state.
One question going into the election was whether rural voters, who were so crucial to Trump’s coalition, would show up. Tuesday provided a resounding answer.
Republicans didn’t just run up the margins in the rural parts of Virginia; they cranked up turnout, as well.
On a national scale, Wisconsin is “a huge target state,” said Chris Walker, the Republican National Committee’s regional communications director.
During a call with reporters Friday, Walker and Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Paul Farrow said they hope to ride the start of what they’re calling a “red wave” that may be forming after Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy had a surprisingly difficult time holding onto his seat and Republican Glenn Youngkin won in Virginia to flip that state’s governor’s office red for the first time in eight years.
Walker called those wins “a complete repudiation of Joe Biden and Democrats across the country … we’ve seen Republicans winning in places that the media and others thought we never could.”
One year from election day, Gov. Tony Evers is officially under water.
The Democrat’s job approval rating has plummeted in recent months, falling to 45 percent in the latest Marquette Law School Poll released Wednesday. The poll of 805 registered voters, conducted Oct. 26-31, finds 46 percent disapprove of the job Evers is doing. His job approval rating has fallen 5 percentage points since August, when he garnered 50 percent support. His disapproval rating at the time was 43 percent.
The governor’s numbers have plunged 20 percentage points since late-March 2020.