Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) appeared headed for defeat early Wednesday morning at the hands of Democrat Tony Evers, the state superintendent of public instruction.
Walker’s loss puts an end to a fraught period in Wisconsin, a state long known for go-along, get-along politics. Walker notched a string of wins for conservative causes, victories that gave him a platform for a brief and aborted campaign for president in 2016.
Walker narrowly won three races in that stretch, including a recall election mounted by Democrats and union advocates angered by his move to curtail the power of public sector unions.
Polls showed the state narrowly and bitterly divided, and almost no one did not have an opinion of Walker.
Still, Democrats failed to recruit a top-tier challenger, and many worried that none of the eight candidates who did run would have the firepower to knock off a well-funded opponent, even in a battleground state.
Evers emerged as the runaway winner of the primary, with 42 percent of the vote.
Walker started the general election with about $6 million in the bank. In hopes of closing that gap, the Wisconsin Democratic Party hired a consultant to prepare donors to flood the party’s eventual nominee with cash to help him get on the air.
Since Labor Day, Walker pulled in more than $7.7 million, while Evers raised $6 million. Both the Republican and Democratic governors associations spent freely on behalf of their nominees, a sign of just how important the two parties viewed Wisconsin.
Evers’s win is an important step for Democrats trying to rebuild their broken Blue Wall, the 18 states and the District of Columbia that voted for Democratic presidential nominees in six successive elections. That wall fell in 2016, when President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE won states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania on the strength of huge support from blue collar white voters.
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