Wisconsin, Supreme Court And Donald Trump discussed on All In with Chris Hayes
One week ago as we reported here the Republican controlled legislature and Wisconsin backed up by both the state and the Federal Supreme Court's insisted on holding their statewide election in the middle of pandemic with really no special extraordinarily dispensations for folks and. Predictably it was a crazy scene and walkie only five polling places. Were open out of the usual one hundred and eighty because they weren't enough available porkers so we saw huge lines of people waiting to vote in masks some expressing their frustration with signs like this one that went viral saying appropriately. This is ridiculous. The Republicans Assembly speaker a mask gloves and a protective gown to tell everyone it was quote incredibly safe to go out. Basically the whole thing was a travesty for public health and also a shockingly cynical move by state. Republicans they clearly thought that holding this race amidst a pandemic would suppress turnout and then help their chances in the hotly contested battle for a state supreme courts with a conservative incumbent endorsed by the president. I mean they basically tried to say to the voters of walkie and Wisconsin your vote or your life and backfired astonishing the liberal challenger for that Supreme Court Seat Jill. Kurowski won by ten percentage points. She ousted the conservative incumbent. Overall turnout was down from twenty sixteen and around eighty percent of all votes were cash for absentee thankfully but Democrats won the seat a genuinely shocking result in a state that is as tightly contested as any in the nation I mean. Wisconsin is widely viewed by election watchers. As what they call the tipping point state one St whose outcome will most reflect and determine who wins the national presidential election November? Donald Trump won that state by just under twenty three thousand votes. Twenty Sixteen Jill Kurowski the Supreme Court candidate. She just want her seat by over. One hundred sixty thousand votes since has to be very very scary result for Donald Trump and the Republican party. Joining me now. Is Ben wicker chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin? Which put a lot of work into this? How did this result happened then? This result came from three big things. The first is that Donald Trump personalized this race. He kept urging people to go out and vote for Dan Kelly. He actually came and endorsed Dan. Kelly Republican Scott Walker appointees on our Supreme Court in person in his rally Milwaukee in January. We made it about himself and Wisconsin repudiated trump. The second thing is that this was a backlash against voter suppression. People hate having their vote. Suppressed and Republicans were willing to push people into a lethal pandemic because they thought Republican voters would understand less clearly the dangers of this than Democratic voters but this is also a win for organizing Democrats progressive groups grassroots organizations across the cross the state on groups led by people of Color African American Latino leaders across Wisconsin rural leaders and Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Volunteers made millions of phone calls text messages. Reach on Social. Media talked voters through how to request an absentee ballot for the first time in their lives and we could see the fruits of that in an election where we more than dribbled the record for the number of absentee ballots. It was about two hundred fifty thousand twenty sixteen in a presidential election. This was a state Supreme Court race and it was over a million. I feel so mixed about what's happened Wisconsin just because it really was such a travesty. This this election took place. I've seen now. The the Supreme Court justices themselves are their meeting. They voted absentee all. All the folks in the state assembly pressing physical distancing have there been recriminations. Has there been fallout locally there in the aftermath of this undertaking like. Let's not do that again. I wish that I could tell you that. After seeing what voters were willing to cast their ballots that Republicans had realized the error of their ways and run in the other direction. But the party is insisting on doing this again and again this year. There's a special election for Congress TRICIA DUNKER WHO's an extraordinary candidate and associate justice behold chunk nation tribal nation Supreme Court. She's running for Congress in northern Wisconsin. Their elections on May twelfth and because Republicans are so intent on following Donald. Trump's personal orders that people not be allowed to vote absentee. They're going to force this vast rural community in northern Wisconsin. Where vote by mail would make every kind of sense to vote in person on May Twelfth? We're going to be organizing for that race to and they want to do this again. Wait wait wait. Wait with called up. Hold up hold up the they're not. They're not going to allow vote by mail. No excuse absentee voting for a May twelfth special congressional election so I should be clear we have no excuse absentee voting. But you have to upload a photo of your voter ID and then get a witness is who sign your ballot envelope to cast her ballot and re we sued in court. Democrats suit in court to change those rules and ultimately to try to postpone the election and switch to a vote by mail election where everyone receives a ballot in the mail. Republicans said no and they sued to our State Supreme Court and you National Supreme Court to stop people from getting a little extra time and a little extra relief to the radically. And they're doing it again right now. It is hard to believe. Let me let me ask you this a final question. I mean you know. Taking the political temperature of the country we have. We have polling. We've got approval ratings and things like that then these special elections and I remember I think it was last year or two years ago when there was a a seat open. Brian Haggard orders of conservative. One that he won by three points and it was. It was a bummer for Democrats. There and progressive activists have fought against. What is save you about the sort of political temperature of your hotly contested state? This result what I see across the state what we hear in the gigantic number of calls that we make in the call flow into our voter protection. Hotline is a level of intensity of feeling of conviction that we have got to change that. We've never seen at this point in an election year last year. Democrats actually bumped up their turnout and Republicans jumped by thirty percent and won by five thousand nine hundred eighty one votes. A tiny tiny margin out of more than a million votes cast this year. Republicans jumped their turnout again to get over trump but we overtop them with a massive massive search. This is going to be the most hard-fought election you can imagine. We're organizing around the clock if you want to support it you can go wisdom's that org slash donate. I should add and wisdom's dot org slash volunteer. We're going to be kind of get a absentee ballot into the hands of every single person who is eligible and ready to vote against Donald Trump in the fall because this battle is going to go to the very last second all right Ben. Wexler Chair the Wisconsin Democratic Party. Thank you so much. Thank you coming.