Analysis: Special Election Results in AD 42 and SD 1

Assembly District 42: Sun rises in the east; Assembly Republican wins contested race.

It seems like it has been a long time since a Democrat has upended a Republican in a competitive Assembly race. Tuesday’s special election provided a great set up for Democrats to reverse this trend: A female candidate in “the year of the woman” running under a “blue wave” that has seen over 40 seats across the country flip from Republican to Democrat, including in areas where Trump won handily, should have been shoo-in.

Until she wasn’t.

While Republicans and their allies likely spent well over $500,000, this race saw a more competitive financial balance between the parties than usual.  In the end, we know a couple things: Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and his team are very good at running elections, and the blue wave isn’t for everyone. Republican Jon Plumer beat Democrat Ann Groves Lloyd 54 percent to 46 percent.  The two will face off again in the November general.


Senate District 1: Door County delivers for Democrats.

Coming off an April election that saw this Fox Valley district vote for liberal Supreme Court candidate Rebecca Dallet, voters in Wisconsin’s 1st Senate District again moved left and elected Democrat Caleb Frostman over sitting Rep. Andre Jacque (R-De Pere), 51.5 percent to 48.5  percent.

How big of a win was this for Democrats?  The district has been held by a Republican for 40 years. President Donald Trump won the district by 16 percent, and Gov. Scott Walker won it by 23 percent in 2014.  The results here are similar to the January special election in Wisconsin’s 10th Senate District that flipped from red to blue.

Senate Republicans started off 2018 with a 20-13 majority; it’s now at 18-15.

On the bright side for Republicans, Frostman’s margin of victory in Door County will be hard to replicate with normalized November turnout, and this seat is a toss up to lean Republican when both candidates take their place on the ballot again less than five months from now.