Dem 51
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Evers Signs New Legislative Maps Into Law

This November, for the first time since 2011, Wisconsin will hold an election for seats in the state legislature under maps that are not gerrymandered six ways to Sunday in favor of the Republican Party. That is because Gov. Tony Evers (D-WI) just signed into law the maps that he proposed, and that the currently Republican-dominated legislature passed.

At the outset, let us note again that we erred in writing about this story last week. We said that the legislature adjusted the enabling legislation such that it would not kick in until November, thus giving the GOP one more cycle with the gerrymandered districts. In fact, the change will only apply to elections held before November (in other words, special elections). And even that might not hold, since the current maps have already been declared illegal. If there is a special election (no guarantee), then some person or group might well sue to have the new maps used.

The point, then, is that Wisconsin is going to be operating under maps that are much friendlier to the Democrats. How much friendlier is not clear, but what is clear is that, barring retirements, there will be 15 Republican incumbent vs. Republican incumbent races for the state Assembly, along with 6 such races for the state Senate. The Democrats will only have one such Assembly race, and while they also would have had one such Senate race, one of the two Democrats in that one already threw in the towel. We'll see in November if the Democrats can get the trifecta; certainly dumping 21 Republicans from the legislature while sacrificing only one Democrat is a very good start in that direction.

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Supreme Court hasn't yet taken up the state's Congressional district maps, but that appears to be only a matter of time. If so, it won't take much to turn the current 6R, 2D delegation into, say, 4R, 4D, as befits a state that is so evenly divided. (Z)

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