In 2014, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker beat bicycle entrepreneur Mary Burke by 136,793 votes. In 2018, Walker lost to State Superintendent of Education Tony Evers by a margin of 30, 576. What factors shifted over 167,000 votes between the two elections? There were several.
In 2016, Donald Trump eked out a win in the electoral college by virtue of his strength in the industrial midwest. He did so by outflanking Hillary Clinton on the left, decrying trade deals that had cost factory workers their jobs and promising that he would return prosperity to midwestern states.
While much has been made of the Blue Wave, the full impact can be seen through the performance of Republican incumbents on November 6. And not just the 28 who lost their seats, but Republican performance across the board.
Paul Ryan's efforts to save incumbent Republicans fell short twice more this week.
In Maine 2, Jared Golden defeated Bruce Poliquin. Golden makes history as the first person elected to Congress by ranked voting. Maine instituted ranked voting in 2016, and this was the first election in which it was implemented. Golden and Poliquin were in a four-way race with Tiffany Bond and Will Hoar. After the first round of voting, neither of the leaders had over 50 percent, so the choices of those who finished third and fourth came into play.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan went all out in his efforts to protect the House majority, and he failed rather spectacularly. His Congressional Leadership fund raised $140 million and spent just over $120 million, about $101 million on independent expenditure ads.