Under Wisconsin's new legislative design, Democrats hope down-ballot contests can help Biden. (Part-2)

“I think this is going to be a very interesting year because I think we’re going to have many more contested races and fair districts mean people’s voices and votes will be heard,” she said in southern Wisconsin.

Weston is in Marathon County, northern Wisconsin. The tract of homes and lakes was divided as a rural, Republican Assembly district until last month, separated from the Democratic city of Wausau 7 miles northeast.

The new 85th Assembly District is likely to boost campaign activity in the village of 14,000, according to county Democratic Party chairman Bill Conway. “We'll have boots on the ground, looking for progressive-minded inactive voters,” Conway added. “And anyone I vote for in the Assembly race will vote for Joe Biden.”

About half of the Assembly's 99 members are Republican safe bets. Democrats, with 35 seats, have a stronger chance in 15 new districts. Democratic-leaning districts are on the northwest Wisconsin edges of the Minnesota Twin Cities metro area and near Eau Claire to the northeast. Others are in the Fox River Valley, including Green Bay, where Trump will speak on Tuesday.

Wikler believes that more intensive legislative candidate canvassing could identify Democratic voters in competitive top-of-the-ticket contests even if Democrats lose the Assembly majority.

Wisconsin has had four presidential elections with fewer than 30,000 votes, including 2016 and 2020. Tony Evers defeated GOP incumbent Scott Walker for governor by 29,227 votes in 2018. Democratic Mandela Barnes lost to Republican Sen. Ron Johnson 26,255 votes in 2022.

“We’ve got this multiplicity of races going on so the number of people trying to organize here will be higher than almost anyone anywhere in America,” Wikler said. Their votes might decide the House majority, one of the most contested Senate contests, and the presidential election.

Vos says Republicans can win with the new alliance because they have superior candidates and messages. He agreed that more face-to-face campaigning could aid Statehouse candidates more than TV commercials. However, Vos expects voters to show out for the top of the ticket, not the bottom. Vos stated “their base is going to be motivated by hatred of Donald Trump.” "Their base won't be motivated by two Stoughton Legislature candidates."

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