Wisconsin Senate and Governor Races Shaping Up Differently After Democratic Candidates Drop Out

Kevin Alexander

A pile of "vote!" buttons.Dmitry Koksharov/Getty

And then there were two.

The senate race in Wisconsin became clearer this past week. Ahead of the August 9th primary, 3 of the four leading Democratic candidates dropped out of the race, leaving Mandela Barnes as the candidate likely to face Republican incumbent Ron Johnson in November.

It's not often that you have one viable choice left ahead of a vote, but that's her the race currently stands.

Speaking to Milwaukee's Fox 6, Mordecai Lee, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee political science professor, noted "This has been an astonishing week in Wisconsin politics...You don't have to wait until voters vote to know how the voters will vote."

The week kicked off with Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson dropping out this past Monday, taking his infamous toilet paper ads with him.

Two days later, Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry followed suit, stating in a tweet, "The stakes are just too high to wait. The single best thing we can do for Wisconsin—and for America—is to beat Ron Johnson, and that must start now."

And Friday saw Barnes' last remaining democratic opponent, current Wisconsin State treasurer Sarag Godlewski withdraw and join the other two in endorsing Barnes.

Godlewski and Nelson have both been trailing Barnes by significant amounts in the polls. Still, with absentee and early in-person voting having already begun, some Wisconsin voters find themselves in the odd spot of having voted for someone only to see them drop out days later or even that same day.

It may also have a secondary effect on shaping the governor's race. In the primary, voters will choose the Republican challenger to incumbent Tony Evers. With the senate primary essentially decided, voters may choose to stay home. Or they may decide instead to vote in the Republican primary and vote for a weak candidate, bolstering the Democratic nominee come November

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