Last night voters in northern Wisconsin chose party nominees to replace resigned Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wausau) who left Congress earlier in the year for family reasons. Republicans selected state Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua) in a 57-43% win over Afghanistan War veteran Jason Church. Wausau School Board member Tricia Zunker, a consensus Democratic candidate, scored a major 89-11% landslide win in her primary contest. Republicans hold a clear advantage in this district, so Sen. Tiffany becomes the heavy favorite to win the special general election on May 12th.
Another special primary election is on the upcoming political calendar, this one in northwest Wisconsin on February 18th. The process will eventually designate a successor to resigned Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wausau). The early action will be in the Republican primary as state Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua) and disabled American Army veteran and former congressional aide Jason Church square off for the party nomination.
According to reports just released for the pre-primary period ending January 29th, Mr. Church has raised $653,000 compared to Sen. Tiffany’s $463,000. The state legislator, however, has a little bit more cash on hand, approximately $208,000 to $189,000. For the entire special election cycle to date, Sen. Tiffany has pulled in over $719,000 as compared to Mr. Church’s $658,574.
Both men have outside help. The Club for Growth and US Chamber of Commerce will be spending independent expenditure money for Sen. Tiffany, while the With Honor Fund, a veterans’ Organization, is backing Mr. Church. Wausau School Board member Tricia Zunker is expected to easily win the Democratic nomination but will be a major underdog against the eventual Republican nominee. The special general election is May 12th.
Marquette Law School, a frequent political pollster of the Wisconsin electorate, conducted a new survey for their April 7th Democratic presidential primary (1/8-12; 800 WI registered voters; 358 likely WI Democratic primary voters) and found former Vice President Joe Biden clinging to a small 23-19-15-14-6-6% lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), ex-Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and businessman Andrew Yang. This poll suggests that Wisconsin is yet another state where four candidates could qualify to receive committed delegate votes.
Fox News’ third state from their latest polling series is the only one with a later primary. The organization’s Wisconsin survey (1/5-8; 671 WI likely primary voters) tests an electorate that won’t vote until April 7th. Here, we see Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) making a dash to the front as he comes in just two points behind former Vice President Joe Biden’s 23 percent. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), South Bend Mayor Peter Buttigieg, ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MA) follow with 11-9-7-4%, respectively. Wisconsin holds 84 first ballot delegates for the Democratic National Convention, an event for which Milwaukee is the host city.
Marquette Law School released its latest Wisconsin state poll on Friday (12/3-8; 800 WI registered voters), and the results basically confirm the Firehouse Strategies/Optimus surveys conducted within the same time frame. For Wisconsin, the Firehouse data projected President Trump to be leading all five of the top tier Democratic candidates.
Marquette’s result finds only former Vice President Joe Biden forging ahead of Mr. Trump in the Badger State, and then by only a single percentage point. The poll further finds the President leading all others by similar margins. Wisconsin can be viewed as one of the major barometer states for the coming campaign. Therefore, the research firms will be closely monitoring the candidates’ progress here throughout the election cycle.
The candidates are now set for the February 18th special primary election to begin the process of replacing resigned Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wausau). Just four total candidates filed, meaning each party will see head-on primary contests.
For the Republicans, as expected, state Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Menomonee) and US Army Purple Heart veteran and former Senate staff member Jason Church will vie for the party nomination. The Democrats will see Wausau School Board member Tricia Zunker battle businessman Lawrence Dale. The two primary winners will advance to the special general election on May 12th. The eventual Republican nominee is favored to hold the seat.
The Marquette University Law School pollsters released their quarterly survey of the Wisconsin electorate (11/13-17; 340 WI likely Democratic primary voters) and project that former Vice President Joe Biden is expanding his lead in the Badger State. The data shows Mr. Biden pulling 30% support, ahead of Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) who follow with 17 and 15%, respectively. Mayor Pete Buttigieg is trailing with 13%, but he expands into double digits for the first time in Wisconsin. The others are far back with no one even reaching 4 percent.
The Wisconsin GOP appears to be coalescing around state Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua) to replace resigned US Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wausau) in the upcoming February 18th partisan primary. Sen. Tiffany’s most significant opponent is Afghanistan War veteran Jason Church, who lost both legs in battle and has been an aide to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI). Both former Gov. Scott Walker and Mr. Duffy are now headlining a fundraising event for Sen. Tiffany.
The seat should remain in Republican hands, but Democrats will file at least two candidates: Wausau School Board member Tricia Zunker and businessman and former congressional and state House candidate Lawrence Dale.
On Friday, Gov. Tony Evers (D) released his revised special election calendar to fill resigned Rep. Sean Duffy’s (R-Wausau) vacant seat. The Governor’s original schedule did not conform to the federal MOVE Act, which mandates the number of days that must exist between elections in order to provide adequate time for military and overseas voters to return ballots, so he had to issue a new set of special primary and general election dates.
It was thought that the Governor would schedule the special general with the April 7th presidential primary, but he chose a stand-alone option instead. The candidate filing deadline is now December 2nd, with the party primaries to be held Feb. 18th. The special general will now be May 12th. Currently, three House seats are vacant and headed toward special elections, but this is now the only one with a definitive election calendar. The other two vacancies are NY-27 (Chris Collins resignation) and MD-7 (death of Elijah Cummings).
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Hills), second in US House seniority with what will be 42 years of congressional service at the end of the current term and not seeking re-election in 2020, looks to be yielding to a very strong successor. State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) is rapidly building support to the point that he could actually run without strong opposition for a seat that hasn’t been open in more than two generations.
Yesterday, wealthy entrepreneur and former US Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson (R) said he would not run for the House seat and endorsed Mr. Fitzgerald, following a long line of would-be office seekers who took similar action. Senator Fitzgerald’s political strength is such that he appears a virtual lock to become a member of the next Congress.
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