It is without question that Democrats have accomplished so much to be excited about in the year 2018. As it stands, Democrats in the House of Representatives have gained 40 seats — and won the House by the largest margin of victory in a midterm election for either party. Voters have chosen to elect more women and representatives belonging to minority communities than ever before. Clearly, 2018 has shown that representation is a key component of a healthy and functioning democracy.
In Wisconsin, Democrats were elected to the U.S. Senate, and the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, treasurer and secretary of state. Right here in Madison, nearly 70 percent of eligible voters showed up to cast a ballot on or by Nov. 6. In short, College Democrats have been deeply encouraged by the promising results of the 2018 midterms and look forward to making real progressive changes to, among other things, lower the cost of higher education and expand access to affordable healthcare.
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With all of that said, months before the midterm election, Democrats enjoyed several major accomplishments in Wisconsin. This year, the people of Wisconsin resisted Scott Walker’s attempts to waive three special elections. As a result, Democrats Patty Schachtner, District 10 and Caleb Frostman, District 1 were elected to the Wisconsin Senate. Both of these Senate districts swung Republican in 2016 by double-digit points. These victories prove that Democrats can organize and win in rural districts across the state moving forward.
Additionally, Tuesday, April 3, Judge Rebecca Dallet was elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, helping to bring balance to a conservative-leaning state Supreme Court. Dallet’s victory marks the first time in 23 years that a progressive candidate was elected to a vacant seat on the state’s highest court. Our student organization is overjoyed to have a progressive voice like Dallet on the Supreme Court for the next ten years. These Democratic victories in Wisconsin helped to put progressives into office and build momentum approaching the midterm elections.
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Nov. 6, the people of Wisconsin made their voices heard at the ballot box. Democrats reclaimed the office of the governor, treasurer and attorney general while also securing the secretary of state and Senate elections. While we as College Democrats are clearly excited about sweeping statewide elections in the midterms, we detest current Republican efforts which seek to severely limit the powers of the incoming governor and attorney general. These attempts, being conducted in a “lame duck” session, are undemocratic and in stark contrast to a peaceful transition of power and that which voters have asked for.
Overall, College Democrats are pleased with the results of the 2018 calendar but recognize that there is still much work to do going forward. We thank you for your support this year and encourage students of all backgrounds to get involved through legislative advocacy in the upcoming semester.
Sam Schwab ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in political science and English. He is also the press secretary of the UW College Democrats.