Black Voters

THE ATLANTIC: Did Minority Voters Dethrone Scott Walker?

Scott Walker was elected governor of Wisconsin eight years ago. He’s survived a recall attempt, a reelection bid, a brief flirtation with running for the GOP nomination for president, and years of bitter opposition from Wisconsinites who fought against his hard-line policies on voting rights, health care, education, and the state safety net. He’s led what might be considered the model of a Republican state takeover in the era of Trumpism. And he lost the 2018 election to his Democratic challenger, Tony Evers, by a margin of 1.2 points, a total of just over 30,000 votes.

As the dust settles from the midterm elections and political observers attempt to divine exactly what happened across the country, that result is worth a closer look. In particular, the limited data available on the Wisconsin race suggest that increased turnout among black and Latino voters was one of the biggest shifts from the 2014 midterms to this election. If that indication holds true, it would mean that in a state characterized over the past decade by Walker’s racial politics, and in a country currently facing rising bigotry and voter suppression, minority voters were Scott Walker’s bane.