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The Wisconsin Victory is Good News for Joe Biden
No one is going to run against a sitting president who gets +10 off-year wins in the upper midwest.
Democratic judge Janet Protasiewicz won her race for the State Supreme Court against Dan Kelly last night. The 11 point blowout in a Biden +.06 state means liberals control the court for the first time in 15 years, and can finally undo Wisconsin’s brutal gerrymander, which has ensured Republican supermajorities even when Democrats win the popular vote. Wisconsin is going to be a democracy again.
This is amazing news for the people of Wisconsin. It’s also very good news for Joe Biden.
Biden is old, and his approval ratings aren’t great. The media keeps insisting he should have a challenger, because they love Dems in disarray stories, and an incumbent cruising to the nomination is boring.
The fact is, though, that Biden won a stunning midterm victory in 2022. And now the Democrats won Wisconsin by 10 in an off-year election.
Twenty years ago, or even ten, you’d have said that was impossible. Democrats aren’t supposed to turn out in off-year elections. When there’s a Democratic president, Republicans are supposed to be fired up. Instead, Protasiewicz waltzed to victory.
You could say that’s because abortion has lit a fire under Democrats. You could say it’s because Kelly is a terrible candidate. You could say that the victory has everything to do with grassroots organizers, and not much to do with Joe Biden in Washington.
And I’d agree with you. But presidents get credit, good or bad, justified or not, for how their party does in elections. Partisans want to win. Everyone in the party wants to win. And when they look at Joe Biden’s record, they see victory in 2020, victory in 2022, and now stunning off year results like this. Even if you’re pretty sure this isn’t about Biden, it’s clear that Biden isn’t preventing the Democrats from winning.
I’m not saying this because I’m a Biden partisan. I’m not a fan; his Covid policy has been shit, his kowtowing to cops is repulsive, his recent anti-democratic, racist decision to let Republicans veto DC’s criminal code was anti-democratic and racist. His instincts are bad, his policies are often garbage. I’d rather have Pritzker, or Warnock, or even Kamala Harris, to say nothing of Elizabeth Warren or Sanders.
But nobody cares what I’d prefer. People care about winning. And Joe Biden has been objectively the winningest president the Democrats have had at this point in his presidency since probably LBJ. Could that all go to shit? Sure. But voters can’t tell the future. They can only look at the past. And nobody is going to look at the past and say we need to have a knockdown dragout primary fight because Joe Biden can’t win. Because, again, he keeps winning.
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