MADISON (WKOW) — Voters will elect a new justice to sit on Wisconsin’s highest court Tuesday.
If Neubauer wins, liberals hold onto the seat currently held by Justice Shirley Abrahamson who’s retiring. Currently, conservatives hold a 1-seat majority, 4-3. A victory from Neubauer could also give liberals a leg up to take control in 2020.
If Hagedorn wins, it would give conservatives an advantage heading into 2020, which will be a crucial election year.
“Justice Dan Kelly is up for reelection and at that point if the seat flips it would go from a 4-3 conservative majority to 4-3 liberal court and that will remain at least until 2025,” said UW Political Science Professor Ryan Owens.
Owens ultimately believes the race will be determined by voter turnout. In past spring elections, it’s typically around 20%.
Owens said voters are more likely to vote based on what they could lose.
“The risk of lost often motivates people more than the possibility of gain,” said Owens. Both campaigns ran on a clear message to separate themselves, using a large number of campaign ads to do it. Both presenting their judicial philosophy and ideology.
“I think it’s clear you have one person advocating for one thing and someone else advocating for another thing that ought to be enough philosophically to separate themselves,” said Owens.