Alisdare Hickson / Flickr He will not divide us...
Alisdare Hickson / Flickr

It was the first election upset of 2018 and it sent Republicans reeling. Even though Donald Trump won Wisconsin’s Senate District 10 by 17 points in 2016, on Tuesday Democrat Patty Schachtner erased that advantage and added 11 points of her own in a total wipeout of her Republican opponent. I mean, 11 points alone is a rout, but the 28-point swing is just… well… breathtaking. And that’s exactly how Republicans saw it. Take it from a Wisconsin-based conservative columnist:

Republican Gov. Scott Walker gave a little extra publicity to the GOP “WAKE UP CALL” with a series of tweets Wednesday morning urging his followers to “share the good news” about all the “positive things” Republicans are getting done. Au contraire, governor—voters have plenty of information about what Republicans are doing and Donald Trump is leading the messaging charge with his nonstop twitter feed of crapola.

But Walker’s leadership on the issue was immediately upstaged by House Speaker Paul Ryan, who delivered a rousing call to arms.

“I know this district fairly well. It’s not my district. It’s over in western Wisconsin. But typically, we’ve held this seat. And we lost this seat last night,” Ryan told reporters in Washington on Wednesday. “So yeah, I think we should pay attention to it.”

Wow. That should do it. Why not just label it “unhelpful” and “unfortunate” and call it a day? Oh, wait.

The Wisconsin Republican Party even followed suit with a fundraising ask.

Not that we’re counting, but…

The [Democratic] party has flipped 34 state legislative seats nationwide, compared with just four pick-ups for the GOP.

Let’s remember that this district—just like 11 of the 15 seats Democrats won in Virginia—was picked up by a female candidate. As political analyst Larry Sabato pointed out on MSNBC last week, Democrats were wildly successful in Virginia in part because a bunch of Democratic women took risks running for seats that men have traditionally written off as unwinnable. That’s exactly why Democrats both contested and won an historic number of races in Virginia last year.

Given the record number of women running for office this year, we can expect to see plenty more upsets like those in Virginia and Wisconsin come November.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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