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Progressives Victorious in Key Midwest Races

Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Janet Protasiewicz won a hotly contested judicial race over Dan Kelly that will give progressives a majority on the state’s high court. The Wisconsin race cost a record 42 million in campaign spending and, though nominally nonpartisan, was dominated by partisan issues like abortion. State Democrats were invigorated by the unusually high turnout that carried Protasiewicz to a decisive win in a narrowly divided state. It also suggested that abortion will continue to be a salient political issue in upcoming elections.  

How will the GOP still exert influence in Wisconsin state government?

Instructors: click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download: CQP_Lecture_Spark_PPT_Progressives Victorious in Midwest


News Articles

Democrats Win Big in Wisconsin Supreme Court Race, Chicago Mayoral Contest

US News and World Report


Progressives invigorated after wins in Chicago, Wisconsin

The Hill


Dems win two Midwest races with crime and abortion as key issues



Democrat wins in Wisconsin, Chicago are a ‘five-alarm warning’ to GOP about 2024: WSJ

Fox News


Progressives tout string of wins across US as template for Democrats

The Guardian


Abortion drives liberal’s win in Wisconsin court election

Associated Press


By the numbers: How did Brandon Johnson win?

WBEZ Chicago


Judge Janet Protasiewicz Wins

Milwaukee Courier



Writing: Explain why progressives believe that abortion is such a winning issue for the Democratic party. Why might it be increasingly difficult to galvanize Democratic voters on that issue in future elections?

Debate: Should judicial and municipal elections be truly nonpartisan, or should candidates be permitted to campaign as Democrats or Republicans?

Poll: Will Mayor-Elect Brandon be able to reduce violent crime in Chicago?

Short Answer: Why do some analysts interpret the recent Democratic victories in the Midwest as not only a rejection of Republican policies but also a repudiation of President Biden?

News Quiz


Losing Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Dan Kelly referred to this race as ‘the most deeply deceitful, dishonorable, despicable campaign I have ever seen run for the court’ in his concession speech. (T/F)

Conservatives have controlled the Wisconsin Supreme Court for 15 years. (T/F)

The 42 million spent on the Wisconsin judicial race was nearly triple the previous record. (T/F)

Multiple Choice

How long is a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice’s term?

  1. 4 years
  2. 6 years
  3. 10 years
  4. lifetime

When was the law currently banning abortion in Wisconsin written?

  1. 1839
  2. 1973
  3. 2022
  4. 2023

An endorsement from which prominent politician boosted the candidacy of Brandon Johnson in Chicago?

  1. President Joe Biden
  2. Senator Bernie Sanders
  3. Vice President Kamala Harris
  4. former President Barack Obama

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