Will Ron Johnson Win in Wisconsin?
Will ron johnson win in wisconsin
The race for one of the closest-watched Senate seats in the country was finally called Tuesday, with Republican Ron Johnson defeating his Democratic challenger Mandela Barnes. The outcome was expected to cement a hard-right power base in Washington.
In the weeks leading up to Election Day, Johnson and his ally outside groups unleashed a barrage of TV ads accusing Barnes of being soft on crime and a rubber stamp for President Joe Biden’s policies, with Johnson arguing that Barnes was out of touch with middle-class concerns.
Barnes, who had come off an August primary victory with a lead in polls, saw that advantage evaporate as Johnson and his allied groups launched a negative campaign highlighting the former lieutenant governor’s support for the COVID-19 vaccine and his opposition to abortion rights.
As the race drew closer, Johnson began to pull ahead, drawing on his own experience as a tea party politician and former Trump donor to appeal to voters who have been swayed by the president’s MAGA agenda. He also focused on soaring inflation and gas prices, saying those are impacting everyday people in Wisconsin.
He argued that the GOP is responsible for the high costs because they voted to slash government spending, but said he would fight for higher wages, more affordable housing and a clean environment. He also touted his experience as a small-business owner and an advocate for tax cuts for the middle class.
But a series of attacks from both parties over the last year prompted a sharp drop in Johnson’s job approval. The AP VoteCast survey found that Johnson’s approval rating had declined to 40 percent from 53 percent during the third quarter of 2020, with independent voters largely disapproving of him.
While his approval among Republicans has remained relatively stable, it’s gone down more than twice as much among independents. In all, 39 percent of independents strongly disapprove of Johnson’s job performance, compared with just 16 percent who approve.
The decline is most steep among women and college graduates, where the share of voters who disapprove has more than tripled. And it’s fueled by voter discontent over a series of issues, from the COVID-19 vaccine to President Biden’s record on immigration and health care.
Those are just some of the challenges facing an incumbent with deep ties to the president and his MAGA agenda in the state that narrowly voted for Trump in 2016 but lost to Biden in 2020. The race could help determine which party ultimately controls the Senate.
A key challenge for the Democrats is that Wisconsin has a very strong economy and low unemployment. The state’s unemployment rate is lower than the national average, and it has some of the highest rates in the nation for jobs created.
But the state has also been hard hit by rising costs of living, including gas and electricity. Inflation is up and so are food prices, making it harder for middle-class families to afford their essentials.