indictment Former President Donald Trump It likely has little bearing on the high stakes of a Wisconsin Supreme Court race set to be decided next week, as Democrats try to upend majority control of the court with the fate of abortion access in the state on the line, those watching the contest closely said Friday.
Trump was not directly involved in the race, did not endorse anyone, and the Republican-backed candidate tried to distance his ties to the former president and the Republican Party. Additionally, Trump’s support among Republicans appears to be waning in the event of a battle he barely won in 2016 and then lost by a similar margin in 2020.
“While this (indictment) may be squirting juices with some of his supporters, some may be shaking in the head and shrugging,” said longtime Republican strategist and former GOP leader Brandon Schultz. “This indictment thing isn’t really related to this race. It’s a Trump case.”
Charles Franklin, a pollster at Marquette University School of Law, said the indictment could spur voter turnout among Trump’s most ardent supporters and his ardent Democratic opponents. But he didn’t think it would fundamentally change the dynamics of the Supreme Court race between Republican-backed Dan Kelly and Democrat-backed Janet Protasevich due to be decided on Tuesday.
“Classic October surprises are things about the candidates themselves, not anyone else,” said Franklin. “Because of this, I think there is probably less reason to believe that this news dramatically changes the Supreme Court race because people should have known enough to associate Donald Trump with the Supreme Court race and were not planning to vote, or vote differently, on Election Tuesday.” .
Protasevich campaign spokesman Sam Roeker said Friday, “We don’t expect voters to be distracted by what’s happening in New York.”
“We are focused on winning a crucial election in four days that will have far-reaching consequences Millions of Wisconsinians When it comes to issues like reproductive rights and the strength of our democracy, he said “we know voters are focused on this race because it’s an opportunity to bring justice and impartiality back to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.”
Kelly told reporters after a campaign stop Friday in Watertown that he had “no idea” if the indictment would motivate people to vote in his race.
Supporters of Kelly, who previously served on the state supreme court, hope the indictment will ignite the GOP base like the raid on Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago the day before the Wisconsin GOP primary in August.
Although Trump endorsed Kelly in his run for the court in 2020, Kelly did not seek Trump’s endorsement this time around and would not even commit to accepting one if offered.
Kelly worked for the Wisconsin Republican Party and Republican National Committee After he lost the 2020 election. He also advised top Republicans in the state about their scheme after Trump’s 2020 loss to get fake voters to choose voters in Wisconsin.
“I oppose probably one of the most extreme partisan figures in the history of this state.” Protasiewicz said during their only debate in March.
Kelly replied, “Again, that’s a rush to lie.”
Kelly insisted throughout the campaign that his personal politics were irrelevant, and asserted that he was dedicated to the “rule of law”.
Thursday’s indictment came after 10 days of early voting across the state. As of Friday morning, nearly 353,000 absentee ballots had been returned. Early voting ends Sunday.
“In the final days before the election, things have been moving around for a long time,” said Franklin, the pollster. “People have already made up their minds as to whether or not to vote, and if so, who to support. In that sense, these trailing things don’t change dramatically, especially when they don’t include candidates.”
Tuesday’s winner will determine majority control of the court, which is expected to rule the fate of Wisconsin’s near-total abortion ban, legislatures Republicans have gerrymandered and voting rights ahead of the 2024 presidential election. The court came one vote short of overturning President Joe Biden’s victory. state in 2020.
Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Protasevich attempted to make the race a de facto referendum on abortion, while also criticizing Kelly for his ties to Republicans and his work for the right to life in Wisconsin.
Abortion rights groups, including Planned Parenthood, are behind Protasiewicz. The Wisconsin Democratic Party awarded her campaign nearly $9 million, which helped her gain an advantage over Kelly in TV ads.
Kelly’s supporters include the state and local branches of the Republican Party as well as major donors to the Republican Party Richard Ohlin and Diane Hendricks.