Editorial: Show up on Aug. 14
By Joe Bachman
“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” – John F. Kennedy
It is said that history is written by the victors; and in the case of voting, our history is written by those who simply show up.
On Nov. 6, 2018, it remains to be seen if the political current will ride the momentous blue wave, or slam into a red wall. However, while seen as less important, the primary election takes place this Tuesday, Aug. 14, and you should be paying attention. There is no better time to become informed and make plans to visit your nearest polling station on the 14th. How you vote on Tuesday, even if partisan, will affect November’s highly contested elections.
Multiple ‘what if’ scenarios land questions on both sides of the political coin with many possibilities.
It is not well-known that Gov. Scott Walker will have a challenger in this primary, and if you are a Republican voter, you will have to choose between Walker, and long-shot challenger Robert Meyer. If Meyer were to upset Walker and advance to the Nov. 6 election, it would change everything.
Speaking of which, Democratic candidate for Governor Tony Evers currently leads Walker head-to-head by five points in the latest average of three polls. (NBC, Emerson, Marquette) But what if Evers fails to secure the nomination on Aug. 14 for his own party? Evers, who is the current Wisconsin Superintendent, is contended by Mahlon Mitchell, Mike McCabe, Matt Flynn, Kelda Roys, Kathleen Vinehout, Josh Pade, and Paul Soglin.
While Evers currently leads all of his partisan challengers by double-digits, he could fall to a climbing Mahlon Mitchell, or Mike McCabe. Then what? Will the polls that have Evers leading Walker still stand? In 2016 we witnessed a similar event where many Bernie Sanders voters refused to vote for Hillary Clinton after the Democratic primary landed Clinton the nomination — would we see a similar divide between Evers and Mitchell or McCabe camps if such a situation presented itself? History shows that Sanders led Trump head-to-head by a larger margin than Clinton had.
In addition, we also have Libertarian candidate Phil Anderson, Green party candidate Michael White, Wisconsin Party candidate Arnie Enz, and Independent Maggie Turnbull — all vying for Governor.
On the Senate side, we have Republican Leah Vukmir against challenger Kevin Nicholson, who currently holds an average 2.7 point lead over Vukmir, according to the same three polls mentioned above. However, the same polls have both Republican hopefuls falling short to incumbent Democrat Tammy Baldwin in November by double-digits.
Lieutenant Governor Republican Rebecca Kleefisch will face off against the winner between two Democratic hopefuls — 31-year-old Mandela Barnes and 40-year-old Kurt Kober, who both seek to unseat Kleefisch in November. While both men share similar views, Barnes is seen as the progressive candidate, and his election would fall in line with the wave of progressive candidates who have been elected across the country, in such notable cases as 29-year-old Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who upset her challenger by taking New York’s 14th Congressional District.
However, as with 2016, we also know that polls are never 100 percent, and can sometimes be wrong.
While there’s not enough space and time to go over every race, it’s important to keep in mind that your vote counts just as much in a primary election, as it does in the general election. Make a habit of voting — as it’s the easiest way to exercise your democratic right as an American citizen.