Wisconsin Governor Approves New State Legislative Maps, Ending GOP Gerrymander

Credits: Wisconsin Watch

Wisconsin Democratic Governor Tony Evers signed new legislative maps into law on Monday, marking a significant shift in the state’s political landscape that has long been dominated by Republicans.

The genesis of the new maps came after a shift in the balance of the state Supreme Court from a conservative majority to a liberal edge following Janet Protasiewicz’s victory last year.

This transition prompted a December ruling that deemed the existing maps unconstitutional due to their widely acknowledged gerrymandering, necessitating new lines ahead of the 2024 elections.

Wisconsin Governor (Credits: Common Dreams)

Previously, the Republican-favored map entrenched their control, with significant majorities in both the state Assembly and Senate, despite Wisconsin’s status as a swing state with closely contested elections in recent years.

However, an analysis by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel indicates the new maps create a more balanced distribution of Democratic and Republican-leaning districts, indicating potential gains for Democrats in the upcoming elections.

Governor Evers emphasized the importance of fairness in the redistricting process, underscoring Wisconsin’s identity as a purple state where neither party holds a definitive advantage.

In response, Republican State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos criticized the newly signed maps, labeling them as the most favorable to Republicans among those considered by the court.

Despite his reservations about fairness, Vos asserted Republican confidence in their policy ideas to secure victories regardless of the electoral landscape.

On the Democratic side, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Ben Wikler hailed the new maps as a transformative moment, expressing optimism about the energized political environment that could impact not only state legislature races but also federal elections.

Democratic groups, including the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, are already mobilizing efforts to capitalize on the new maps, signaling a heightened focus on Wisconsin as a key battleground in 2024. Their aim is to build winning campaigns and reclaim majorities in both the state legislature and potentially impact national politics.

The enactment of these new maps marks a significant departure from Wisconsin’s history of gerrymandering, offering a renewed sense of opportunity and competitiveness in the state’s political landscape.

I'm Richard Rosales, I cover political news and ongoing US elections.