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The Wisconsin GOP’s Latest Meltdown


The

Wisconsin Elections Commission

this week was supposed to pick its next chairman, who by law must be a Republican, since the current one is a Democrat. Yet the news at Wednesday’s meeting was the sudden resignation of GOP Commissioner

Dean Knudson,

who lamented that he feels he no longer adequately represents his party’s viewpoint.

“I’ll put my conservative record up against anyone in the state of Wisconsin,” he said, “and yet now I’ve been branded a RINO,” a Republican In Name Only. “There’s no evidence that election fraud is the reason Trump lost Wisconsin, and that’s not for lack of looking,” Mr. Knudson later told the press. His advice to his party is to “pivot away from conspiracy theories” and “focus on the issues that affect Wisconsin families and their pocketbooks.”

The other Republican commissioner who’s eligible to be chairman,

Robert Spindell,

put in a pitch for the job. But Mr. Spindell served in 2020 as one of the pretend Trump electors who met to cast fake votes for a losing candidate. Rather than elevate him, the commission kicked the decision to a future meeting. “You can’t have an election unless you have two people available,” a Democratic commissioner said.

Mr. Knudson’s replacement will be appointed by Assembly Speaker

Robin Vos.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Mr. Vos “has not ruled out anyone, including former Supreme Court Justice

Michael Gableman.

” This is a bad idea. Mr. Gableman’s recent claim to fame is accusing the commission of committing criminal fraud in 2020, while calling for the Wisconsin Legislature to decertify President Biden’s victory, which is impossible.

Mr. Trump lost Wisconsin in 2020 by 20,682 votes, and why it happened isn’t all that complicated or mysterious. Forget the chatter about “ballot dumps” in Milwaukee and look at the data in the state’s official returns. “Republicans across Wisconsin did just fine at all other levels in the 2020 election,” Mr. Knudson said. He’s right. Voters elected five Republican congressman. Mr. Trump lagged them all.

In the 8th district, which includes Green Bay, Republican Rep.

Mike Gallagher

won 268,173 ballots. Mr. Trump earned 241,140.

In the 1st district, including Kenosha and Racine, Republican Rep.

Bryan Steil

won 238,271 votes. Mr. Trump? Only 220,668.

In the 5th district, anchored by Milwaukee’s suburbs, Republican Rep.

Scott Fitzgerald

won 265,434, to Mr. Trump’s 255,803.

Across those five districts, Mr. Trump ran behind the GOP congressmen by 63,547 votes, or three times his losing margin statewide. Mr. Biden’s numbers are almost a mirror image. He over-performed the Democratic candidates in those districts by 64,880. The hard truth for Mr. Trump is that thousands of Republicans cast ballots for the GOP House but didn’t want to give him four more years.

Mr. Trump didn’t lose the election because of votes in largely Democratic Milwaukee. He won 29.3% of Milwaukee County in 2020, higher than his 28.6% in 2016. Mr. Trump lost Wisconsin with his under-performance among Republicans in places like Appleton or Janesville.

This week’s primary results in Georgia prove that most Republican voters are ready to stop looking backward at 2020 and start trying to get some real work done for their states and their country. If Wisconsin Republicans don’t beat Democratic Gov.

Tony Evers

this year, they face four more years of vetoes, including of bills they want to tighten up voting practices. Time to leave 2020 behind.

Review & Outlook: Appearing as a witness in John Durham’s trial of Michael Sussmann, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager, Robby Mook, says she personally approved a plan to give a false ‘Trump, Russia’ claim to the news media. Images: Reuters Composite: Mark Kelly

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