Welcome to the Thursday, September 22, Brew.
By: Samuel Wonacott
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
Business and politics have long been among the most powerful forces in our society. The relationships between the two are constantly changing – reflecting both the dynamism of the U.S. economy and the political response to it.
We’ve seen instances of this evolving relationship in recent news stories. In some states, executive branch officials are questioning the use of Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) investment strategies in their public pension plans. Elsewhere, the owner of outdoor outfitter Patagonia transferred control of the company to a trust that will use all future profits to fight climate change.
Making sense of the latest news, policies, regulations, legal challenges, and more has been a huge challenge. But we’re here to help.
Our free, weekly newsletter, Economy and Society, is designed to help government relations and financial professionals, scholars, and the general public understand the issues, policies, and politics that shape the nexus between business and politics.
In every issue of Economy and Society our expert policy team brings you the latest news and insights on issues like:
The bottom line: Economy and Society is your go-to source for the information you need to understand the politics of corporations, and the business of politics.
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We’re previewing pivotal battleground elections across the country between now and election day. Today, we’re looking at the Wisconsin gubernatorial election—one of 12 gubernatorial battlegrounds this year.
Incumbent Gov. Tony Evers (D) and Tim Michels (R) are running in the election.
Evers was elected in 2018, defeating then-Gov. Scott Walker (R) 49.5% to 48.4%. Before becoming governor, Evers served 10 years as the Wisconsin superintendent of public instruction and as deputy superintendent for eight years before that. Evers’ campaign website says he has “worked to bring people together around common sense solutions that make Wisconsin stronger” and names “signing a bipartisan income tax cut, fixing thousands of miles of roads and bridges, investing in apprenticeships and job training programs, and increasing resources for our public schools” among his accomplishments. Evers was unopposed in the Democratic primary.
Michels, a 12-year U.S. Army veteran, is co-owner and vice president of an energy and infrastructure construction company. Michels says he is “a businessman, not a politician.” After winning the Republican nomination, Michels said, “[T]his race has always been about … standing up for the hard-working people of Wisconsin. They’ve been left behind by the Democratic Party that just wants to focus on the social issues. From my first day in office to my very last day as governor, jobs and the economy are going to be my number one priority.”
Independent forecasters consider the election a toss-up. Post-primary polls have not shown either candidate with a statistically significant lead. As of July 25, the last date for which campaign finance data is available, Evers has raised $21,708,994 to Michels’ $12,018,573.
Politically, Wisconsin is one of the most competitive states in the country. Four of the six presidential elections since 2000 have been decided by less than one percentage point. Wisconsin has a Democratic triplex and a divided trifecta. The Democratic Party controls the offices of governor, secretary of state, and attorney general. The Republican Party controls both chambers of the state legislature. When Evers was elected in 2018, Republicans had controlled state government for eight years. Before that, Democrats had a trifecta for two years. Democrats gained a triplex in Wisconsin in 2018 when Democratic candidates defeated Republican incumbents in the elections for governor and attorney general, and the Democratic secretary of state was re-elected.
Wisconsin is one of seven states where the lieutenant governor is nominated in a separate primary but runs on a single ticket with the gubernatorial nominee in the general election. State Sen. Roger Roth (R) and state Assembly member Sara Rodriguez (D) are running for lieutenant governor.
Click below to read more about Wisconsin’s gubernatorial election.
Today is the 18th day of our 50 States in 50 Days series, and we’re featuring Minnesota, the North Star State.
Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota
Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana
Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho
Week Four: Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas
On the ballot in Minnesota
At the federal level, Minnesota voters will elect eight U.S. Representatives. Minnesota is one of 15 states that does not have a U.S. Senate seat up for election this year. At the state level, voters will elect a governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and auditor.
In the state legislature, all 67 districts in the state Senate and all 134 districts in the state House of Representatives are up for election. Sixty-three districts across both chambers are open. That represents 31% of the state’s legislature, an increase compared to the preceding four election cycles.
Additionally, two seats on the state supreme court are up for election. Minnesota is one of 30 states holding elections for state supreme court.
Minnesota was apportioned eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census, the same number it received after the 2010 census.
Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state. Here are the congressional maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle in Minnesota:
To use our tool to view Minnesota’s state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our Minnesota redistricting page.
Seats contested by only one major party
In 2022, 26 state legislative seats in Minnesota, or 13% of all seats up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either the Democratic or Republican parties runs for a state legislative seat, the seat is all but guaranteed to be won by that party.
Democrats are running in 96% of all state legislative races. Eight state legislative seats (4% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Democratic candidate and a Republican is likely to win.
Republicans are running in 91% of all state legislative races. Eighteen seats (9% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Republican candidate and a Democrat is likely to win.
Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool!
Samuel Wonacott is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at email@example.com.
Ballotpedia is the digital encyclopedia of American politics and elections. Visit us at Ballotpedia.org, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.