UW-L Professor says what swayed last weeks Supreme Court Decision: conservative talk radio, religious faith attacks, lack of Milwaukee voters, outstanding get-out-the vote campaigns, anger, and an underwhelming campaign. Plus, what’s moving in Madison and what’s not.

Election Result highlights

 With long-time facilitator, UW-La Crosse Emeritus Professor Joe Heim on vacation, Professor Anthony Chergosky (Assistant Professor, Political Science & Public Administration) presented highlights from last weeks’ elections. 


Anthony: This seat is not supposed to be political, but clearly it runs along party lines. This seat was pivotal in impacting the sway of the court with Brian Hagedorn’s conservative views narrowly winning in a surprise upset to the believed frontrunner Lisa Neubauer. Neubauer is eligible for a recount, however the cost runs $2 million – more than Neubauer raised in her entire campaign. Hagedorn’s was such an underdog, many typical conservative organizations were not with him as supporters in the end. 

 What happened?

  • Conservative talk radio remains a powerful voice in Wisconsin. They kept talking even when hope was lost
  • Focus on religious faith attacks may have motivated religious and social conservatives to rally
  • Milwaukee voters did not turn out (more votes in Dane County)
  • Outstanding get-out-the-vote operations
  • Anger is a powerful motivator. They may have been angry at Evers’ budget
  • Neubauer’s campaign was underwhelming

The REAL Story in Wisconsin

Urban is becoming more liberal, rural is more conservative.

Anthony: School Referendum

All passed

Anthony: Onalaska Elections

Three incumbents in Onalaska unseated. This is very rare.

Anthony: Looking Ahead to 2020

  • Presidential election: six states will decide. Wisconsin is one of them.
  • We are very “swingy” in the swingiest state – i.e. Western Wisconsin – tend to be highly engaged, highly informed

Many Americans like the label of conservative vs. liberal, and they are distrustful of government. When asked about increasing spending for health care and education – they want more money spent. American have contradictory political attitudes. Conservative when they think of government but liberal when they think of specific programs. These play into the messaging.

Madison Highlights


There is nothing substantial happening. There might be some low-level hanging fruit topics to talk about. Most major issues are being avoided. 

They are telling everyone to bring forward legislation with both D- and R- next to it.

Tax reciprocity – she is still taking about it. Will likely be stand-alone legislation.


Doyle is now on a committee looking at death by suicide. He anticipates it will result in more mental health initiatives.

He is working with on events to unite those elected to Madison to gather across party lines to foster friendships. This avoids personal attacks during debates.

Lauren Oldenburg

[Welcome! This was Lauren’s first attendance at the event].


Lauren introduced himself to the group, explaining the last time he was at the event was during a debate with his opponent. He is a now former dairy farmer, having sold his cows because of his Madison appointment. Oldenburg discussed how the Republicans are looking at how to build a budget. Redistricting passed, but he is not supportive, it is a legal debate. He will be on the suicide committee with Rep. Doyle.