Democrats flip traditionally conservative Wisconsin district

Voters in Racine, Washington fill open legislative seats

In other Tuesday elections, Democrat Dennis Degenhardt won 43 percent of the vote in Wisconsin's 58th state assembly district; in 2016, Hillary Clinton won just 28 percent of the vote there, and no Democrat contested the seat.

The blue wave sweeping America in the wake of the Trump presidency, from Alabama to Virginia to Pennsylvania to ME, has now hit Wisconsin, where a Democrat named Patty Schachtner just won a special election for a state senate seat in a Republican-leaning district.

Mostly under the radar, the special election had become a proxy war, and Republicans significantly outspent the Democrats: Americans for Prosperity, backed by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers, poured $50,000 into the race.

The state Senate district Schachtner won has trended Republican for years.

Schachtner took 55 percent of the vote to Jarchow's 44 percent in unofficial returns. Mitt Romney won it in 2012 and Trump won it in 2016.

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"The message from tonight is simple", the Democratic Party of Wisconsin tweeted Tuesday night.

The result in the 10th, which Harsdorf won in 2000 and held easily for years, gave Wisconsin Democrats their first pickup on Republican turf since 2011. Americans for Prosperity spent $50,000 to boost Jarchow, while the National Democratic Redistricting Committee and Greater Wisconsin Political Independent Expenditure Fund spent almost as much on advertisements for Schachtner. Tammy Baldwin, one of 10 Democratic senators up for reelection this year in a state Trump carried, recorded a get-out-the-vote message for Schachtner.

But Democrats banked that anti-Trump backlash could even the playing field. While Democrats didn't win these seats, they out-performed their 2016 results by double-digit margins - swings that also suggest 2018 could spell trouble for the GOP.

The state has seen its share of political tumult over the past decade: The State Capitol was controlled by Democrats before Mr. Republicans sensed it, too.

Schachtner's victory doesn't change the balance of power in the Senate.

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