Wisconsin U.S. Senate race could be key to controlling Congress

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 8:20 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Besides the campaigning for Wisconsin’s governor, a closely followed political race this November in the Badger State is for United States Senate.

Incumbent Republican Senator Ron Johnson is going up against Democrat Mandela Barnes. Whoever wins could have major implications on which party controls the Senate next year.

Both candidates are hitting the ground running with less than three months before Election Day. Barnes, who also serves as lieutenant governor, is planning to visit Green Bay on Thursday to meet with local union members, workers, and students.

Sen. Johnson is hosting a roundtable discussion next week in Milwaukee on border security.

“The republicans were waiting to see who the democrats would nominate and the campaign is really going to start in earnest now,” Charley Jacobs, professor of political science at St. Norbert College, said. “In particular, I think there’s going to be focus on this state because their appears to be some weaker candidates in other states, like Georgia and Pennsylvania.”

Since both Johnson and Barnes secured their respective party’s nominations Tuesday night, two websites have launched each criticizing the other.

A website funded by the Wisconsin Republican Party accuses the lieutenant governor of supporting far-left policies, including wanting to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Meanwhile, a democratic supported website accuses Johnson of being a pathological liar and spreading Covid misinformation.

“I think we’re in for sort of a full-throated attempt by these Super PACs and other actors to sort of dismantle the opponent of the democratic and republican candidates,” Jacobs said.

Johnson on Wednesday called democrats out-of-touch with the economic reality of hard working Americans and says this race is between freedom versus socialism.

Barnes, on the other hand, attacked Johnson Tuesday night during his acceptance speech after winning the democratic nomination.

“I am the proud son of a middle class union household, and like most people in the state of Wisconsin, I am not a millionaire. I don’t have the backing of big pharmaceutical companies or oil companies,” Barnes said.

A Marquette University Law School poll released in June has Barnes beating Johnson in the November election. But, Marquette will release another poll next week that could paint a clearer picture of the political landscape heading into the fall.

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