Joe Biden officially wins Wisconsin primary over Bernie Sanders
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Joe Biden emerged victorious Monday in Wisconsin’s Democratic presidential primary, a turbulent election far more significant for the struggle over whether it should have been held at all last week amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, a liberal challenger declared victory over a conservative incumbent endorsed by President Donald Trump in a closely watched battle for a state Supreme Court seat, though The Associated Press hadn’t called the race.
Democrats have accused Republicans of forging ahead with Wisconsin’s election despite the coronavirus in the hopes it would dampen turnout in urban areas that were more likely to vote with the liberal court candidate, Jill Karofsky. The highly politicized court backed Republicans in proceeding with in-person voting in a ruling issued the day before the election.
Trump injected himself into the state Supreme Court race, breaking from health experts who have encouraged all Americans to stay home by calling on his supporters to “get out and vote NOW” for the conservative judicial candidate, Dan Kelly. He later said Democrats were playing politics by trying to postpone the election.
“As soon as I endorsed him, the Wisconsin Democrats said, ‘Oh, let’s move the election two months later,’” Trump said. “Now they talk about, ‘Oh, safety, safety.’”
Karofsky declared victory Monday evening as she Kelly with a little over half the vote counted.
Biden’s easy victory became academic after Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out, one day after Wisconsin held in-person voting Tuesday despite widespread concern over the health risks. Republican legislative leaders refused to delay the election, and the party won a court battle to keep the date, making Wisconsin an outlier from other states that postponed spring primaries.
Earlier in the Democratic primary season, Wisconsin was seen as a potential battleground state especially given Sanders’ commanding victory there in 2016. But in the weeks before the election, Biden emerged as the front-runner as other challengers dropped out. Neither Biden nor Sanders campaigned in the state leading up to the vote due to the pandemic.
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