By Larry Eriksson
Republicans have made Wisconsin one of the most gerrymandered states in the country. In the Nov. 3 elections for the state Assembly, Democrats received 46% of the votes, but only 38% of the Assembly seats. In the elections for the state Senate, they received 47% of the votes but again only 38% of the seats on the ballot.
What is much less widely appreciated is that the Republicans elected in secure Republican districts are much more conservative than those elected from more competitive districts. In a secure district, a GOP officeholder has no need to take a more moderate position because the official has effectively no threat from a Democrat who could win.
This phenomenon was graphically illustrated in the vote in the U.S. House on the second COVID-19 relief bill. This compromise bill passed the House by a vote of 359 in favor and 53 against. The vast majority of Republicans across the nation voted in favor of this compromise. But all five Republicans in Wisconsin’s House delegation voted against the compromise.