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Republicans are a mess right now, and voters know it. Does the party? | Moira Donegan

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The GOP is internally divided, filled with self-serving carnival-barkers, and beholden to cruel positions that appall most voters

It was supposed to be the Republican party’s last stand, in a state where they had exercised near-absolute control for years, and they had every hope of putting up a good fight. Yet in the end, it wasn’t even close.

Millions of dollars had poured into Wisconsin ahead of an election for a seat on the state supreme court, a hotly contested race between a liberal judge and one backed by moneyed rightwing interests. The stakes were high: Wisconsin’s state legislature has been gerrymandered out of competitiveness for more than a decade, for one thing, meaning that the state, which has a roughly even split between Democratic and Republican voters, had nevertheless become a grim experiment in one-party rule, with Republicans commanding a majority of statehouse seats despite receiving far fewer votes proportionally. Federal elections in Wisconsin seemed worryingly vulnerable, too: when Trump sued over his 2020 loss there, making spurious claims of election fraud, the Republican-controlled state supreme court ruled against him by only one vote.

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