For the first time in more than 20 years, progressives have won an open seat on Wisconsin’s highest court. In electing Rebecca Dallet, Wisconsin chose an experienced former prosecutor and judge with a strong record of fighting for equal protection under the law, for women’s rights, and for clean air and water and now the Wisconsin Supreme Court is just a little bit more balanced.
For Our Future is proud to have mobilized voters on the doors, on the phones, and online over the last six weeks in support of Dallet.
Following the February primary, FOF-WI partnered with the National Democratic Redistricting Committee to dispatch dozens of field staff to turn out supporters and help make the case for Dallet to undecided voters. All told, organizers knocked on over 71,338 doors and had 11,745 face-to-face-conversations with voters in SE Wisconsin, greater Dane County, Chippewa Valley, and Fox Valley regions.
Since the most effective messengers are a voter’s friends and family, FOF also ran a sophisticated phone operation that allowed organizers and volunteers to utilize their personal networks. As part of its ongoing Relational Voter Program, FOF generated over 30,000 phone calls to voters from people they know. In addition, volunteers and organizers used new technology to inform and mobilize their own networks digitally. The conversations at the doors, on the phones, and on digital platforms were complemented with micro-targeted Facebook ads that reiterated persuasion and mobilization messages. In total, our online ad program reached 585,755 unique Facebook users and achieved over three million impressions.
In the counties that FOF was active in, turnout increased by over 100,000 votes compared to 2015, the most recent Supreme Court spring election held in a non-presidential year.
Tuesday’s election is more proof that something big is happening in Wisconsin. Dallet won voters’ approval in the face of a well-funded and organized opposition and despite efforts by Republicans to make voting less accessible at every possible turn. After this week’s election and the upset victory for Democrats in ruby-red state Senate District 10 earlier this year, it’s clear that no Republican office-holder in Wisconsin on the ballot in 2018 is safe. Governor Walker and his Republican colleagues are undeniably shaking in their boots.
Dallet won despite the indefensible voter-suppression barriers put in place by Governor Walker and Wisconsin Republicans, from one of the most severe voter ID laws in the nation, to cutting back early voting opportunities.
Dallet’s victory was also another example of how long-term investment and real community engagement pay dividends. For Our Future began organizing in Wisconsin in 2016 and have partnered with organizations across the state. FOF and partners have kept the conversation going with voters on issues that drive community action, including earning shared economic prosperity, supporting racial justice, respecting immigrant communities, building strong public schools, and addressing climate change. FOF-WI was able to ramp up so quickly in February by leveraging its permanent infrastructure in communities across the state.