Expert: But for Pandemic, Trump Would Have Won Wisconsin

Mar 5, 2021

Credit NPR

Former President Donald Trump’s popularity stayed strong in the Northwoods throughout the 2020 election.

He won every Northwoods county by wide margins, just as he had in 2016.

But one political expert believes how Trump handled the COVID-19 pandemic cost him the state overall.

WisPolitics.com editor J.R. Ross said, if not for how Trump responded to COVID-19, he would have won Wisconsin.

“White voters who leaned Republican in years past recoiled at President Trump’s behavior and his approach to the pandemic,” Ross said. “That really hurt him.”

President Joe Biden the state by about 21,000 votes.

While the pandemic may have caused the dynamics to shift in Wisconsin’s election for president, the change was even more noticeable at the state level.

Ross says disputes over COVID-19 response by lawmakers in Madison have caused partisan tensions to go from bad to dysfunctional.

Hear the story of the pandemic and its effect on state politics.

It’s part of our one-hour special, Here for a Year: the Impact of COVID-19 on Our Lives.

That airs Wednesday at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on WXPR.