2016 Election Preview by James Buchen, Executive Director, WUI

2016 Election Preview by James Buchen, Executive Director, WUI

james-buchen

James Buchen, Executive Director, WUI

With the election just weeks away the race for the Whitehouse is beginning to close. The fact that Donald Trump has become competitive nationally as well as in Wisconsin has eased concerns by some Republicans that a poor performance at the top of the ticket might adversely affect candidates down ballot. In the race for the U.S. Senate, former Senator Russ Feingold has been leading in the polls but the race remains close. The outcome of the Wisconsin Senate race could swing control of the U.S. Senate, though it is looking increasingly likely that Republicans will retain control of that house in the next congress. Similarly Republicans are expected to retain control of the House of Representatives next session as well.

In Wisconsin, the Legislature is currently controlled by Republicans with a margin of 19 to 14 in the State Senate and 63 to 36 in the Assembly. Half of the members of the Senate are up for election this year but there appears to only be one truly close, contested race.  The race for the vacant 18th Senate District seat that includes Fond du Lac, Oshkosh and Waupun appears close, though analysis of its historic voting patterns suggests that it leans Republican. Regardless of the outcome in that race, the Republicans are likely to retain control of the State Senate.

In the Assembly, all 99 seats are up for election this year though no more than a dozen appear to be close contests. Even if the Republicans lose a couple of seats they will retain control of the Assembly.

From an energy policy standpoint the outcome of the Presidential election could have a significant impact on issues ranging from the EPA’s Clean Power Plan to oil and gas production and pipeline construction. In Wisconsin, with Republicans likely to remain in control of both houses and the Governor’s office, we should expect a sensible policy environment without any costly new energy regulations.

There is a lot at stake this election year.  Be sure to get out and vote on November 8th.

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