For the national election held this week, many pollsters had projected a decisive outcome at the top of the ticket, but that is not what happened. At the time of publication, former Vice President Joe Biden seemed to be leading, but with several states, including Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Alaska, undecided. The large number of voters choosing to mail in their ballots due to COVID-19 has delayed results in those states. Additionally, both the Trump and Biden campaigns have laid the groundwork for challenging results in some states via recounts or litigation. This could delay the final tally for some time.
What is known is that divided government will continue at both the state and federal levels. At the federal level, the House of Representatives will remain under control of Democrats, albeit with a smaller majority. In the Senate, Republicans, defying expectations, seem poised to maintain their majority.
In the state elections, Republicans will maintain strong majorities in both legislative chambers. Democrats, however, are likely to pick up two Assembly seats in suburban Milwaukee districts while Republicans are expected to pick up two Senate seats, one in the Green Bay region and the other in northwestern Wisconsin. Republicans will not have a veto-proof legislative majority, meaning both the Evers administration and Republican Legislature will need to work together to enact legislation.
WHA Vice President for Federal and State Relations Jon Hoelter noted, “With the presidential contest unclear, it is hard to predict how soon a lame duck package or new COVID package may be introduced at the federal level." Hoelter continued, “Now more than ever, hospital and health care advocates need to make sure the newly elected state legislators and members of Congress understand the importance of hospitals and health systems to the communities they serve. In the coming weeks and months, we will encourage members to look for opportunities to engage with their newly elected public officials through the WHA Hospital Education & Advocacy Team”