The charges against Trump are not expected to affect the Wisconsin court race

MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) – The indictment against former President Donald Trump will likely have little impact on the high stakes The Wisconsin Supreme Court race is set to be decided next week as Democrats seek to reverse majority control of the court with the fate of abortion access in the state on the line, those watching the contest closely said Friday.

Trump was not directly involved in the race, has not endorsed anyone, and the Republican-backed candidate has sought to distance his ties to the former president and the GOP. Additionally, Trump’s support appears to be waning among Republicans in the battleground state, which he barely won in 2016 and lost by a similar margin in 2020.

“While this[charge]may get the juice flowing for some of his supporters, some may shake their heads and shrug their shoulders,” said longtime Republican strategist and former GOP state party chairman Brandon Scholz. “This charge thing isn’t really connected to this race. It’s a Trump issue.”

Charles Franklin, a pollster at Marquette University Law School, said the indictment could boost turnout among both Trump’s most ardent supporters and his most ardent Democrat opponents. But he didn’t think it would fundamentally change the dynamic of the Supreme Court race between Republican-backed Dan Kelly and Democrat-backed Janet Protasiewicz, set to be decided on Tuesday.

“The classic surprises in October are things that affect the candidates themselves, not someone else,” Franklin said. “For that reason, I think there’s probably less reason to believe that this news will dramatically change the Supreme Court race, because people would have to know enough to associate Donald Trump with the Supreme Court race and not.” planned to vote or vote differently in Tuesday’s election.”

Protasiewicz campaign spokesman Sam Roecker said Friday, “We do not expect voters to be distracted by events in New York.”

“We are focused on winning a crucial election four days from now that will have long-term consequences for millions of Wisconsinians when it comes to issues like reproductive rights and the strength of our democracy,” he said. “We know voters are focused on this race because it is an opportunity to restore fairness and impartiality to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.”

Kelly didn’t immediately respond to a message asking for comment.

Supporters of Kelly, who previously served on the state Supreme Court, are hoping the accusation will kickstart the GOP base like the raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home the day before Wisconsin’s GOP gubernatorial primary in August.

Although Trump supported Kelly in his 2020 bid for the court, this time Kelly did not seek Trump endorsement and would not even commit to accepting one if offered.

Kelly worked for the Wisconsin Republican Party and the Republican National Committee after losing the 2020 election. He also advised the state’s top Republicans after Trump’s defeat in 2020 on their plan to have fake voters fill Wisconsin’s electoral electorate for him.

“I’m up against probably one of the most extreme partisan characters in the history of this state,” Protasiewicz said during their only debate in March.

“Again, you’re quick to lie,” Kelly replied.

Kelly insisted throughout the campaign that his personal politics were irrelevant, stressing that he was committed to the “rule of law”.

The indictment Thursday came after 10 days of early voting on the state. As of Friday morning, nearly 353,000 mail-in ballots had been returned. Early voting ends on Sunday.

“Things have been moving for a long time in the last few days before an election,” says pollster Franklin. “People have already made up their minds whether to vote or not, and if so, who they will support. In that sense, these red-hot things don’t change the support hugely, especially if they don’t involve the candidates.”

Tuesday’s winner will determine majority control of the court expected to decide the fate of Wisconsin almost total abortion banRepublicans rigged legislative districts and voting rights en route to the 2024 presidential election. The court could have overturned President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory by a single vote.

Protasiewicz, a Milwaukee County District Judge, has attempted to turn the race into a de facto abortion referendum while simultaneously blasting Kelly for his ties to Republicans and his work for Wisconsin Right to Life.

Abortion rights groups, including Planned Parenthood, stand behind Protasiewicz. The Wisconsin Democratic Party has given her campaign nearly $9 million, helping her gain an advantage over Kelly in television advertising.

Kelly’s supporters include the state and local GOP chapters, as well as GOP mega-donors Richard Uihlein and Diane Hendricks.

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