The Corner

Tonight’s Big 2016 Winner: Scott Walker?

We’ve had the back and forth below about John Kasich, who trounced an incredibly weak opponent — but I’m going to go out on a limb and agree with Ed Schultz (nobody else reads the blue-collar Midwest from a private jet as well as he does, if you ask me): Scott Walker has way outperformed expectations tonight.

Now, so did a lot of other GOP gubernatorial candidates (and Senate candidates), but just a couple months ago, Walker’s national promise looked inevitably set to take a big hit even if he won reelection.

When the race looked to be almost neck-and-neck this summer, it seemed unlikely that Walker was going to win by more than a few points, which would have marred his case that he won the political case for his public-sector reforms.

Well, Walker did a lot better than people expected him to back then. Even if this was because of a general GOP wave tonight, it’s hard to see that dulling the shine of winning reelection by 7 points for the second time in two and a half years in a state that Obama won by 14 points and then 8 points. Democrats can say what they want about Wisconsin’s polarized politics, but that’s a pretty nice political record to go alongside his signal policy accomplishment.

Patrick Brennan was a senior communications official at the Department of Health and Human Services during the Trump administration and is former opinion editor of National Review Online.

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