Updated Apr 14, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate wins despite Trump endorsing opponent

A Wisconsin voting facility.

A Wisconsin voting facility. Photo: Andy Manis/Getty Images

Liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Jill Karofsky won a closely watched race Monday almost a week after the state's voting day.

Why it matters: Karofsky's opponent, incumbent Justice Dan Kelly, had been endorsed by President Trump. The president tweeted on the day of the vote for voters to turn out to the polls in Kelly's favor.

  • Karofsky was originally favored to win given that the state's election was largely focused on the Democratic presidential primaries. But Trump's endorsement upped the stakes.

The big picture: Earlier, former Vice President Joe Biden won the Wisconsin Democratic primary.

Between the lines: Biden is now the only candidate left in the race after Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out last week. But Sanders had encouraged voters to continue to vote for him in the remaining contests so his delegates can influence the party's 2020 platform at the convention.

  • Sanders endorsed Biden on Monday, stating, "We have to make Trump a one-term president and we need [Biden] in the White House."

The backdrop: Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers had attempted to delay the state's election in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 in polling places. But the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned his order and said the election must be held as originally scheduled.

  • The move forced voters to choose between social distancing and going to the polls, drawing a national backlash.

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