“The new documentary “Dress Rehearsal” chronicles the Dems’ surprise victory in the swing state of Wisconsin—thanks to an unprecedented get-out-the-vote effort amid the pandemic”

The Daily Beast has this story about a 17-minute documentary which was to have appeared at the Democratic Convention in WI, about the tremendous turnout Democrats had in WI’s April 7th primary. I quoted the subtitle to the story, because I think it tells readers more. This primary, to remind you, was held when the Republican legislature and the state courts refused to permit the Democratic Governor to postpone it.

If Joe Biden wins the election, WI’s decision to insist on holding this primary on April 7th will be, in my view, one of the major, unappreciated turning points that led to Biden’s victory. I hope to explain that view at some point. Here is an excerpt from the story:

Democrats’ efforts in Wisconsin produced a massive turnout for a down-ballot contest and a shocking upset this past April 7 in the State Supreme Court race in which the liberal challenger, Circuit Court Judge Jill Karofsky, beat the conservative favorite, Trump-endorsed incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly, in a crushing landslide.

In covering this primary at the time, held at the height of the first phase of the pandemic, the media focused overwhelmingly on pointing out the genuine problems that took place. But the media largely missed the story of how remarkably high participation was, despite these problems, particularly on the Democratic side — despite the efforts of Charles Stewart and I to document that fact and get that point across. Once this documentary airs, perhaps more people will come to recognize how high participation levels were, even for this primary whose existence was uncertain until the very last minute.


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