(New York) For obvious reasons, the spectacle of Donald Trump’s arrest monopolized the attention of the American media and public last Tuesday. But, that day, it was not the event that inspired the supporters of the right the greatest fear.

This event took place in Wisconsin, a pivotal state won by Donald Trump in 2016 and by Joe Biden in 2020, with margins of less than 1% of the vote.

So what happened to this beer-, football-, cheese-crazed Midwestern state? A progressive Milwaukee judge, Janet Protasiewicz, eclipsed a conservative Waukesha jurist, Daniel Kelly, by 11 percentage points in an election that swung the Wisconsin Supreme Court majority to the left for the first time in 15 years. .

Only one word can explain such a discrepancy in a state where elections are usually played in a pocket square: abortion.

One of the major issues in this election for a vacant seat on the Supreme Court of Badger State was therefore the future of this law. This would surely be invalidated with the election of Judge Protasiewicz, who made no secret of her support for women’s right to abortion, or maintained following a victory for her rival, who has already likened voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG) to murder.

The response from voters could not be clearer, nor could its consequences.

“Dan Kelly perfectly reflected the views of the Republican Party base,” said Howard Schweber, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. “The problem is that this base does not represent the whole party and is not enough to win statewide elections. This is the problem of the party all over the country. »

A problem that conservative columnists, strategists and commentators readily recognized in the aftermath of the Wisconsin election, the results of which represent yet another example of the mobilizing force of abortion among Democrats since the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

“Republicans better get their stance on abortion clear and align themselves more with voters or face another disappointment in 2024,” the Wall Street Journal editorial page wrote after recalling that the abortion issue had already enabled Democrats to stem a “red tide” in the 2022 midterm elections.

And what is the position of voters on abortion? Nearly two-thirds (64%) believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to a poll released in late February by the Public Religion Research Institute.

“We’re getting killed by independent voters who think we support total bans with no exceptions,” Jon Schweppe, political director of the conservative group American Principles Project, tweeted. “It’s time for everyone to resign and rally behind Lindsey Graham’s bill. »

Translation: Republicans must abandon the goal of imposing a nationwide abortion ban and opt for the South Carolina senator’s “compromise” of banning abortion after 15 weeks, with exceptions , in states where abortion is still legal, such as California, Massachusetts and New York.

“The alternative is the suicide of the pro-life movement. We are a few months away from that,” added Jon Schweppe.

Howard Schweber talks about voters who live in the suburbs of Wisconsin, especially “the white suburbs around Milwaukee.”

“While these places tend to vote Republican regularly, they tend to be much more libertarian on issues like abortion and gay rights. This is a problem for Republican Party candidates in general, not only in Wisconsin, but also throughout the United States,” he explained.

That said, the political scientist does not consider abortion to be the most important issue in last Tuesday’s election in Wisconsin. In his view, it was “gerrymandering,” the old American practice that paved the way for a hyperpartisan redistricting of Badger State electoral districts.

According to Professor Schweber, it is not impossible that new, fairer electoral maps will be adopted in 2024 in the wake of a decision by the Supreme Court of Wisconsin invalidating those adopted by the Republicans.

“And if these new constituencies allow Democrats to win one or both Houses of Parliament and significantly increase the party’s delegation to Congress, that would be huge,” the political scientist said.

And it hasn’t even been discussed yet that the Wisconsin Supreme Court will have to rule on rules or results related to the 2024 presidential election. In 2020, Daniel Kelly represented Donald Trump before the same court. In 2024, he could have sat there in place of Judge Protasiewicz. It won’t be there.

It remains to be seen where Donald Trump will be.