In a battle that will take place in a swing state and has the potential to become one of the most contested races of the midterm elections, incumbent Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin will defend his seat against Democratic Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes.
According to projections made by NBC News on Tuesday night, Johnson cruised to victory in the state’s Republican primary election.
According to NBC’s projections, Barnes was supposed to face a more difficult primary struggle prior to the main Democratic opponents in his race dropping out of the race late last month, clearing the way for him to win the nomination.
As the Democrats strive to maintain their razor-thin majority in the Senate, they have made winning Johnson’s seat a top priority.
The two-term incumbent senator is the only Republican senator seeking reelection in a state that President Joe Biden won in the last election.
Former President Donald Trump is a supporter of the incumbent senator.
In addition, a number of polls reveal that Johnson’s approval ratings are sinking.
Johnson, who is 67 years old, has also been a magnet for criticism from Democrats.
These Democrats assert, among other controversial remarks, that Johnson has spread harmful conspiracy theories regarding the coronavirus and the integrity of the 2020 election.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has already spent money on attack ads targeting Johnson during the primary day.
These ads accuse Johnson of using his position in Congress to benefit himself and wealthy donors at the expense of regular voters.
If Barnes, who is 35 years old, wins the election in November, he will not only be the first Black senator from Wisconsin but also the youngest person to ever serve in the Senate.
He has received the support of well-known political leaders, such as Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), among others.
Barnes has been labelled by Johnson’s campaign as a “career political activist” who is too far to the left for the purple state of Wisconsin, which Trump won in 2016 and only narrowly lost in 2020.
Johnson’s campaign has criticised Barnes as being too far left for the state.
After graduating college, Barnes had a career as a community organiser, and he had a stint in the Wisconsin State Assembly before he was elected lieutenant governor.
And he doesn’t shy away from progressive social issues: His TikTok account, for example, features posts of him calling for the Senate to end the filibuster, codify Roe v. Wade into law, and pass the Equality Act to enact protections for transgender people.
He also calls for the Senate to pass the Equality Act to enact protections for people with disabilities.
Barnes’ campaign, on the other hand, has placed a significant emphasis on economic matters.
He has emphasised the fact that he came from a middle-class family in Milwaukee, and has contrasted this with Johnson’s position as one of the wealthiest senators.
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As the contenders go closer and closer to the general election in November, it is anticipated that more money will flood into the contest.
By the 20th of July, Johnson’s campaign had raised more than $17 million, whereas Barnes had raised only $7 million.
However, Barnes’ campaign reported on the 1st of August that it had raised $1.1 million in just one week, after his Democratic opponents came together to support him.
Compared to Johnson’s campaign, Barnes’ campaign had raised $7 million.
In the meantime, super PACs supporting both candidates are already pouring millions of dollars into the state of Wisconsin.