The Fox News Decision Desk can now project that Republican Senator Ron Johnson will defeat Democratic Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes.Johnson has represented Wisconsin since 2011. With this win, he will serve a third term.
Johnson, one of the most vulnerable Senate incumbents up for re-election this cycle, was first elected to his seat in 2010 when he defeated Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold.
Johnson has blasted his Democratic opponent for his stances on criminal justice reform that he says have contributed to a spike in crime in Wisconsin.
Barnes served as a state lawmaker from 2013 to 2019 when he became the Badger State’s first Black lieutenant governor.
While Barnes has denied ever supporting the defund the police movement, Johnson claimed throughout the campaign that Barnes’ previous support of “reallocating” resources for law enforcement showed otherwise.
Barnes has focused much of his campaign on abortion, a major issue among Democratic voters in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
Johnson called Barnes’s stance on abortion “extreme” for pledging in a recent debate to codify Roe v. Wade if elected, and accused him of wanting to allow abortion “up to the moment of birth.”
The Democratic lieutenant governor has also slammed Johnson for suggesting that Social Security and Medicare be included in non-mandatory spending approved by Congress, warning voters that these programs will be on the chopping block if Johnson is re-elected.
Early on in the campaign, Johnson’s seat was identified as a potential pick-up opportunity for Democrats, and has been one of the most hotly contested races all cycle with polls showing a near-tie in the final weeks of the campaign.