The 2018 State Elections

10 Key Questions for Candidates

August 2018


On November 6, voters will select Wisconsin’s governor, all 99 members of the state Assembly, and 17 of the 33 members of the state Senate. When they take office in January, they will face pressing issues ranging from a looming worker shortage to pressures on state, local, and school finances. Drawing on our recent research, we provide a guide to these topics to help voters make informed decisions.

With the primary elections completed, Wisconsin voters have narrowed the field of candidates for critical state offices. Now, as the 2018 election season hits the home stretch, voters will be bombarded with even more information from interest groups and candidates.

In the following pages, to help voters sort through the noise, we have identified 10 questions that candidates should be addressing regarding six key issues facing the state: transportation, economy and workforce, education, state-local relations, taxes, and Wisconsin’s fiscal health. These questions emanate from recent research we have conducted on these topics.

To help inform the discussion, we provide background data from our research. Some of these issues may seem complex, but they have important consequences, whether it is the condition of the streets and highways on which Wisconsin residents drive or the condition of the state’s finances.

We hope readers will consult our guide as they consider their choices. We will continue to track and report on these issues in the future, particularly if new developments occur prior to November.