Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) didn't want to call special elections for two Republicans, presumably because the seats were expected to flip to Democrats in the anti-GOP political climate.
Walker was ordered to schedule the elections by Dane County Circuit Court Judge Josann Reynolds, who said the governor had a "plain and positive duty" to hold the elections. Reynolds was appointed to the bench by Walker in 2014.
“To state the obvious, if the plaintiffs have a right to vote for their representatives, they must have an election to do so,” Reynolds said in the decision.
Senate District 1 won't make a measurable difference in the Senate, however, it will narrow the margin of 18 Republicans to 14 Democrats in the Senate. It will further add to the Democratic enthusiasm that has prompted the party to champion a "blue wave"
The district includes parts of Fond du Lac County, which voted for Trump by more than 14 points in 2016.
It is the 43rd seat that Democrats have flipped since Trump took office.