At a time when the Surgeon General is warning that this week could be the nation’s most dangerous to date — comparing the scale of the potential loss to Pearl Harbor and 9/11 — Wisconsin is on the verge of becoming the only state in April that failed to find a way to delay voting. The Democratic governor made a last-ditch plea to close the polls. The GOP-led legislature and Wisconsin Supreme Court shut him down.

It’s a civic catastrophe that never should have happened. But it’s also the culmination of a decade of total political war waged across one of the nation’s most competitive states — a Midwestern battleground poised to play an oversized role in the presidential election in November.

“I’ve been here 10 years watching this. I am surprised that I’m surprised,” former Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate said of the politics he believes pushed the election forward amid a pandemic. “If anybody thinks that if we were under Gov. Walker that this court would have ruled the same way that they have today has not been paying attention to what’s been going on in this state for the last decade.”