Posts tagged Wisconsin Senate
A revolt against the 2010 elections has begun.
The Wisconsin recall elections rocked the nation yesterday. Well, six of them. One other occurred weeks ago (the Democrat won), two more pro-forma Democratic recalls will be held next week. But the ones that could have changed the balance of power in the Wisconsin State Senate were held yesterday.
It was a historic moment. Never before in American history have six recall elections been mandated at the same time. This, by itself, is an indication of how unhappy voters are now with the results of the 2010 elections. In the last century, there have been only 20 recall elections for state legislators, total. Until now. Suddenly, there are nine more, in a single state — Wisconsin. (more…)
This is where we are live blogging the results of today’s Wisconsin recall elections. Results and high level commentary appear here, but we’ll all join in the comments below as well.
It’s on. This is the real thing.
The eyes of the nation turn to Wisconsin today. The recall elections can be seen as a presage of next year’s national contests. They are a referendum on the Republican governance not only of states, but in the House of Representatives. They are a test of the new politics under the Citizens United decision. They are a battle between the muscle of the Tea Party and the idealism of the New Deal, between conservative ideology and what’s left of labor unions in America. Turnout will be the key, so it is a contest too between the enthusiasm of the right from 2010, and that of the newly reënergized left.
If Democrats win three out of these six contests, they will gain control of the Wisconsin state senate.
Tomorrow, Wisconsin voters in a few selected State Senate districts will head to the polls yet again, this time to vote in the first round of actual recall elections, which may tip the balance in favor of the Democrats in the State Senate. Two Senate Democrats will face their recall elections on August 16.
The Wisconsin State Senate is currently controlled by Republicans, who have a 19–14 advantage. If the Democrats can manage to replace three Republicans, this will flip to a 17–16 Democratic majority. Two of the races appear to be walkaways for the Democrats (see below), so the Democrats would only need to take one of the remaining four races, all of which are competitive.
Both Democrats and Republicans agree: turnout will be critical. Since a midyear recall election of this magnitude with $18 million in campaign spending is a first for any state, no one can honestly predict what will happen.
Spending, especially by outside groups, has been phenomenal — on just eight Senate seats, the spending has been about five times the total amount spent on all the state Senate and Assembly races last year.
The Rothenberg Political Report has a well-written and succinct rundown of the races, and Chris Bowers of the Daily Kos has polling numbers. If you prefer your news from the right side of the aisle, the Weekly Standard’s political blog also has a synopsis of the races. Reading between the lines, it seems to me that the Democrats are guardedly optimistic and the Republicans are freaked out.
After the jump, I’ve given a brief rundown of each race, ordering them from the most– to least-likely to flip Democratic, based on polling data and news reports.
For those keeping track at home, the score so far, in the six fake Wisconsin primaries (in which Republicans ran faux Democrats) and the one actual recall election: Democrats 7, Republicans 0. All seven of those Democratic wins were blowouts.
I’d think any sane analyst would have expected them to be blowouts. But it would have been a bad sign for the Democrats’ chances in 2012 if they had not been.
These recall elections are a test vote on how Republicans are doing since taking over the House of Representatives, several state legislatures, and a number of Governorships in 2010. The policies of Republicans, both in the States and nationally, have been extremely conservative, and have been closely coördinated at both the federal and local levels. The politics of this year and next are turning into a referendum on how well Republicans are doing.
This reveals a failure of messaging on the part of Republicans, who wanted the 2012 elections to be a referendum on President Obama, and who were certain they could spin the President’s record as something distasteful to the voting public. The combination of extremist policies on the part of Republicans, and the even-handed calm response of the President, seems, however, to be defeating this strategy. (more…)
One of the most amazing political sagas in recent memory is playing out in Wisconsin. Here are a few of the highlights — the full story would fill a novel. And a great novel it would be. Now, I’m a science fiction and fantasy writer, but I wouldn’t touch something like this. It’s too unbelievable for the my own preferred genres.
Newly-elected Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker pushed a serious union-busting measure through the state legislature earlier this year, resulting in massive protests at the state capital, protests which were echoed in other places around the country.
Governor Walker used a projected deficit in the state budget as an excuse for these measures. We know the state budget was really just an excuse, and the real goal was to bust the unions, because the unions agreed to the cost saving measures. Walker still insisted on the measures that would nearly dismantle the unions, and remove nearly all collective bargaining rights for most state workers. (more…)