Posts tagged Wisconsin Senate

The Rebellion Begins

A revolt against the 2010 elec­tions has begun.

Jennifer Shilling

Jen­nifer Shilling

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…)

Wisconsin August 9 Recall Liveblog

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.


Can Wisconsin Recall?

It’s on. This is the real thing.

Great Seal of the state of Wisconsin

Image via Wikipedia

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.


Wisconsin Recall Election August 9

State Sen­a­tor Dan Kapanke (WI-​​32)

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.

State Sen­a­tor and Man-​​About-​​Town Randy Hop­per (WI-​​18)

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.


As Wisconsin, So the Nation

Insane Clown Posse

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…)

Wisconsin Recall — Stranger Than Fiction

Wis­con­sin Gov. Scott Walker

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…)

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