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.

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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.

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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.

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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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