Recall Day in Wisconsin

posted at 8:45 am on August 9, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Wisconsin voters go to the polls today in several state-Senate districts in today’s recall elections.  They’re having to tramp to the polls in the dog days of summer because the unions wanted to refight the midterm elections all over again — and to set up the 2012 elections as well, Politico notes:

The results of the state Senate match-ups will have a significant impact in Madison: If Democrats can pick off at least three of the six seats, they can capture control of the state’s upper chamber, placing a formidable obstacle in GOP Gov. Scott Walker’s path. A successful night would enable them to point to their victories as unequivocal repudiation of the governor’s ambitious conservative agenda and also create momentum for the next step—an attempted 2012 recall of Walker.

Yet the ripples from Tuesday’s election will reach well beyond Wisconsin’s borders. Successfully recalling even half of the six senators who voted with Walker would invigorate the liberal base both within the key battleground state and outside it just as the 2012 presidential campaign begins to heat up. It would also send a powerful message to Republicans about the risks of a head-on confrontation with labor. For the GOP, a successful defense of the seats would serve as a validation of their bold statehouse agenda in the aftermath of the 2010 elections.

While it was backlash from Walker’s successful attempt to curtail collective bargaining rights for public employees that forced the GOP state legislators onto the ballot in the dog days of August, that legislation is no longer the single flashpoint here. National interest groups on both sides of the ideological divide are using Wisconsin as a test case for issues ranging from taxes and spending to the looming entitlement crisis.

Strange things can happen in special elections.  Generally speaking, the victory usually goes to the side with the largest organization, although as the election between David Prosser and Joann Kloppenburg proved in April, that’s not always the case.  Unions have that advantage, and while the debate focused solely on the bargaining-rights reform for PEUs, they had the passion and the momentum, too.

Having the terms of the election broadened doesn’t do Democrats or unions much good.  The fight today now mainly reflects the same debate Wisconsin voters had just before they booted Democrats from control of the state government.  Its prior focus on the supposedly radical nature of the new Governor left Democrats vulnerable to stories about his success, such as last night’s news about the millions of dollars Scott Walker’s law will save Milwaukee.  Nationalizing the election will have voters looking at the performance of Democrats in Washington on the economy, especially the downgrade of US Treasuries by S&P and the contrast in direction taken by Republicans in Madison toward fiscal sanity and responsibility.

That may be why Democrats have, er, downgraded their expectations for today, via Kevin Binversie:

Democrats on the ground here are increasingly confident they will pick-up two state Senate seats, but are warning that winning the third necessary for a takeover is a tenuous prospect.

Despite hype from some in the party apparatus about a “six for six” sweep Tuesday, the more realistic scenario is winning two or three seats, according to those involved in the ground game. …

“While we have solid research suggesting there are races where we might secure a second and third potential pick-up, none of these of these races except 32 should be considered safe pick-ups (and even there we face challenges to get the ball over the goal line), and we are dealing with an unprecedented electorate that is very difficult to forecast,” she continues.

District 32 is Democratic-leaning already, which makes current the Republican officeholder, Dan Kapanke, an easy target — but Kapanke isn’t going away quietly.  His team has been organizing for months to protect his seat, and given the shift in focus, might be able to remind his constituents why they put him in office in the first place.

That is what Republicans across the state need to do today.  They need to organize, turn out, and ask their neighbors if they prefer leadership that produced the best budget in 15 years and millions of dollars in public savings to the kind of leadership that produces downgrades and massive deficits.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

That is what Republicans across the state need to do today. They need to organize, turn out, and ask their neighbors if they prefer leadership that produced the best budget in 15 years and millions of dollars in public savings to the kind of leadership that produces downgrades and massive deficits.

Let’s hope they show up. It would set a very bad precedent for 2012 if the Dems retook the Wisconsin Senate based on nothing but demagoguery and millions in forced contributions from union coffers. Because that’s gonna be the national gameplan for the Democrat Party next year.

Doughboy on August 9, 2011 at 8:49 AM

Hold the line, Wisconsin. I’m praying for you.

stefanite on August 9, 2011 at 8:50 AM

Don’t screw this up Wisconsin.

gophergirl on August 9, 2011 at 8:51 AM

Good timing, public sector leeches, you managed to have a recall election built on getting your expensive perks back at the exact time that the nation just got a massive credit wallop because of overspending.

Don’t worry though, if the night doesn’t go your way you can always beat the crap out of some innocent passerby, burn down a building or two, vandalize the state house, and take a crap on Scott Walker’s front lawn. That will show ‘em!

Bishop on August 9, 2011 at 8:52 AM

I hope all that union money they spent on campaign ads will end up going right down the toilet. We saw them in Minneapolis as they tried to reach Western Wisconsin. They must have spent a fortune on the Moore campaign. That’s the one we saw.

RBMN on August 9, 2011 at 8:53 AM

Any law that is abused should be repealed and/or tightened up to prevent it from happening again.

I hope it’s a lovely day for the Republicans to get out and THANK the legislature for saving their state! :)

golfmann on August 9, 2011 at 8:53 AM

This one should be pretty straight forward.

Do you want to succeed, or try to go back to the old collusion and looting that nearly caused the state and local municipalities to go bankrupt?

forest on August 9, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Looking forward to seeing Wisconsin hold and tuning into Special Ed Shultz tonight. Last night under the outdoor nighttime lighting he looked like he had pancake make-up on and pink lipstick. What a sight.

Marcus on August 9, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Wondering if all the bad economic news will depress Dem turnout?

artist on August 9, 2011 at 8:59 AM

God help us ! I will pray all day for 6 victories today in Wisconsin !

stenwin77 on August 9, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Good luck republicans!

tinkerthinker on August 9, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Even if they pick 3 today, we have a chance to get Holperin’s seat next Tue.

artist on August 9, 2011 at 9:01 AM

“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”
- Vince Lombardi

Stay strong, Wisconsin.

Greek Fire on August 9, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Ok. Let’s say the Dems win three seats. There are three recalls in Senate seats held by Dems coming up soon. The incentive for conservatives to defeat one of those Dems will be tremendous. Is there a chance of victory in one of those elections?

thuja on August 9, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Maybe Wisconsitonianitians will vote to sell their state to Liberia. If you’ve ever been to Wisconsin you would realize that the place wouldn’t be missed.

Bishop on August 9, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Good luck R’s. Please get as many people of like mind to go vote with you. Please don’t let the union thugs win this!
L

letget on August 9, 2011 at 9:12 AM

We should pray for bad weather…dems are fair-weather voters.

jbh45 on August 9, 2011 at 9:12 AM

Well, we all thought we were going to get slaughtered in the supreme court election there and look how that turned out. Voters in Wisconsin may not be quite as crazy as the average union goon after all.

dczombie on August 9, 2011 at 9:13 AM

From beautiful Fish Creek, Wi, right now…..it is crickets chirping. Not a word about this here in the past few weeks. Here is hoping that the districts involved are really hopping.

herm2416 on August 9, 2011 at 9:14 AM

It’s a shame the WI-GOP couldn’t push this election back to September, when the retarded WI union teachers were back to work and would have had to sacrifice to get to the polls.

That would have been more fun.

Jaibones on August 9, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Where’s Steve Egg?

lowandslow on August 9, 2011 at 9:17 AM

Where’s Steve Egg?

lowandslow on August 9, 2011 at 9:17 AM

Hopefully monitoring a polling station.

forest on August 9, 2011 at 9:19 AM

C’mon Wisconsin… Hold on!

Fallon on August 9, 2011 at 9:20 AM

I said it yesterday and I will say it again. Events moved so quickly that this is a sideshow and I can give a rats behind about the opinions of Politico.

rob verdi on August 9, 2011 at 9:22 AM

I coerced my dh into voting early last week, so our votes are in. I’m tempted to go hang out at my local polling location anyway – it’s where ballots were shredded in the Prosser/Klopper election (apparently 1 person’s ballot was shredded because he was trying to “same day” register and didn’t have proof he actually lived here).

There’s a troll in the JS comments sections reminding everyone to get out and vote and don’t show ID.

Also the scandals are amazing:
Pasch (D) sits on the board of a PAC that is running ads for her. A (D) PAC took people to vote and then gave them tickets to a picnic after they voted (with help).
An (R) Pac incented their volunteers if they signed up enough voters (note: not illegal).
A (D) PAC gave out absentee ballots with the Democratic Party as the return address (that must have been applications – because no one is allowed to have ballots).

And the rumors, oh the rumors…. did you know that Wisconsin Assembly members and Senators can veto federal medicaid? According to the D’s they can. Oh my! There are several rumors about candidates marriages, sex lives and more.

Where I live, there’s a current of support for our Senator that runs deep. The anti-senator folks are loud and in your face, but the supporters are talking quietly. The mix of signs is still 60/40 “for”.

Our school is underfunded (it gets just 63% of what Milwaukee schools get) yet the support for Walker is there.

Daisy_WI on August 9, 2011 at 9:27 AM

ALT: Wisconsin Decides Whether or Not to Commit Suicide

mankai on August 9, 2011 at 9:27 AM

Where’s Steve Egg?

lowandslow on August 9, 2011 at 9:17 AM
Hopefully monitoring a polling station.

forest on August 9, 2011 at 9:19 AM

I hope he’s dressed like a New Black Panther, that way the Justice Department won’t bother him.

Khun Joe on August 9, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Praying for you Wisconsin. I hope the Republicans win today.

I have been trying to get my family to see the light about unions but I haven’t seen any indication that they have changed their pro-union stance. If the Dems pick up 3-4 seats and overturn the bill ending collective bargaining they will see an ugly light- teacher cuts, higher taxes, and unions out in the open bullying elected officials and the public.

journeyintothewhirlwind on August 9, 2011 at 9:42 AM

A shutout would be ideal…

right2bright on August 9, 2011 at 9:46 AM

After the Prosser loss, I can’t even imagine the shenanigans the democrats will be pulling at the polling place today. Remember, it isn’t who votes, it’s who counts the votes. I hope the GOP have aggressive poll watchers at every single polling place, or they’ll lose.

Rational Thought on August 9, 2011 at 9:51 AM

Remember, it isn’t who votes, it’s who counts the votes.

To be fair though it’s also who bullies, threatens, intimidates and assaults near the voting centers that matter too, and the leftist union trash have that down to a science.

Bishop on August 9, 2011 at 9:56 AM

“On Wisconsin!” Hope it’s a 6-0 shutout and the recall fails big time – except for next week when the Dem ‘out-of-towners’ get recalled instead. Channel surfing this A.M. and saw no comments on MSNBC (the 24/7 Obama news network) about this. My guess is that they don’t think the recall will succeed and are keeping mum rather than rooting for the Dems. Obama’s ‘stellar’ performance yesterday afternoon and the race riots at the Wisconsin state fair (not mentioned outside of Wisconsin) may give sensible folks in Wisconsin a reason to re-affirm their decisions to keep these Pubbies in. Good luck; say no to union thuggery.

Bob in VA on August 9, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Even if the Dims win back the senate they cannot over turn anything. Walker is still gov and the gop still has the house.

angryed on August 9, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Be the Honey Badger state! Tell the unions you don’t give a s**t!

SouthernGent on August 9, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Even if the Dims win back the senate they cannot over turn anything. Walker is still gov and the gop still has the house.

angryed on August 9, 2011 at 10:01 AM

True. Unfortunately they are going after Walker for recall also.

sandee on August 9, 2011 at 10:09 AM

All I can say is that if Wisconsin goes through with this recall thing, then the Cheeseheads up there have swiss cheese for brains!

I’m trying to remember, but I don’t seem to recall any Republican state reps fleeing back in February to the Fun and Sun Capital of America, McHenry County, Il (Where the slogan is “Come To The Farm, Where The Cows All Go Moo-Moo! Just Make Sure Not To Step, In The Cow…..well, you know.”) so as to escape voting on a bill that has since proved to be rather successful as far as saving the state needed cash. But I sure remember about 13 gutless wonder DEMOCRATS making this pilgrimage of sorts.

I’m just hoping the Republicans up there reminded voters of this on a daily basis. And I am also hoping this recall vote thing is a dismal failure for the Democrats!

pilamaye on August 9, 2011 at 10:15 AM

fingers crossed!

jimver on August 9, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Well, for good or bad, we’ll know the results this evening. No, wait, it’s an election, so we’ll know the results in 4 to 6 weeks after all of the recounts, found ballots, lawsuits and demonstrations from the Democrats with public condemnations and unprovable charges of fraud and collusion…THEN we’ll have the results. Which the Dems will want the Supreme Court to overturn, if they lose.

Still…it’s Democracy!

Texan on August 9, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Praying for vindication for Walker, his supporters and their policies.

paul1149 on August 9, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Why aren’t those fleabaggers defending their cowardice today?

“On Wisconsin!” Show the nation how badgers deal with adversary.

eyesky on August 9, 2011 at 10:33 AM

adversity. Doh!

eyesky on August 9, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Hopefully at the end of the day we’ll be beholding the power of Cheese! Go Wisconsin!

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on August 9, 2011 at 10:38 AM

I have negative feelings about today. It’s Tisha B’Av, a day of mourning for past disasters for the Jews. America has been so good for the Jews. Bad election results here will start a trend that accelerates America’s decline. Perhaps this is silly and superstitious on my behalf, but I am worried.

thuja on August 9, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Everyone with a 401k…whether they be Republican, Democrat, or what ever…look at your finances. That might help you with your vote.

Keep Dems, and that number now, will fall lower or be confiscated for your own good.

capejasmine on August 9, 2011 at 11:19 AM

I hope WI does the right thing and stay red. Most of the districts are in blue areas. I’m glad they got the voter id through. Hopefully it will make it harder for the dead to vote. I wish I could be there to help out. I do have family up there that is helping. I know my mom went and voted today for the republican in her district. I am hoping for good news up in our state today.

Brat4life on August 9, 2011 at 11:43 AM

It’s a shame the WI-GOP couldn’t push this election back to September, when the retarded WI union teachers were back to work and would have had to sacrifice to get to the polls.

That would have been more fun.

Jaibones on August 9, 2011 at 9:16 AM

No it’s a good thing it’s now. Both Hopper’s and Harsdorf’s districts contain two UW’s. It’s a good thing most students are gone around now.

On the other hand, many students who would usually be in Madison or out of state are back in their district currently.

Bro with the Sick Flow on August 9, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Choice for Badgers: Do you want to stay the course with Walker et al. or do you want a downgrade to something like what Britain is enjoying now?

BuckeyeSam on August 9, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Republicans need to turn out today if they are serious about changing their state and their nation.

Adjoran on August 9, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Democrats will probably be participating in flash mobs committing larceny and mayhem.

Adjoran on August 9, 2011 at 2:24 PM

God help us ! I will pray all day for 6 victories today in Wisconsin !

stenwin77 on August 9, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Repeat, And two victories next week!

PrettyD_Vicious on August 9, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Unfortunately they are going after Walker for recall also.

sandee on August 9, 2011 at 10:09 AM

True, but if this fizzles out, I seriously doubt the unionistas will cough up the money for a statewide recall of Scott Walker. It will be needed to try to save President Downgrade’s job next year.

pdigaudio on August 9, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Republicans winning today could prove the 40% approval ratings for President MIA are overrated.

HellCat on August 9, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Bishop on August 9, 2011 at 8:52 AM

Hah, like they needed someone to recommend that.

hawkdriver on August 9, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Sorry about the silence, but cell service has not come to the Boundary Waters just yet. Unfortunately, neither have the walleye, though the smallmouths are fighting fierce.

I can attest that Kapanke is not going quietly. On my way home from there today, I heard a Kapanke ad reminding the voters what the Republican majority has accomplished…on an Eau Claire radio station. That is significant because Eau Claire is about 90 miles north of La Crosse and about 60 miles north of the northern-most part of his district.

Steve Eggleston on August 9, 2011 at 7:35 PM