Total votes cast: 1,479,976. Which means, assuming it holds up after the inevitable recount, the final margin would be … 50.0068% to 49.9931%. After spending six hours last night watching the tally see-saw on the AP’s election page, I’m actually surprised that we didn’t end up in a dead heat.

Possession is, as they say, nine-tenths of the law, so Kloppenburg’s declaring the state supreme court hers:

In a statement, Kloppenburg said:

“We owe Justice Prosser our gratitude for his more than 30 years of public service. Wisconsin voters have spoken and I am grateful for, and humbled by, their confidence and trust. I will be independent and impartial and I will decide cases based on the facts and the law. As I have traveled the State, people tell me they believe partisan politics do not belong in our Courts. I look forward to bringing new blood to the Supreme Court and focusing my energy on the important work Wisconsin residents elect Supreme Court justices to do.”

Partisans on both sides spent the last few hours today waiting for one last precinct in Prosser-friendly Jefferson County waiting to come in. But according to the Journal-Sentinel, even if that had broken overwhelmingly for him, the votes just weren’t there. Because the margin’s so narrow, the AP’s going to recheck its own totals county by county and post the final number today, so this might yet change — but barring a fairly significant error, probably not by enough.

Three bits of good news here. One: It was much closer than any of us thought it would be. I fully expected a four- or five-point Kloppenburg win given the left’s outrageously outrageous outrage over the collective bargaining law. A good omen for next year’s turnout. Two: As Kloppenburg’s own campaign acknowledges, because she won’t be sworn in until August, she probably won’t have a chance to rule on the collective bargaining law. She’ll be a stalwart hack for the left in opposing every other element of Walker’s agenda, needless to say, but on the key piece of legislation at stake, she’s likely arrived too late to do anything about it. And three: There is, I suppose, a chance of Prosser winning the recount, but after Norm Coleman and Joe Miller, how lucky do you feel?

It pains me to do it, but I think it’s time for a cameo from you-know who. Exit question: Should the Republican senate re-pass the collective bargaining bill — just to be on the safe side?