The Blog

The Month of Recallmania Begins in Wisconsin

1:03 PM, Jul 12, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

District 10, Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R) (Bush 51%, McCain 48%, Walker 58%, Prosser 49%, Harsdorf 2008 = 56.4%,). Harsdorf's district is located in the far northwest bulge of the state. It is reasonably Republican, but swung heavily against Prosser, who barely ran ahead of McCain in the district. [...] Still, she won handily in the bad Republican year of 2008, suggesting that she may have a reservoir of goodwill to draw upon, and the district is generally a bit more Republican than the rest of the state. She will be a formidable opponent.

So it's entirely possible that Republicans could lose three seats--and control of the Senate--on August 9. But they could come back and win a Democratic seat on August 16 to regain control the senate. Here's Trende's on of the GOP's top target, Jim Holperin:  

District 12, Sen. Jim Holperin (D) (Bush 53%, McCain 46%, Walker 57%, Prosser 55%, Holperin 2008 = 51%). This district is the inverse of the 32nd. Jim Holperin narrowly won in the big Democratic year of 2008, and occupies a northeastern district that gave Prosser virtually identical numbers to Scott Walker.

What happens if Democrats take control of the state senate? Wisconsin will likely face legislative gridlock, much as we've seen in Washington, D.C. following the GOP capture of the House of Representatives. But Governor Scott Walker's collective bargaining reform won't go anywhere.

So, in terms of keeping the law on the books, the judicial election this spring was much more important than the senate recall elections. But a takeover of the senate would be very significant. It would certainly embolden Democrats and unions. It would make a run for governor more appealing to Russ Feingold, the Democratic party's strongest candidate.

The earliest Walker may face a recall is this coming January, a year after he took office and six months after his collective bargaining reform took effect and began to yield positive and relatively painless results for Wisconsin taxpayers and school districts.

Recent Blog Posts