Today’s the day six Republican state senators in my home state of Wisconsin face recall votes. Past is prologue, so here’s how they did in the 2008 elections, last time they were up:
SD 2 – Cowles: Unopposed
SD 8 – Darling: 51%
SD 10: Harsdorf: 56%
SD 14: Olsen: Unopposed
SD 18: Hopper: 50%
SD 32: Kapanke: 51%
This record suggests that if the Democrats are going to pick up the three seats they need, it’ll most likely be Hopper, Kapanke, and Darling that will need to go down to defeat. People in Wisconsin seem to think that Kapanke, especially, is toast – and polls seem to back this up. The current conventional wisdom is that Olsen, who represents a district that includes Ripon, where the Republican Party was founded in 1854, is also vulnerable.
Massive, shocking sums of money have been spent by outside groups in these races, but since this spending has occurred on all sides, the usual presumptions about a district’s past history being the best guide are likely to apply.