Two out of three seats is close, but doesn’t give Democrats control of the state senate. Next up are two more recall elections next Tuesday, this time challenging two Democrats. Using past elections as our guide once again, it looks as if Robert Wirch (SD-22; 2008 vote: 67%) is relatively safe. Jim Holperin (SD-12; 2008 vote: 51%) could be vulnerable, though. Whatever the makeup of the senate after next week, the Republicans will still control all three branches of Wisconsin’s government.
If my unscientific sample of Facebook postings is any indication, some liberals are crying fraud over the results of the Darling race yesterday. This is irresponsible in the absence of concrete proof, especially since the election results overall reflected past voting patterns.
The larger question is, do Democrats and union activists pursue a recall of Walker come January, when he becomes eligible for recall under state law? Some experts, notably UW political scientist Charles Franklin, are predicting a slackening of enthusiasm for such a move now that the senate battle has been lost.
I’m not so sure about that. One could easily make the opposite argument: without a Democratic senate to block him, a Walker recall becomes all the more important. Undoubtedly a recall petition will be filed, and securing the 540,000 signatures necessary to place a recall on the ballot is quite achievable considering the governor’s sinking approval rating (at 37% in a mid-July Badger Poll). Other questions remain, however, chief among them being, who will run against him?