June 6, 2012

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So I looked at the exit polling data, and a substantial number of Wisconsinites (60 percent, according to MSNBC) seem to have voted for Walker because they thought this recall election was an abuse of the recall process. That they thought recalls should only be used for "high crimes and misdemeanors", not political differences. (You know, like the pending indictments in the John Doe investigation?)

And of course the lesson Democrats will take from this election is that they need to act more like Republicans.

The tentative silver lining in this is that the Dems seem to have won one of the four state senate races, giving them a razor-thin edge in controlling the senate - and thus, depriving Scott Walker of his previous rubber stamp:

RACINE — In a crucial election that swings control of the state Senate to the Democrats, Racine County appeared to have ousted current state Sen. Van Wanggaard Tuesday.

Former state Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine led state incumbent Republican Sen. Van Wanggaard, with 36,255 votes to Wanggaard's 35,476 votes, according to unofficial results with all precincts reporting.

Three Republicans won state Senate races Tuesday in Wisconsin, but with Lehman winning Racine County, the Democrats will take control of the Senate and gain the 17-16 majority.

Lehman declared victory shortly before 1 a.m.

“First of all, this victory is solely dedicated to all the hardworking volunteers who have put us over the top tonight," he stated in a news release. "Tonight, the citizens of Racine County voted for checks and balances in our state legislature. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the state senate.”

Around 12:50 a.m., Justin Phillips, Wanggaard’s campaign manager, released a statement saying, “We owe it to all of Senator Wanggaard’s supporters and the voters of Wisconsin to thoroughly examine the election and its results and act accordingly once we have all of the information.”

Some of the delay came from absentee ballots. More than an hour after polls had closed in Racine, and as late as 11:30 p.m. in Mount Pleasant, election workers were still entering stacks of absentee ballots.

But (you knew there was a "but") their regular legislative session has already ended for the year:

Though taking control of the Senate is a huge moral victory for the Democrats, they won't be able to do much with it, at least for a while. The Legislature isn't scheduled to convene again until January, and Democrats will have to defend their majority in November's elections.

But Democrats will be able to block any Republican legislation should Walker call for a special session of the Legislature. And if the Democrats maintain their majority, it would make life politically difficult for Walker for the first time; his fellow Republicans have controlled both the state Assembly and Senate since he took office in January 2011.

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