Wisconsin Recall: What Results Mean


The results of the Wisconsin Recall Elections that targeted six incumbent Republican State Senators should not be misconstrued by spin artists, who may now suggest that Gov. Scott Walker is off the hook. Instead, the outcome means Walker is in trouble.

Since all six of the State Senate Districts up for grabs on Tues. Aug. 9 were held by incumbent Republicans, some of whom had been in office a long time, any flip was a success for Democrats.

In two districts, each with college towns, the Democrats were in fact able to throw the Republicans out. In Western Wisconsin, where every town along the Mississippi River from La Crosse to Prairie du Chien was named by French explorers, the 32nd District, home of the Univ. of Wisconsin-La Crosse, was lost by an incumbent Republican to an Assemblywoman from La Crosse.

In East-Central Wisconsin, where the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh is located (18th), the Deputy Mayor of Oshkosh, also a female, beat another incumbent Republican Senator.

While Republicans kept four seats, two were maintained by slim margins. They easily won a rural area, west of Green Bay (2nd), and the easternmost part of suburban Minneapolis-St. Paul (10th). In suburban Milwaukee (8th), however, normally a safe seat for Republicans, Democrats couldn’t overcome the demographics, but got close with 46%. In a rural central part of the state (14th), where Democrats have not won since Grover Cleveland was President, the Republican barely held onto his job, with only 52%.

Republican victories in the 2nd, 8th, 10th and 14th were not surprising, since Democrats are a much smaller minority in those places, and help was needed from a large number of independents. The fact that the Republicans received only 54% in the 8th, and just 52% of the vote in the 14th, means they barely kept control.

One must remember Milwaukee, Madison, and other heavily Democratic areas, were not at all involved in these recall elections. If the results this week in Wisconsin mean anything, they spell trouble for Walker, if he is forced to go through a recall next year. He may likely end up serving only ¼ his 4-year term.

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