Hours have passed since the polls closed in Wis­con­sin, but even with hun­dreds of thou­sands of votes tal­lied and report­ed, it remains unclear what will hap­pen in the Bad­ger State’s much-watched Supreme Court race.

As of 8:10 PM, the race was extreme­ly close, with incum­bent David Pross­er (who is of the same ide­o­log­i­cal per­sua­sion as Scott Walk­er) hold­ing a slim lead of less than three thou­sand votes. He and his chal­lenger, JoAnne Klop­pen­burg, each have rough­ly half of the votes that have been tab­u­lat­ed so far:

Pross­er: 411,891
Klop­pen­burg: 409,291

The dif­fer­ence is present­ly just 2,600 votes.

Bal­lots have been tab­u­lat­ed in 1,877 of Wis­con­sin’s 3,630 precincts. That means we’re about halfway through the count.

Mean­while, the Mil­wakuee Coun­ty exec­u­tive race has turned into a full-fledged blowout. Demo­c­rat Chris Abele has 61% of the vote with 88% report­ing. He’s unques­tion­ably on his way to vic­to­ry over Repub­li­can Jeff Stone.

(Read­ers who have famil­iar­ized them­selves with Scott Walk­er, the insti­ga­tor of the lat­est cam­paign in the right wing’s war on work­ing fam­i­lies, may recall that he was pre­vi­ous­ly the Mil­wau­kee Coun­ty Exec­u­tive, and used that office as a step­ping­stone to the gov­er­nor’s mansion).

Klop­pen­burg is also com­fort­ably win­ning in Mil­wau­kee Coun­ty. She’s doing even bet­ter in Dane Coun­ty, where the state cap­i­tal of Madi­son is locat­ed. Prosser’s strong­holds appear to be in the north­west­ern part of the state.

UPDATE, 8:26 PM: JoAnne Klop­pen­burg has final­ly tak­en the lead after nar­row­ly trail­ing all night long. We’ll see whether it lasts.

Pross­er: 514,475
Klop­pen­burg: 515,891

JoAn­ne’s lead is just 1,416 votes. It’s very ten­u­ous. Expect to see some trad­ing of the lead over the next hour or so.

UPDATE, 8:47 PM: Well, we’ve seen lead-trad­ing, but at present, Klop­pen­burg is ahead by a few thou­sand votes, and it’s pos­si­ble she could pull this out… but it’ll be close. Very, very close. There are many bal­lots still left to count.

Pross­er: 575,930
Klop­pen­burg: 583,113

(2815/3630 precincts reporting)

UPDATE, 9:21 PM: After a peri­od of what seemed like non­stop updates (new num­bers every minute or less), we’ve final­ly hit a lull. Klop­pen­burg remains in the lead, but only by a slim mar­gin. At one point, she was ahead by tens of thou­sands of votes, but Pross­er has large­ly closed the gap. It is still a tight race.

Pross­er: 674,009
Klop­pen­burg: 677,371

(3285/3630 precincts report­ing, or about 90%)

UPDATE, 10:16 PM: About an hour has gone by since I last updat­ed this post. Prosser’s had the lead for a while. It’s grown, and it’s shrunk. We’re kin­da back to where we were when I start­ed this post in terms of the gap. Obvi­ous­ly, the total num­ber of bal­lots count­ed has gone way up.

Pross­er: 724,859
Klop­pen­burg: 723,175

(3533/3630 precincts report­ing, or about 97%)

WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE, 11:09 AM: It took a long time, but JoAnne Klop­pen­burg final­ly regained the lead late last night. At this point it looks like we’re def­i­nite­ly head­ed for a recount.

Pross­er: 739,043
Klop­pen­burg: 739,379

(3629/3630 precincts report­ing, near­ly 100%)

Klop­pen­burg’s lead is just two hun­dred and thir­ty-five votes.

We’ve pub­lished a map on In Brief, cre­at­ed by the Wis­con­sin State Jour­nal, that shows the coun­ty-by-coun­ty break­down. It clear­ly pin­points the pro­gres­sive and con­ser­v­a­tive areas of the state.

The only precinct left to report, from Jef­fer­son Coun­ty, will like­ly favor Pross­er, the Jour­nal reports. But there are sup­pos­ed­ly absen­tee bal­lots that also must be counted.

This brings back mem­o­ries from 2004 (when we had our own razor-thin and hot­ly dis­put­ed guber­na­to­r­i­al race here in Wash­ing­ton) and 2008 (when Al Franken nar­row­ly tri­umphed over Norm Cole­man in Minnesota).

This cer­tain­ly was an elec­tion for the his­to­ry books.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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One reply on “Wisconsin State Supreme Court race turning out to be a nailbiter: Who will win?”

  1. The unions rights that have been dimin­ished, that every­one and the arti­cles are talk­ing about are for the local gov­ern­ments and school boards to use in bal­anc­ing their bud­gets. With­out this the local gov­ern­ments and school boards are at the mer­cy of the very large state unions. So if you were to read and wait to react you may be able to under­stand why this is happening!

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