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:
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.
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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.