Throughout the summer, Democrats in several swaths of Wisconsin have been canvassing, phonebanking, and organizing around the six Senate candidates the party is fielding in Wisconsin’s long anticipated recall election.
As most readers are aware, back in the spring, when Republicans were ramming anti-union legislation through Wisconsin’s statehouse, Democratic activists began collecting signatures to initiate recalls against several Republican senators who voted for the anti-union bill. They successfully gathered enough signatures to force six of the incumbent Senate Republicans to stand before voters at the same time.
Because Republicans have only a narrow majority in the state Senate, a loss of only three seats would cause the chamber to flip to the Democrats.
Two of the Republican incumbents, Dan Kapanke and Randy Hopper, have already fallen to their Democratic challengers. Three other Republican incumbents — Luther Olsen, Sheila Harsdorf, and Robert Cowles — have survived.
One race is still too close to call: the contest between Republican Alberta Darling and Democrat Sandy Pasch. Pasch has held a narrow lead for most of the evening, but Darling took the lead when several heavily Republican precincts from Waukesha County reported in. Here is how the race currently stands:
Sandy Pasch (D): 48% (27,766 votes)
Alberta Darling (R): 52% (30,394 votes)
We Are Wisconsin, a progressive coalition that had been working to unseat the six Republican incumbents, says this evening that its organizers and volunteers knocked on 92,332 doors today alone. That’s an impressive feat.
UPDATE, 9:33 PM: Democratic State Party chair Mike Tate has just issued a press release blasting the Republican who controls the Waukesha County clerk’s office and accusing her of tampering with the results. Here’s his statement:
The race to determine control of the Wisconsin Senate has fallen in the hands of the Waukesha County clerk, who has already distinguished herself as incompetent, if not worse. She is once more tampering with the results of a consequential election and in the next hours we will determine our next course of action. For now, Wisconsin should know that a dark cloud hangs over these important results.
UPDATE, 9:41 PM: Jessica Arp of WISC-TV claims that the final numbers for Milwaukee County are in, and Sandy Pasch didn’t make up enough ground to surpass Alberta Darling. If so, it looks like Darling survived.