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.

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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