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Jessica-King
Jessica King

Wisconsin Democrats have recruited a strong candidate to face Republican state Senator Randy Hopper in his upcoming recall election:

Jessica King, who was narrowly defeated in her bid for the 18th Senate seat by Republican Randy Hopper, will make a "special announcement" Wednesday, according to a press release from the Wisconsin Democratic Party.

The announcement will be made at noon April 13 at Beckets in Oshkosh. King is currently deputy major of Oshkosh and a City Council member.

Jessica King is the deputy mayor of Oshkosh, and only lost to Hopper by 163 votes in 2008. Since she previously ran against Hopper, she will start the campaign with higher name ID than she did in 2008. This is an advantage which has propelled many second-time challengers into office.

The organizing that went into the recall petition is another big advantage for King over 2008. Consider:

  • Democrats filed 23,946 recall petition signatures against Randy Hopper, giving them contact info for almost 24,000 strong anti-Hopper voters.
  • In 2008, the total vote count for state Senate in the Hopper-King race was 83,622 (PDF, page 9), putting the win number (50% +1) at 41,812.
  • Turnout in the recall election will be lower than in 2008, which featured a Presidential general election at the top of the ticket. So, the win number is going to be a lot less than 41,812.
  • If turnout in Wisconsin equals 2010 levels, the win number will be roughly 30,300, meaning Wisconsin Democrats have already signed up 79% of the voters they need to win.
  • If turnout in Wisconsin is equal to the recent Supreme Court election, the win number will be more like 20,750, meaning that Wisconsin Democrats have already signed up 115% of what they need to win the election.
Although there are few precedents on which to base such an estimation, it's a solid guess that recall election turnout will be somewhere between that of the Supreme Court contest and the 2010 midterms. As such, Democrats have signed up somewhere between 85% and 110% of the votes they need to win, allowing King to start the campaign on the brink of victory.

It's rare that a candidate can start an election having not only identified enough supporters to win the election, but also possessing the contact information of those supporters. Jessica King has exactly those advantages, and as such starts her rematch against Randy Hopper in a very strong position.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 03:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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