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With the main event today (and guaranteed overtime next week), SSP Labs - a division of Daily Kos Elections - thought it'd weigh in with a look at the six arenas being played in tonight. (Each map shows the results of the Supreme Court race in April).


Rob Cowles' SD-02 spans five counties, with most of the population centered around the Green Bay suburb of De Pere/Ashwaubenon/Allouez, as well as the Fox Valley town of Kaukauna near Appleton. The district is not particularly friendly to Dems, with Barrett having lost by 16 and Feingold by 19, though Obama did squeak out a 6-point win. However, if there is a silver lining, this district did swing quite a bit towards KloJo by 10...though she still lost by 16. Our candidate, Nancy Nusbaum - the former mayor of De Pere and Brown County Exec - has at least represented 42% of the district before, population-wise, and Brown County casts about 45% of the district's votes.


Alberta "anything but" Darling's SD-08 takes in part of Milwaukee County before heading out into the "Circle", which generally has the ability to outpower whatever lean MKE provides in our direction. This district is really quite the study in contrasts but leans Republican generally - both Feingold and Barrett lost here, and Obama only won by truly maxing out the MKE portion. The lack of turnout in MKE in the Supreme Court race really showed itself here, with KloJo losing by 15...and that's after a 14% swing towards her. She won by 14 in MKE, but lost by upwards of 40 (!!) elsewhere. Sandy Pasch - by virtue of being a state Assemblywoman - has represented one-third of the district; she'll really have to juice her margins there to overcome the margins Darling will rack up elsewhere.


Sheila Harsdorf's SD-10 is now the largest in the state population-wise, thanks to high population growth in the second-ring MSP burbs. Most of the vote vote is concentrated there, namely in St. Croix County across the river from Washington County, Minnesota (and from Michele Bachmann's hometown of Stillwater, no less). Obama overperformed here quite a bit, winning by 2% while Feingold and Barrett lost by 17 and 18, respectively. Democratic strength is concentrated in Dunn County (and the city of Menomonie), which simply doesn't have the numbers to balance the more GOP-leaning parts of the district. Alarmingly, this area turned out more for Prosser, where he experienced an 8% bump in his performance. Of all the districts, this one is perhaps the last ripe for takeover - Shelly Moore will have quite the uphill climb here.


Luther Olsen represents this large swath of Central Wisconsin stretching from Baraboo up to Waupaca, also known as SD-14. This district, though not quite as divided as Darling's SD-08, roughly falls into the Democratic-leaning southern third vs. the GOP leaning northern two-thirds. Sauk and Columbia counties form the Democratic core, but unfortunately, only comprise about one-quarter of the district; Team Blue's contender Fred Clark also represents the area in the Assembly. He'll have to really juice his margins here to overcome the nothern parts of the district, which were pretty nasty towards us in both 2010 and the Supreme Court race this year. If there is a silver lining, the heavily-GOP areas became decidedly less so in the second round of the Supreme Court race, swinging the district overall towards us by about 6%. Unsurprisingly, Obama overperformed again, earning a comfortable 5-point margin here.


When Randy Hopper is not busy cavorting with mistresses, he nominally represents SD-18, which covers parts of Winnebago, Fondleack "Fond Du Lac", and Dodge counties. This district follows a pattern we've seen generally, with a narrow Obama win (4%) and sizeable Barrett and Feingold losses (16 and 19). As was characteristic of the Fox Valley, the district swung towards KloJo hard (29%, in fact) - suggesting that the energy, on balance, should favor our candidate, Jessica King. Hopper's "personal shortcomings" aside (Alysia Hopper, you are my hero), another reason for optimism stems from King's current position as Deputy Mayor of Oshkosh, which anchors the Winnebago County part of the district (which casts more than half the vote in the district; Oshkosh alone makes up more than one-third.)


Dan Kapanke - who somehow bluffed his way into being a formidable candidate for WI-03 last cycle - represents the anomaly in the bunch, SD-32. The district is quite Democratic down to its roots, being the only one of the six to have gone for Feingold, who eked out a 2-point win. Tom Barrett also only lost narrowly, by less than 1%; Prosser also lost this district both times around. La Crosse County is the (Democratic) powerhouse here, comprising upwards of two-thirds of the district; Kapanke will need to both keep the margins down here and rack up large margins throughout the rest of the district to hold on, which is seeming more and more unlikely. Our candidate, Jennifer Shilling, again, by virtue of being an Assemblywoman, represents one-third of the district; let's also not forget that Steve Doyle picked up AD-94 - another one-third of the district - for Team Blue in May.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Seems like a tough hill to climb but look where we (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Denver11, itskevin, sulthernao, WisVoter

    are today (having recall elections). I hope it goes well and we win enough seats to take back the Wisconsin Senate.

    I really wish people wouldn't even let these wingnuts in in the first place. It's like electing Bush in 2004 and then being mad at what he's doing. God damn...

  •  What time do the polls close tonight? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    supercereal, kevin626, TofG

    DKE! “Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.” anonymous

    by aggou on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 06:05:59 AM PDT

  •  And so it begins ..... (10+ / 0-)

    The polls just opened.  Go Team Blue!  Weather is good today clear sky, a fine day to stop the Walker agenda dead in its tracks.

    My big question is do I stay home and watch results roll in later this evening or do i head down to the Capital later this evening for Ed Schultz MSNBC broadcast?

    "My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass." --Rep. Steve Kagen D-WI to Karl Rove

    by walja on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 06:06:37 AM PDT

  •  Tough hill to climb..... excellent analysis (7+ / 0-)

    I think the Prosser/non-prosser #s are key ... we should win where Prosser lost, and if we can pull one more out of the remaining races, we made it.

    I am sure we have the superior ground game..... now we just need to get all the possible votes out to the polls.

  •  It should be noted (5+ / 0-)

    That a few of the places you listed as the Democratic cores of these districts are in college towns. And given that all of the elections you cited occurred when class was in session. It is now summer, and the college kids disperse somewhat. For instance, La Crosse County will likely be a smaller percentage of the 32nd's vote total today than it was in April or November.

  •  Thanks for the scorecard (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dmhlt 66, itskevin

    Lots of outside WI definitely need a scorecard for today / tonight.

    Tiny Congress /ht peterboy/ This debt ceiling creation is not a 'Super Congress' it's a tiny one!!

    by SallyCat on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 06:24:24 AM PDT

  •  Some notes on SD10... (4+ / 0-)

    We thought that it went for Kloppenburg...

    As for Barrett/Walker - Barrett's campaign was nonexistent up here. I think I saw only one sign the whole campaign. I've heard that in a county north of here, the Democratic campaign was turning potential volunteers away, telling them "we're going to lose, what's the point?"

    River Falls is also a pretty blue area. But Hudson is nasty red, exurban much like Waukesha Cty.

    Finally, one point not in our favor today - SD10 is the only district in the state that includes two universities, UW-River Falls and UW-Stout (Menomonie). Unfortunately, they're not in session, so we're likely to be a couple thousand votes short of where we'd ordinarily be.

    Recall - DONE! VOTE against the fakes - DONE! VOTE TO TAKE WISCONSIN BACK!!! Rescind. Rebuild.

    by stcroix cheesehead on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 06:29:32 AM PDT

    •  And to respond to Jeffmd'd OP (0+ / 0-)

      This is why Prosser had a giant uptick in Dunn county, because UW Stout wasn't in session and they make up about 25% of Dunn County's population.

      And just to nitpick about the OP while I'm on the topic, I'd consider Harsdorf's district as third ring suburbs.  1st ring are the ones that easily vote at least 55% Dem, 2nd ring are the swing McMansions, and 3rd are the blood red Michele Bachmann loving ones.  Although the third ring suburbs that are in WI are probably a different variety of conservative considering Wright County, MN went 58-40 McCain while St. Croix County went 51-47 McCain.  I'd guess that it has do with religion as central MN, which is the new frontier of exurban living, is extremely Catholic.  And with this being my hometown area, I'd categorize them as the worst of the Catholics as the Catholic guilt that is pent up in this region is profound and gets rebounded into extreme conservatism to compensate for not wanting to go to hell.  I love looking at shotgun wedding photos on Fbook!  The one where they had their reception at the Corner Bar is just priceless.

  •  A note on Luther Olson's district (9+ / 0-)

    It may have been 16 1/2 years since Luther Olson faced a breathing opponent, but the real significance to this recall is how long it has been since that territory has been represented by a Democrat in Madison.

    It is amazing that Fred Clark is poised on the cusp of victory tonight.  If he delivers the electoral coup d'grace to Luther Olson's career tonight it will not only deliver control of the Senate to the Democrats, it will be the first time in 114 years that this area of Wisconsin sent a Democrat to represent them iin the Wisconsin Senate.

    "My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass." --Rep. Steve Kagen D-WI to Karl Rove

    by walja on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 06:29:52 AM PDT

  •  If Fred Clark wins ..... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dmhlt 66, itskevin, TofG, WisVoter

    He has already been redistricted out of the Senate seat he fights for tonight.  He will have to move further north if he intends to defend the seat in 2012 which I presume he will.


    "My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass." --Rep. Steve Kagen D-WI to Karl Rove

    by walja on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 06:39:06 AM PDT

  •  So, from most to least likely... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OGGoldy, TofG

    Where are we at?

    I've got 32 as the most likely to flip and 10 as the least.

    Sound right? Trying to glean some kind of conclusion from all this data.

    •  Here is the thing aboiut special elections (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      walja, itskevin, TofG

      In my experience, you can take everything you've learned about electoral politics, and voting patterns and campaign tactics, and ignore it all. Special elections always come qith quirks that are not seen in other elections, and it is really hard to model predictions off of general election data for a special (in this see, recall) election

      •  I get that. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But certainly there are degrees or probability bars nonetheless. Sure anything can happen, but there's got to be more specific things we can think.

        •  well. we do have the polls released yesterday (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And PPP has been pretty good with these recall elections so far. the cw is that Kapanke is DoA, Hopper is a coin flip, and Olsen is lean-r. the other 3 may be out of reach, but we could likely get within 5-6 in each.

          •  Olsen is NOT lean R by a longshot (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Will McDonald, exterris, itskevin

            The polls have been all over the place in this one and there is zero evidence to give Olson the advantage. I actually happen to believe that Fred Clark will narrowly take it. In this one particular circumstance, I believe that democrats are sick of all the phonecalls. They are voting but they are probably being called every two seconds with either a get out the vote reminder or even some very nasty phone calls from the republicans trying to smear the democrats. So they are just not answering the phones till the elections are over and are not getting picked up in the polling.

            •  I honestly hope you are right (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              But the trendline is against us. And given that the moat recent poll we have is from PPP and had Olsen up by 3, and considering how head-on accurate PPP has been with these elections, it is disingenuous to ignore data points

    •  ranking (5+ / 0-)

      from most to least likely to flip.  

      32 Kapanke - Dem favored
      18 Hopper - Lean Dem
      14 Olson - Toss up
      8 Darling - Toss up
      10 Harsdorf - lean GOP
      2 Cowles - lean GOP

      Other than Kapanke the ground game will determine the other 5 recalled Republicans fate and either side might win, multiple recalls are uncharted territory.  No idea who will vote and what the turnout numbers will look like.  But I have been following elections in Wisconsin since 1978 and the level of activism is amazing on both sides.  

      There is actually a chance turnout might approach Presidential levels.  In fact, the only recall primary that did not generate significant voting turnout was Robert Wirch's recall where the GOP primary turnout was sparse to be generous and is the primary reason Wirch is the safest of any recalled Senator of either party.  Democrats Wirch and Holperin will stand for their recalls next Tuesday.

      Scott Walker was last seen in Tampa Bay Florida, at a "critical" RNC meeting while the Wisconsin voters determine the fate of his agenda.  He is toxic these days in the land of Cows and Cheese, lol.

      "My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass." --Rep. Steve Kagen D-WI to Karl Rove

      by walja on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 06:59:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  your rankings seem a bit rosy, considering polls (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Will McDonald

        I would agree with your order, but the status I would argue.
        Kapanke-Likely D
        Hopper-Toss up
        Olsen-Lean R
        darling-Lean R
        Harsdorf-Likely R
        Cowles-Likely R.

        I see this as D+2 when it's all said and done

        •  Polls in recalls (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          have no historical record to base projections.  

          I believe that turnout determines 5 of the 6 races and Dems have been rallying all summer and the pathetic Americans for Prosperity caravan rolling across Wisconsin is generating low turnout and little enthusiasm.  

          I also believe it is significant that both Paul Ryan and Scott Walker found other things to do than campaign for their Republican incumbents the past 72 hours.

          So I guess I do plead guilty to being on the glass half full side of the coin today.  The only Republican who I perceive as buttressing his/her chance at reelection since the recalls were confirmed is Shelia Harsdorf.  The Kochs hit at Shelly Moore early and hard as a scary union activist which seems to have defined her before she was able to define herself.  Shelly Moore was the least experienced nominee of the six Democratic challengers and the least well known as the recalls commenced.

          The fact Darling is whining rather than confident speaks volumes to me.   I have consistently thought this race was closer than those from afar perceive the race I admit.  I still do.

          And Fred Clark is more impressive than Luther Olson when they are placed next to one another and a much better campaigner.   Olson, a friendly cheerful type of guy has not run a good campaign and this is the other race Koch money has kept the Republican from going under water.  But the energy here appears to be with Clark, I like what i am seeing.  Plus, this is the race the Madison activists caravan headed  to this morning to man the get out the vote effort.  The feet on the round here are unprecedented for this part of the state.  I like our chances here.

          "My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass." --Rep. Steve Kagen D-WI to Karl Rove

          by walja on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 07:31:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In addition, Rothenberg made it clear last week (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TofG, lordpet8

            that it was very unlikely both Darling and Olsen would both win their elections that he classified as nailbitters.

          •  recall polling is fairly uncharted water (0+ / 0-)

            I fully admit that. But for some reason PPP got the primaries and the one general election so far right on the nose. So obviously they seem to have done a pretty good job with their voter models for these races. Campaigns matter, candidates matter, and districts matter. As you said in the first case, Olsen has been out campaigned, but the district is Reddish, and both sides have good candidates. at that point, I will defer to polling. Shelly Moore seems like a nice lady, but her personal achievements seem to be.... lacking. She is outmatched on paper and it is a red district. Strong advantage for Harsdorf. Darling may be whining, but she put some space between her and the opposition on the polling trendlines. And this is a very red district. So even though she is whining, she will likely win by an underwhelming margin. I just don't see that as a lean R type of race. And as far as Hopper goes, his personal antics didn't tank his polling numbers, and in fact he opened up a small lead in this last batch of polling. If his philandering didn't alienate voters, then nothing will.

            •  regarding SD 8 (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I guess I disagree with your characterization of SD 8 as very red.  In fact it has been trending purple for some time now.  Alberta Darling is a 20 year incumbent and thus far it has served her well even as the electorate has shifted slightly towards team blue underneath her.

              PPP put most of these elections within the margin of error so the fact a given Republican has a one point lead in the last PPP poll is not very scary to me.  I get scared when incumbents are over 50% in the polls in the last 48 hours.  

              There are few late deciders this election.  In fact, this election generated lower levels of undecided responses than any polls I have seen anywhere in my life.  The motivation advantage today is with Team Blue.  The whole reason Wisconsin is in this mess is the enthusiasm advantage was with the Republicans big time in 2010.  The GOP has lost that advantage in 2011 in my opinion.  We shall see in a few short hours I guess.

              In 2011 I think the advantage is with the offense and in Wisconsin Recalls today it is Team Blue on the offense.   Next Tuesday we will be on defense.  

              So this relative cynic is optimistic for our chances today, I am on Team Brite Side

              "My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass." --Rep. Steve Kagen D-WI to Karl Rove

              by walja on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 08:15:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Actually (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              itskevin, askew

              PPP was off by 4 in the Hansen election. 62-34 isn't too far from 66-34, but 50-47 R and 51-49 D have all the distance in the world between them.

              21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), working in MA-08 for the summer, hopeless Swingnut

              by sapelcovits on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 12:39:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  excellent as always, jeffmd (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    gonna be an interesting day. One thing we learned from 2004, is you can gin your side up but there's always a reaction form the other side.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 07:00:29 AM PDT

  •  My Favorite Recall Quote - Alberta Darling wins! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, blue71340, Seneca Doane
    “It's really interesting to me that you have a state Senate race and I have people from all across the country in my district going door-to-door campaigning against me,”

    --Alberta Darling

    "My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass." --Rep. Steve Kagen D-WI to Karl Rove

    by walja on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 07:06:47 AM PDT

  •  WI RECALL: Darling v. Pasch - early turnout report (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Excellent news, high turnout reported from Alberta Darling's district.


    "My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass." --Rep. Steve Kagen D-WI to Karl Rove

    by walja on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 07:48:00 AM PDT

  •  Interesting Randy Hopper article (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    No numbers or turnout report but its in interesting perspective on the life of the young Randy Hopper.

  •  This makes me real confident (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itskevin, TofG

    I think the Dems will win four seats.

  •  Reposting here, from our last WI-Recall thread (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itskevin, Christopher Walker

    Contact everyone you know who is from Wisconsin. Ask them if they live in a state senate district where a Republican is being recalled (and be prepared to help them find out if they don't know). And then tell them why they should vote for the Dem candidate running against the Repub incumbent.

    Got a distraught progressive? Remind them that this is the perfect time to take a stand.

    Got a politically apathetic acquaintance? Well, just tell them about the blatant dishonesty about a budget matter that was not about the budget. Ask them to think about it by themselves. (And be prepared to answer their questions if they have any!)

    Extra props to you if your friend is not a usual voter and you've gotten them to vote for a Dem. Extra props as well if you get your fellow Dems, progressives, and liberals to get in touch with their own friends.


    Additional remarks:

    Keep in mind that people are more likely to trust you if they know you personally.  Online or in meatspace.  I mean, would you rather trust some random stranger calling you about politics, or would you rather trust a friend or acquaintance you know?

    Make it clear who to vote for when talking to voters.  You don't want people expecting to vote against a Republican and then checking that box.  Make sure you're clear you're asking them to vote FOR the Democratic candidate.  Giving a name would be useful, if you can.  (If you're working with a campaign you probably have a script.)

    Be prepared to talk, and know what to say (one great neutral point is the dishonesty of a budget issue that's not about the budget, and another nice one is to cite State Sen. Dale Schultz's message), but don't waste your time arguing with people who firmly support the R candidate already.  You prove nothing by doing this.  Your mission is turnout for the D candidate.

  •  How about the scenario where Democrats win 3 (0+ / 0-)

    seats (I would imagine 1-3 seem likely), would the GOP and Koch Inc. pour humongous money into the Democratic recall left? Could that put it in play or would it just turnoff voters?

  •  Clerks ready for record turnout (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itskevin, walja

    Clerks ready for heavy turnout for recall elections | The Oshkosh Northwestern

  •  Repost: baselines (3+ / 0-)

    remember that King vs. Hopper is a rematch of a very close 2008 race. That means as we watch returns come in we can compare county baselines to what happened in 2008.

    King vs. Hopper

    Overall: 50-50 Hopper
    Dodge County: 43-57 Hopper
    Fond du Lac County: 44-56 Hopper
    Oshkosh County: 55-45 King

    Also, although Pasch was not Darling's 2008 opponent, Darling also had a close race, so we can look at the baselines for that too.

    Wasserman vs. Darling

    Overall: 49-51 Darling
    Milwaukee County: 64-36 Wasserman
    Ozaukee County: 38-62 Darling
    Washington County: 31-69 Darling (!!!)
    Wauke$ha County: 36-64 Darling

    21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), working in MA-08 for the summer, hopeless Swingnut

    by sapelcovits on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 12:49:22 PM PDT

  •  Strong steady turnout still reported statewide (0+ / 0-)

    Turnout is very strong, approaching Presidential levels.  Whatever else we may say about the outcome, the losing side will not be able to whine about a depressed disinterested electorate.


    "My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass." --Rep. Steve Kagen D-WI to Karl Rove

    by walja on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:54:39 PM PDT

    •  The Republicans can whine about *anything* (0+ / 0-)

      but aside from that, it does look good.

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:17:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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