Not too long ago, I provided race ratings for each of Illinois's 18 U.S. House races. Now, I'm going to provide race ratings for each of the six Wisconsin recall elections: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Senate District 13, Senate District 21, Senate District 23, and Senate District 29. The recall elections are scheduled for June 5.
GOVERNOR OF WISCONSIN
Democratic Nominee: Tom Barrett
Republican Nominee: Scott Walker
Independent Candidate: Hariprasad Trivedi
Write-in Candidate: Steven Zelinski
Scott Walker has had an eventful 1 1/2 years as Governor of Wisconsin, and that's what has caused Walker to be subject to a recall election. He's eliminated collective bargaining for public employees and has signed off on every other piece of right-wing legislation that the Wisconsin Legislature has passed. Walker won the Republican recall primary with 97% of the vote against fake Republican Arthur Kohl-Riggs, while Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett defeated fellow legitimate Democrats Kathleen Falk, Kathleen Vinehout, and Doug LaFolette, as well as fake Democrat Gladys Huber in the Democratic recall primary. Since the recall primaries, Walker has led every single opinion poll that has been taken. However, a tape of Walker talking about his "divide and conquer" strategy to one of his most prominent campaign donors went viral, and Walker's first debate performance last night was poor, to say the least. Also, the presence of two other candidates, independent campaigner Trivedi and write-in campaigner Zelinski, on the June 5 ballot have added a potential spoiler element into the mix. Turnout will be vital, as this is a base election that could be decided by a few thousand votes or less. TOSSUP
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF WISCONSIN
Democratic Nominee: Mahlon Mitchell
Republican Nominee: Rebecca Kleefisch
In addition to Governor Walker being subject to a recall election, Lieutenant Governor Kleefisch, who was unopposed in the Republican recall primary, is also subject to a recall election. Labor union leader Mahlon Mitchell won the Democratic recall primary against fellow legitimate Democrat Ira Robins and fake Democrat Issac Weix. An unusual quirk in this recall election is that, unlike general elections in Wisconsin and many other states, in recall elections for Governor and Lieutenant Govenor of Wisconsin, voters will cast separate votes for Governor and Lieutenant Governor instead of casting a single vote for a Governor/Lieutenant Governor ticket. At this time, I know of no organized efforts to encourage voters to split their tickets and vote for Barrett/Kleefisch or Walker/Mitchell. Just like the Gubernatorial recall election, this will be a base election where turnout will be vital to determining the outcome of this election. TOSSUP
WISCONSIN STATE SENATE DISTRICT 13: Jefferson-Juneau
Democratic Nominee: Lori Compas
Republican Nominee: Scott Fitzgerald
Libertarian Nominee: Terry Virgil
At first, it was thought to be impossible that State Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald, widely regarded as Governor Scott Walker's right-hand man, would be subject to a recall election in this district, based in Dodge and Jefferson Counties. However, Lori Compas, a wedding photographer from Fort Atkinson, managed to gather enough signatures to subject Fitzgerald to a recall election, despite her recall effort receiving virtually no help whatsoever by Wisconsin Democratic Party operatives. After no other Democrat stepped up to run against Fitzgerald, Compas herself ran in the Democratic recall primary, beating fake Democrat Gary Ellerman with 72% of the vote. Given the heavily Republican nature of the district, it was thought that Fitzgerald would have no trouble whatsoever winning re-election. However, Fitzgerald made sexist comments about Compas, and spurned Compas's challenges for Fitzgerald to debate her before finally accepting to debate her. The debate, held Wednesday night, was considered a tie. Compas, in a short time, has built a coalition consisting of the Democratic base, moderate Democrats, and moderate Republicans, without alienating either of those three groups. Fitzgerald may be in serious trouble, and Libertarian candidate Terry Virgil could play a spoiler role. LEAN REPUBLICAN
WISCONSIN STATE SENATE DISTRICT 21: Racine-Sturtveant
Democratic Nominee: John Lehman
Republican Nominee: Van Wanggaard
In this swing district, based in Racine in Southeastern Wisconsin, State Senator Van Wanggaard, unopposed in the Republican recall primary, is fighting for political survival against John Lehman, a former State Senator who was defeated by Wanggaard in the 2010 general election. Lehman defeated fake Democrat Tamra Varebrook in the Democratic recall primary. The only opinion poll of this race shows a Wanggaard leading, but within the poll's margin of error. Wanggaard is vulnerable enough that a pro-Wanggaard front group sent a campaign mailer attacking Lehman for being soft on crime. This race could come down to a few hundred votes or even less, and, more importantly, determine which party controls the State Senate. TOSSUP
WISCONSIN STATE SENATE DISTRICT 23: Eau Claire-Chippewa Falls
Democratic Nominee: Kristen Dexler
Republican Nominee: Terry Moulton
State Senator Terry Moulton, unopposed in the Republican recall primary, is being forced to defend himself in a recall election in this Northwestern Wisconsin-based district, which is based in Chippewa Falls and also includes the northern half of Eau Claire. His opponent, Kristen Dexler, who defeated Moulton in a 2008 State Assembly election, defeated fake Democrat James Engel in the Democratic recall primary. While the only opinion poll of this race shows Moulton leading by a comfortable margin, since that poll was taken, a pro-Dexler front group ran an television advertisement showing Moulton not being able to name any jobs that's been created by the legislation that he's voted for. I have a feeling that this race has tightened up in the last few days, so this election could be close. TOSSUP/TILT REPUBLICAN
WISCONSIN STATE SENATE DISTRICT 29: Wausau-Ladysmith
Democratic Nominee: Donna Seidel
Republican Nominee: Jerry Petrowski
Enough signatures were gathered to force State Senator Pam Galloway to run in a recall election, but Galloway resigned rather than face a recall election in this Wausau-based district that includes a large portion of Northern Wisconsin, which is why, along with two State Senate seats being won by Democrats in recall elections last year, there is currently a 16-16 tie in the State Senate. Jerry Petrowski, a State Assemblyman, filed to run as a Republican and was unopposed in the Republican recall primary. Donna Siedel, the Assistant Democratic Leader in the State Assembly, defeated fake Democrat James Buckley in the Democratic recall primary. There hasn't been any major developments in this race, and the only opinion poll of this race showed Petrowski leading comfortably. LEAN REPUBLICAN
Well, there you have it. It's going to be one heck of an election night on June 5, that's for sure. I'm not a resident of Wisconsin, but this race has national implications. I am urging all non-Wisconsinites to use the tag "We are ALL Wisconsin" in diaries about the Wisconsin recall elections. Once again, I support Tom Barrett, Mahlon Mitchell, Lori Compas, John Lehman, Kristen Dexler, and Donna Seidel, as well as all of the hard-working volunteers of the Democratic recall campaigns who are helping get-out-the-vote in these crucial recall elections.
Tom Barrett via Daily Kos Wisconsin ActBlue (make sure you scroll down and distribute between Barrett and Daily Kos as you see fit).
Mahlon Mitchell who is up against Lieutenant-Governor Rebecca Kleefisch.
Lori Compas who is up against Senator Scott Fitzgerald in SD13.
John Lehman who is up against Senator Van Wanggaard in SD21.
Kristen Dexter who is up against Senator Terry Moulton in SD23.
Donna Seidel who is up against Jerry Petrowski in SD29 after incumbent Pam Galloway resigned.
If you can't decide, there's the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.