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    Lessons of Wisconsin Supreme Court Election

    Lessons of Wisconsin Supreme Court Election

    As of this writing, Joanne Kloppenburg clings to a tiny lead over David Prosser, with the result not to be known for weeks or months until after a likely recount.  As we know from Minnesota, recounts are not to be taken lightly, and need to be fought tooth and nail.

    But regardless of how the result turns out, there are some clear takeaways:

    1. Every vote counts.  There were approximately 1.5 million votes cast, and the gap is about 200 votes.  Republicans need to push hard on voter integrity legislation and practices.  One can only imagine how many U. Wisconsin – Madison students who are registered to vote elsewhere, and whose parents probably claim them as residents of other states for tax purposes, voted in the election.  It probably made the difference.  Laws that ensure that only those entitled to vote can and do vote are hated by Democrats for this and similar reasons.
    2. Don’t believe the spin being put out by PPP Polling and others that Republicans are doomed, and that the world changed after the November elections.  Gov. Scott Walker received 52% of the vote in November, so Prosser — who was slow out of the gate to respond to attack ads — did only 2% worse.  And that in an emotional atmosphere in which Democrats staked everything, but Republicans only became motivated in the final couple of weeks.  As Matthew Knee pointed out this morning, big labor proved much less formidable than expected.
    3. The courts matter, including trial courts.  This was an election for the Supreme Court, but trial court Judge Sumi’s extraordinary interference in the legislative process provided solace and encouragement to anti-Prosser forces.  By making what was a legislative issue a judicial issue, Judge Sumi — whether she intended to or not — made the Supreme Court race the key event in the political war over collective bargaining.
    4. Keep in mind the courts when thinking about the 2012 presidential election.  Six more years of Barack Obama likely will result in a change in the character of the U.S. Supreme Court.
    5. We have to police the police.  Who could have imagined that police unions would join protesters and engage in acts of political intimidation?  Who could have imagined that a county Sheriff would declare that his officers would not act as “palace guards” when protecting the State Capitol?  Public sector unions are more than economic issues, they are central players in whether voters or unions control government.
    6. Conservatives were complacent, but are motivated now. Consider the Wisconsin Supreme Court election the wake up call for the majority which grew complacent after November. Conservatives around the country need to understand that nothing can be taken for granted.

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    1. The Left was obviously going all-in, but I detected little urgency in the Right blogosphere until a week or two before the election.

    2. Ordinary people can't be politically active 24/7/365. It was up to the Republican Establishment to step into the breach in this off-year election. It was up to Scott Walker to sound the alarm.

    3. Was this a typical case of the Stupid Party being stupid, or are there those in the GOP Establishment that are not unhappy to see the Tea Party taken down a notch?

    4. I suspect the Left is pleased as punch, now that it's too late, to watch the Right waste its time questioning the results. Meanwhile the Left can move on to the recalls.

    5. I agree with Aidan that there's no way to spin out of this. This is a clear defeat for a GOP that relied on Democrat incompetence to win the November election. (With exceptions like Paul Ryan and elements of the Tea Parties.)

    Prosser lost after holding a 30-point lead two months ago in an election that was made a referendum by both sides

    Yah, well, in the primary, actual judicial qualifications counted.

    AFTER the primary and $3.5 million in union lying-cum-propaganda attack ads, Prosser showed only a 2% degrade from Walker's margin.

    Dane County, with 100,000+ votes for continuing Statism/Command-and-Control Government in Wisconsin, perhaps has won. So far. This time.

    But those recalls? Cold hard analysis of the voting in the Prosser election tells us that 1 Republican is in danger, but THREE Democrats are at great risk.

    We'll keep playing. The cards are running our way.

    To add to my post on the WI recall race(s) and how all this ties together. Badgerblogger posted some insight that reinforces my thoughts.

    "The way I see it, one Republican may be in danger, but three Democrats are clearly in trouble and if the elections are held, and I believe they will be, are going to be real trouble for these Democrats, if the GOP has decent challengers."

    The key part being the decent GOP challengers. We won't vote against Sen Wirch in my district just to vote against someone. He'll get that message from the fact that we got the recall signatures. To show up this summer and vote in s apecial election, we need a reason to vote for a GOP candidate. I hope someone effective steps up, in each case.

    As far as the SC recount goes, I think we have much in our favor. The irregularities are pouring in. We'll see how the "system" holds up to scrutiny. Lots of eyeballs on WI right now. Even if the D's win, the picture is clearer as to what what we are fighting against, and the depths they are willing to go. This hurt them in 2010, it'll hurt them again. They'll have to find even greater ways to invalidate our vote. Keep the sunlight going.

    Why would it matter to compare the percent who voted for Prosser in April to the percent who voted for Walker in November when you can compare the amount who supported Prosser in February with his final percent?

    If you want to gauge support for Scott Walker, his most recent disapproval rating is 5 points higher than the percent who voted for him in November. It's certainly not a perfect measurement, but it's not something I'd feel confident about if I was a Wisconsin Republican.

    The issue here is that the WI GOP Senate didn't have the spine to pass this bill in a way that the courts would have nothing to do with it. The whole court battle here is based on a technicality of how many hours the GOP waited to pass a bill, and that is all. If the GOP Senators were smart enough to pass a bill in a way that would raise no questions, Prosser would have won in a landslide, because the Supreme Court election would have meant nothing to the unions. Let's blame the source of the problem; once again, it comes down to a spineless GOP.

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