A divisive budget battle between labor unions and Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) turned a state Supreme Court race into a nationally watched bellwether on the electorate’s mood heading into a recall campaign and the 2012 elections.
Nearly 1.5 million people turned out to vote, representing 33.5 percent of voting-age adults — 68 percent higher than the 20 percent turnout officials had expected. JoAnne Kloppenburg has already declared victory, with the vote tallies showing her beating incumbent David Prosser by just a couple hundred votes. The race is expected to head to a recount.
Significantly, 19 counties that went for Walker in the 2010 elections this time flipped and went for Kloppenburg, including LaCrosse (59 percent), Sauk (56 percent) and Dunn (56 percent).
There were no party affiliations on the ballot, but Kloppenburg was heavily backed by Democrats and Prosser by Republicans, making it a fierce proxy battle for the two parties.
On a conference call with reporters Wednesday afternoon, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate was jubilant over the results, saying they represent a “watershed moment for Wisconsin and a Waterloo for Scott Walker.”
“It should give Republicans, who are — for the moment — in the majority, pause about how they proceed in enacting Walker’s terrible budget,” he added.
- Wis. Supreme Court Challenger Declares Victory (foxnews.com)
- Kloppenburg Declares Victory by 204 Votes in Wisconsin (news.firedoglake.com)
- Gov. Walker Will Next Say “Blame Canada” For Prosser Loss (dekerivers.wordpress.com)
- Kloppenburg declares victory in Wisc. judge race (cbsnews.com)
- UPDATED: JoAnne Kloppenburg Apparent Winner in WI Supreme Court Race (crooksandliars.com)
- Wis. voters send governor strong, angry message (msnbc.msn.com)
- Wisconsin Election Results: David Prosser, JoAnne Kloppenburg Await Official Outcome In State Supreme Court Race (huffingtonpost.com)
- Wisconsin supreme court election amazing result | Michael Tomasky (guardian.co.uk)