Wisconsin Recall: GOP Holds State Senate

Good news out of Wisconsin for Republicans nationally. Had state GOPers lost control of the Senate, it would have been a big boost for Democrats and unions heading into 2012. There is a chance that Wisconsin Republicans could win back a state Senate seat in next week’s round of recall elections.

Democrats won two state Senate seats in Tuesday’s historic recall elections, but failed to capture a third seat that would have given them control of the chamber.

By keeping a majority in the Senate, Republicans retained their monopoly on state government because they also hold the Assembly and governor’s office. Tuesday’s elections narrowed their majority – at least for now – from 19-14 to a razor-thin 17-16.

Republicans may be able to gain back some of the losses next week, when two Democrats face recall elections.

Democrats had hoped to block the Republican agenda by taking control of the Senate in the recall elections, but the GOP should be able to continue to advance its agenda.

Republican Sens. Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse) and Randy Hopper (R-Empire) were both defeated by their Democratic challengers, Rep. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) and Democrat Jessica King of Oshkosh.

Surviving the recalls were Republican Sens. Alberta Darling of River Hills, Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls, Luther Olsen of Ripon and Rob Cowles of Allouez.

Also see, “Unions Lose Big In Wisconsin” from the Washington Examiner’s David Fredosso:

To be sure, yesterday’s contests offered few lessons for 2012, as far as the status of swing-state Wisconsin is concerned. But at the state level, and on the level of ideas, yesterday’s elections have deep meaning. And with two Democrats in the state Senate facing recalls next week — perhaps one is genuinely vulnerable — we may have seen the unions’ high political tide, especially if Walker’s reforms really do weaken their clout.

This marks the unions’ third huge defeat in Wisconsin this year. The other two were the passage of Walker’s bill and the re-election of David Prosser to the state Supreme Court. The grand talk of recalling Walker himself next year seems a bit blustery now, given the great failure of last night.

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