Wisconsin Recall Elections: Almost Over

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 15 2011 1:41 PM

Wisconsin Recall Elections: Almost Over

Thanks to the funny timing of signature turn-ins, the Wisconsin recall elections happened in four stages. The final stage concludes tomorrow, when voters in two Democratic-held state senate districts decide whether or not to elect Republicans.

On paper, the Democrats should be at risk. They fled their state for three weeks to (ineffectively) stop the Budget Repair Bill. Democrat Jim Holperin's district is a bit less Democratic than Wisconsin as a whole -- it voted for Bush over Kerry -- while Robert Wirch's district is a bit more Democratic. So it's not surprising to see a poll from We Ask America showing Holperin only 2 points up. The problem: A poll from PPP, which basically nailed the first recall elections, has Holperin up 14 points, at 55 percent, well outside the danger zone.

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Why isn't Kim Simac in a better position to beat Holperin? Well, here's one reason.

The 2010 blog post deleted from a tea party social network recently comparing America's public schools to Nazi Germany was in fact written by Kim Simac, a tea party organizer and the state Republicans' choice to recall a Democratic state Senator in Wisconsin on August 9.

Ah, there we go. Lousy candidate = likely defeat. So the probable result in Wisconsin tomorrow remains a Senate that's got a slim 2-vote majority for the GOP.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.