Daily Kos: Wisconsin a Victory for the Left
Is Daily Kos founder and publisher Markos Moulitsas just whistling past the graveyard? Or was Moulitsas just trying to rally the left's flagging troops when he wrote last night for his blog that Wisconsin was a victory for the left? Or, politically, is Moulitsas a guy whose reach far exceeds his grasp?
The GOP held the Wisconsin State Senate despite huge outlays and manpower investments by an array of unions and left-leaning political groups... a thumping victory for GOP Governor Scott Walker and conservatives.
Moulitsas' ham-handed, rah-rah, let's-not-turn-tail-and-run analysis of the Wisconsin State Senate special election results means that:
- 1) the left is scared;
- 2) the left needs to be rallied;
- 3) Moulitsas is either being misleading about the facts or isn't informed.
Here's some of Moulitsas' spin:
I've got to say, I expected to be torn up if we didn't get to three seats [required to install a Democratic majority in the state senate]. I expected to suffer through yet another bout of electoral depression, bummed at coming up short yet again. And we did come up short!
Short of what? Short of taking the Wisconsin Senate? Sure. That would've been nice.
But let me just say, if tonight was a loss, I hope we have many more such "losses" in 2012.
We took the fight into red territory, and took two seats. What was a safe 19-14 GOP advantage is now a narrow 17-16. If we had those numbers going into 2011, the anti-labor bill would never have passed-one GOPer voted with the Democrats (and hey, Sen. Dale Schultz, the water is mighty fine on our side of the aisle!). [emphasis added]
Democrats did gain two seats in yesterday's special elections, but both pickups were anticipated. This from the Prism Information Network, which analyzes campaigns and elections:
Of the seats facing recall, this 32nd district was by far the most Democratic. The President received 61% here in 2008. Sen. Ron Johnson (R) who unseated then-Sen. Russ Feingold (D) in 2010, scored only 49% here. Walker posted 42%. In the other post-general election political race, the hotly contested 2011 battle for a key state Supreme Court seat, Republican incumbent Judge David Prosser, who won statewide, failed to carry the 32nd district. He registered only 44%. Last night's recall here produced the biggest Democratic victory of the night, but in this type of district, such a result was largely expected.
The other lost GOP seat was held by scandal-tainted Randy Hooper, though Hooper lost only narrowly (51%-49%).
Wisconsin is generally a blue state with a long liberal tradition. Resounding GOP election victories in 2010 show that Wisconsin voters are starting to rethink their politics. Tuesday's special election hold of the state senate by the GOP is another indication that Moulitsas and the left indeed have something to worry about.
Thomas Lifson adds:
For a saner view of the two Democrat victories, trust David Freddoso of the Washington Examiner:
In the end, the union-backed Democrats picked up only two state Senate seats in Wisconsin last night, at a staggering cost in time, effort, and of course money. One of the seats was solidly Democratic, held by a Republican due to an apparent fluke of nature. The other was held by an alleged adulterer who had moved outside his district to live with his young mistress, and whose wife was supporting his recall.
Update: Rosslyn Smith writes:
It appears that only one Republican was actually defeated on the issues. At the time the recall petitions were first being circulated it came out that Wisconsin State Senator Randy Hopper no longer resided with his wife in Fond du Lac. Instead he was living with his 25 year old mistress in Madison. Indeed, Hell hath no fury like a senator's wife scorned: His wife is said to have signed the recall petition and contributed to his opponent. The Democrats also made an issue of the fact that the young lady, who had worked with a Republican political consultancy, had recently been hired by the state. Despite that type of baggage, Hopper still got 49% of the vote last night.
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