There are 8 Republican state senators that can be recalled right now and there are recall petitions being circulated against each of them. WI Dem party chairman Mike Tate said yesterday that he believed 6-8 was a possibility, but its his job to be optimistic like that.
Using the data provided by this great site I’ll try to take a look at it from a slightly more objective POV and look at each individual state senator and the likelihood they’ll be recalled. Remember the magic number is three as that’s what it would take for Dems to take control.
Robert Cowles-A district that went big for Bush in 04 but Obama won with a decent margin in 08. In a relatively low turnout special election where the energy is on our side this is a race that is eminantly winnable. The one thing I’d add is that Cowles has been around forever, since 1987, so he may ahve a lot of built up goodwill.
Alberta Darling-This is going to be one of the top races. She won a very narrow race in 08 and I read an AP article yesterday with a quote from Darling where she pretty much acknowledges that she’s going to have a tough race. The one thing going for her is that she’s been in office since 92 but as her race in 08 showed a lot of voters were willing to throw her out.
Sheila Harsdorf-Another solid chance at a pickup. She comes from, pretty much, a 50-50 district and in a special election where the energy is on our side she can’t like her chances.
Luther Olsen-Everything written about Cowles could be reiterated here, outside of the fact that Olsen has only been around since 2004. One thing to add about him and Cowles is that I’m not intimately aware of each of there districts but both ran unopposed in 08 so they may be stronger than some think even if the terrain looks solid.
Randy Hopper-Hopper is arguably at the top of the list. He’s a first termer that comes from a district Obama won, albeit narrowly, and he won his race by just over 100 votes. He comes from a pretty GOP-friendly district, although certainly not overwhlemingly, but he’s not a particularly strong incumbent and in this environment he’s gotta be considered an underdog to retain his seat. There’s also the SUSA poll that shows by a 54-43 spread his constituents want him gone.
Glenn Grothman-Most conservative district in the state. I’d be shocked if there’s anything to see here.
Mary Lazich-Her district is only slightly less conservative than Grothman’s, as both are 60% or more McCain districts. Again shocked if there’s anything to see here.
Dan Kapanke-I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I think he’s toast. He has the most democratic district held by a Republican. Kerry won the dsitrict by a solid 53-46 margin and Obama won the district 61-38. And while he certainly deserves credit for winning in 08, SUSA also has numbers showing that his constituents want him out by a 57-41 margin.
While I mentioned Tate’s outlook was optimistic looking at it, its only slightly so. Grothman and Lazich are probably safe, but I think the other 6 have to know there in for a battle.
If I were to rank the 8 in terms of likelihood of getting recalled: 1. Kapanke, 2. Hopper, 3. Darling, 4. Harsdorf, 5. Olsen, 6. Cowles, 7. Lazich, 8. Grothman.
Kapanke and Hopper look like they’re in big trouble. I like our chances against Darling and Harsdorf and if public opinions remains strongly on our side we’ve got a real shot at knocking off Olsen and Cowles.