The Wisconsin election results 2011 won’t be declared official for some time. Yet the results are promising enough for the election’s new leader to declare victory, and to have shaken up the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Months ago, Democratic nominee JoAnne Kloppenburg was down by over 30 points to sitting Republican Justice David Prosser. But thanks to Prosser’s allegiance to Gov. Scott Walker, and his importance as a swing vote, he now needs to come back in a historic recount.
When the polls first closed after Tuesday night’s special election, Prosser had a slim lead. However, Kloppenburg pulled ahead for the very first time during yesterday’s count. As such, she actually declared victory last night, although the state won’t certify it for a while.
100 percent of precincts have been counted, and have Kloppenburg as the leader by 204 votes. However, the results are so close that a recount will have to be mandatory. That has never been necessary for a Supreme Court race in Wisconsin, but these are unprecedented times as a whole. In fact, this would be the first state recount for an election between candidates since 1858, according to Government Accountability Board director Kevin Kennedy.
Even when Gov. Walker first began his campaign to strip unions’ collective bargaining rights, this battle wasn’t on anyone’s radar. Yet after Walker’s controversial budget was passed, it became necessary for the opposition to get a majority on the state Supreme Court. Their only hope was Kloppenburg, a reliable liberal going up against the Republicans’ fourth justice.
A 30+ point lead was shockingly erased in what will obviously be seen as a referendum against the budget bill. But the comeback wasn’t big enough, as the election will be fought over for months – just like Wisconsin’s budget as a whole.
Now the state will be consumed by two legal battles for some time. The first is over Gov. Walker’s budget itself, since it is still prohibited from being drafted into law. Yet both sides were counting on the Supreme Court election to decide that issue. If Prosser won, then Republicans could appeal and have a shot to get the bill into law after all – but if Kloppenburg won, then the budget will likely stay frozen in place.
At the moment, it appears that all the momentum is against Republicans and Gov. Walker. However, although these election results are much closer than anyone ever expected, the race is still a long way from over. By the time Wisconsin officials finally declare a winner, Walker could be better prepared for the worst, even if Kloppenburg wins.
Throughout 2011, there have been wild twists and turns in the battle for the state’s future. While unions and Democrats have the advantage now, Walker and the GOP still have time to swing it back, although they have a slim margin for error.
JS Online- “Kloppenburg declares victory”
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