By Collin Roth
On Tuesday night, the recall effort against Governor Walker was soundly defeated in a resounding 7-point victory by the sitting Republican governor. In addition to Governor Walker, Lt. Governor Kleefisch and three Republican State Senators also defeated Democratic challengers by large margins. But the lone victory for recall challengers appears to have occurred in Senate District 21 where Democrat John Lehman posted an 800 vote lead over Republican incumbent Van Wanggaard in Racine County.
Despite the lead, the election is likely headed for a recount and reports are trickling out of Racine of irregularities, electioneering, and outright fraud.
Nevertheless, the Obama team is calling the Lehman victory a “giant leap forward” in an email to supporters. Wisconsin Field Director Michelle Kleppe wrote:
Over the past year and a half, Wisconsinites have stepped up to be part of an incredible moment in our state’s history. We stood up to Governor Walker and the divisive politics he’s waged on Wisconsin.
While Tuesday’s outcome wasn’t all that we’d hoped for, we took a giant step forward by electing John Lehman and reclaiming the state Senate.
I hope you’re as proud as I am about the courage we’ve shown throughout this hard-fought campaign.
The irony of course is that even if John Lehman’s victory stands (which does appear likely), the Democrat majority in the Wisconsin State Senate is likely to remain temporary and new Senate Majority Leader Mark Miller may never preside over the Wisconsin State Senate.
Because there are no scheduled legislative sessions between Tuesday’s recall election and the November 2012 elections. And many expect Republicans to gain at least one, if not two, State Senate seats in the wake of redistricting and Democratic State Senator Jim Holperin’s retirement.
So much for the “giant leap forward.”