We’re only a couple of hours away from poll closing time in Wisconsin, where six Republican state senators are facing a recall election today. If Democrats win three of these elections, they take control of the Wisconsin Senate, which would represent a major blow to Gov. Scott Walker and a large boost to progressive morale not just in Wisconsin but nationally
A large labor-driven voter mobilization effort (counted only in part by Tea Party activists) is behind the recall drive, and near-saturation-levels of paid media have been reached in some of these contests. Accordingly, turnout is expected to be somewhere between the 35% level of the recent statewide Supreme Court election, and the much higher levels achieved in general elections.
Here’s Politico‘s description of the forces arrayed on both sides:
The state parties are boasting more than 3 million voter contacts between them. Democrats claim they’ve enlisted 10,000 volunteers — creeping close to the 15,000 they were able to draw for the 2010 statewide gubernatorial contest.
“I have never seen the type of volunteers across the state as I’ve seen in this election,” said Baldwin, who has spoken with elections clerks forecasting presidential-like turnout.
“The intensity is off the charts in these races,” said Republican National Committee political director Rick Wiley.
Then there are the third party groups, which are far outspending the candidates. They’ve poured in more than $30 million , according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which tracks political spending. That’s just shy of the $37 million total spent on last year’s governor’s race.
From the left, it’s the Progressive Change Campaign Committee; Howard Dean’s Democracy for America; the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Service Employees International Union. On the right, it’s Tea Party Express, Americans for Prosperity and the Club for Growth.
It should be an interesting, and will be an important, night.