The Wisconsin legislative recalls are now history, and although Democrats fell short in their quest to retake control of the state senate, they can boast of having won a majority of the special races.
Two state Democrats successfully defended their seats Tuesday night in the final recall elections in the Badger State.
“These two wins mean Democrats have officially won a majority of the Wisconsin recall campaigns. Democrats won five out of the nine recall races, including several in some of the most conservative districts in the state,” Michael Sargeant, executive director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC), says in a celebratory email.
Although Democrats first began the recalls to oust GOP lawmakers who supported Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to strip state employees of their collective bargaining rights, Republicans began their own recalls of Democratic legislators in response.
Now that the dust has settled: Republicans lost two state senators, but all three Democrats targeted for recall — the two Tuesday night and one earlier lawmaker in a July recall — all were kept in office by Wisconsin voters.
Democrats failed to defeat the three Republicans required to take control of the state senate, but their wins now have cut GOP control to just one slender seat.
The results out of Wisconsin prove the United States is no right-wing nation, says Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne.
“In Wisconsin, there was a backlash against a right-wing that overreached. National polls suggest the same thing is happening to conservatives in the House of Representatives. Wisconsin is not a right-wing state, and this is not a right-wing country. That’s the message of recall summer,” he says.
In his email, the DLCC’s Sargeant notes that Tuesday night’s victories also extend beyond Wisconsin’s borders.
Democrats won a critical victory against a GOP special election candidate “handpicked by Republican officials desperate to prop up [Republican] Governor [Paul] LePage’s extreme agenda,” he says.
“All three of these seats could have fallen to the Republicans; instead, Democrats swept all three races,” he adds, referring to the two Wisconsin wins and the Maine victory.
Scott Nance is the editor and publisher of the news site The Washington Current. He has covered Congress and the federal government for more than a decade.