With the Democrats prospects of taking over the Governor’s mansion in Wisconsin dimming they seem to have shifted their focus to regaining control of the State Senate, where there short-term prospects look a bit better. Here is the fly in the Democrats ointment, even if they manage to win one or even two of the Senate recall elections, their stay in control of the Senate will be short.
I am not trying to blow smoke up anybody’s backside here, at least 2 of the upcoming Senate recall elections are going to be dog fights. Both Sen Wanggaard and Sen Galloway are freshman Senators so they have had little time to bond with their constituents. Senator Galloway is in a bit better shape based on the demographics of her district, but she is still vulnerable. Senator Wanggaard represents perhaps the purplest district in the state and he will be the Democrats number one target. Fortunately for conservatives, Wanggaard is a tireless campaigner and the conservative grassroots in his district are well-organized. It also helps that the Democrats have decided to run a re-tread against him.
As much as I would love to state that we will win all 4 Senate recalls, conventional wisdom and the results from last August tell me that at least one of our brave GOP Senators will lose. While that would be considered a short-term victory for the Democrats, their long-term prospects of holding on to the Senate majority after the November elections of 2012 do not look good at all. Lets for the sake of argument assume they win one of these recalls to regain control. Under that very possible scenario lets examine the actual Senate races of 2012.
There are 16 State Senators up for re-election in 2012, 6 Republicans and 10 Democrats. Based on Wisconsin’s newest electoral map all 6 of the Republicans are safe with Senator Olsen being the most vulnerable. On the Democrat side I see 4 seats in play. Jessica King , who just won her Senate seat in the last round of recalls is in real trouble. Senators Holperin and Hansen both survived recall bids against political unknowns last August but based on their districts they have to be considered vulnerable and last but not least Senator Wirch, who to his credit keeps on winning, is always a target for defeat. It is way to early to make any bold predictions but one look at this scenario tells me that the GOP will pick up at least 2 of these Democratic seats in November and once again regain control of the Senate. In the meantime lets all work our tails off for our recalled Senators so next November we will be increasing GOP control instead of winning it back.