Thursday, April 7, 2011

Scott Walker's 'Waterloo'

A divisive budget battle between labor unions and Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) turned a state Supreme Court race into a nationally watched bellwether on the electorate's mood heading into a recall campaign and the 2012 elections.

Nearly 1.5 million people turned out to vote, representing 33.5 percent of voting-age adults -- 68 percent higher than the 20 percent turnout officials had expected. Democrat JoAnne Kloppenburg has already declared victory, with the vote tallies showing her beating incumbent David Prosser by just a couple hundred votes. The race is expected to head to a recount.

Significantly, 19 counties that went for Walker in the 2010 elections this time flipped and went for Kloppenburg, including LaCrosse (59 percent), Sauk (56 percent) and Dunn (56 percent).

On a conference call with reporters Wednesday afternoon, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate was jubilant over the results, saying they represent a "watershed moment for Wisconsin and a Waterloo for Scott Walker."

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