Wisconsin Recall Campaigns Bag Record Number of Signatures

On the heels of liberal JoAnne Kloppenburg’s stunning upset victory in Wisconsin’s Supreme Court election on Tuesday (though a recount is forthcoming), the campaigns to recall Republicans in the Badger State are cruising, with enough signatures already gathered to trigger a recall of two Republican senators in the Badger State.

As Greg Sargent reports today, Wisconsin Democrats collected nearly 22,561 signatures in their effort to recall Sen. Dan Kapanke. That’s nearly 7,000 more than they needed to launch a recall, and insurance against efforts by Kapanke’s lawyers to challenge and potentially throw out some of the collected signatures. In a sign of buyer’s remorse among Wisconsin voters, the time it took gather enough signatures to recall Kapanke was the fastest in Wisconsin history.

The next Wisconsin senator to face a recall effort is Republican Randy Hopper. In the Hopper recall effort, Sargent writes, progressives have collected almost 24,000 signatures—150 percent of the necessary 15,629 signatures, a staggering feat that comes scarcely a month after the Wisconsin Senate first passed Republican Governor Scott Walker’s controversial anti-union bill.

Here’s more from Sargent:

The news comes amid other signs that Hopper may be particularly vulnerable in a recall election. Two recent polls—one by the Dem firm Public Policy Polling, and another by Survey USA, commissioned by MoveOn—both showed Hopper trailing in a recall matchup against a theoretical Dem rival.

What’s more, in a sign that Hopper himself recognizes the precariousness of his position, he recently brought in a national caliber campaign manager to handle the recall fight. Adding more potential fuel to the recall fire, Hopper’s estranged wife recently alleged that he had an affair with a young GOP aide and now lives mostly in Madison, outside his district.

The results of Tuesday’s Supreme Court race offers hints as to how successful the recall votes of Kapanke and Hopper could be. The majority of Kapanke’s district voted for Kloppenburg, the liberal candidate, while David Prosser, the conservative incumbent, won out in Hopper’s district. Tossing out either candidate will prove a mighty challenge—voters have successfully recalled sitting legislators only twice in Wisconsin history—but the momentum from Kloppenburg’s likely win and the legal battle against Walker’s bill, which is currently on appeal, could make the difference in the ongoing recall efforts.


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