The Associated Press reports that a canvassing of ballots from the recent Wisconsin elections is complete, and Justice David Prosser has emerged victorious, defeating union-backed challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg by 7,316 votes.
Kloppenburg has until this Wednesday to call for a recount. State election officials will not formally declare the Prosser win until the deadline has passed.
The final vote tally had the interesting effect of transforming Kloppenburg from an unstoppable avatar of public rage against the evil Governor Scott Walker into a helpless underdog who probably never had a chance, in the eyes of the media. Every media report now describes Kloppenburg as fighting an “uphill” battle, but a few weeks ago, they were all writing about how Walker had energized the Democrat base, unleashing a political tidal wave that would sweep Prosser away, before sending a bunch of recalled Republicans to join him.
The required number of signatures have been submitted on recall petitions against two of those Republican state lawmakers, so time will tell if the effort against them does better than the formerly can’t-miss crusade to unseat Prosser.
The results of the Supreme Court race are hard to square with a narrative of tax serfs responding angrily to Republican outrages against their union masters. It’s a lot more consistent with hard-working people rallying in the late days of an election when they realized what was at stake, and got a good, long drink of the toxic swill unions were pouring into the scurrilous campaign against Prosser. Maybe that ad accusing him of betraying his responsibilities to protect a pedophile priest was a bit too much. It’s the kind of mistake they’re likely to repeat.