The Other Wisconsin Recall

While the effort to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has received gads of attention, most people don't know there are a variety of other recall races tomorrow—including four for state Senate. Today, Mother Jones has a nice profile of Democratic challenger Lori Compas, who's running as an alternative to Senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald, a Republican and a Walker supporter. Meanwhile, WaPo's The Fix has a post on a potential scenario in which Walker wins but the Democrats take control of the state Senate. Currently, the Post notes, the Senate is evenly divided with one vacancy, which means if any of the four Democratic candidates win, the party could retake the Senate.

But even if the Dems win the Senate tomorrow, it's very likely a short-lived victory. The victors will only serve until November, when they'll be up for re-election. There's not a legislative session planned between now and then, meaning that unless the governor called a special session, the would-be Democratic senators won't have a chance to do much during their very short terms.

November isn't likely to be an easier election; thanks to a GOP-driven redistricting effort, the new maps, which will be in place by then, will largely favor Republicans, according to Charles Franklin, the political scientist overseeing polling at Marquette University Law School. "Whether they can hold the Senate in November is an open question," he says—even if they come out victorious tomorrow.

Of course if the Democrats do manage to take the Senate and then hold it in November, it would have an enormously moderating effect. Even if Walker held his office, he could not enact extreme measures and hope to pass the upper chamber.

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