In the week since Wisconsin lawmakers passed collective bargaining-related legislation, much noise has been made about efforts to recall GOP Senators who supported the measure.
A Google News search on "Wisconsin recall" returns items that are overwhelmingly oriented towards Democrat efforts to recall Republicans. The final sentence of a March 13 Associated Press report by Sam Hananel indicates that "Union officials are also helping mobilize demonstrations in state capitols and spending money on recall campaigns against GOP officials who support efforts to curb union rights," with no mention anywhere of GOP efforts against "Fleebagging" Dems.
It would be understandable if conservatives and Tea Party sympathizers believe that the Badger State recall momentum is on the Democratic side.
But an email correspondent in Wisconsin who follows matters there closely (Update, 9:00 p.m.: That would be Steve at No Runny Eggs, who has now put up a related post with a polling update) indicates that the split is closer to 50-50 in terms of genuine vulnerability. Specifically, Steve writes (bolds indicating that an atmosphere of leftist intimidation remains quite evident are mine):
(There are) six recalls I'm keeping an eye on. In decreasing chances of success, they are:
- Dan Kapanke (R-32nd) - Given the two college towns (La Crosse, Eau Claire) and the Mississippi River shoreline in his district, I don't know how he ever won election. Indeed, he was beaten in the Congressional race in November.
- Jim Holperin (D-12th) - His district is the mirror opposite of Kapanke's. All three Assemblymen in the district are Republicans. It also is one of 4 districts where there is a local effort, and it's the one that has had the most threats directed against it (to the point where one business ordered the recall organizers to not set up there after receiving threats, and not the boycott variety ).
- Dave Hansen (D-30th) - The district is slightly less Republican than Holperin's, but once again, all three Assemblymen are Republicans. Again, there is an active local recall committee.
- Randy Hopper (R-18th) - On paper, he "shouldn't" be vulnerable. In generic terms, the district is middle-of-the-R spectrum. However ... Hopper is not particularly well-liked, especially by his soon-to-be-ex.
- Robert Wirch (D-22nd) - Despite the fact that 2 of the 3 Assemblymen are Democrats, this district is a toss-up. The top-line races were virtually identical to the statewide races. Once again, there is a local group at work.
- Alberta Darling (R-8th) - ... the North Shore suburbs are a bit "funny", especially since it is right next to the UW-Milwaukee campus. The main reason the 2008 election was close was Darling had a health issue at a time that was aggressively used against her.
... What complicates getting a sense of how things are going is the intimidation campaign against the groups going after Wirch and Holperin. They're being tight-lipped on how well they are doing.
The rest of the recalls are wastes of time, though if a local group would have formed in Dem Julie Lassa's district, it may have had a chance.
Thus, my correspondent indicates that in order of vulnerability, Dems are 2, 3, and 5, while Republicans are 1, 4, and 6. That's as close to equal as you can get.
To give credit to the New York Times, it is one of a very few outlets to note, as it did in its March 12 Wisconsin coverage, that "eight Democrats — as well as eight Republicans — face recall efforts stemming from the dispute." But otherwise, you'd never know this from reading the vast majority of establishment press coverage of Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin legislation that Democrats appear to have at least as much to be concerned about as Republicans.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.