It is over. David Prosser won his Supreme Court race.

Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board has received the full number of certified results by county in last week’s state Supreme Court race between David Prosser and Joanne Kloppenburg.  With all counties in, Prosser leads by 7,316 votes: this margin is enough to permit a free recount by the state on the defeated Kloppenburg’s behalf, but 7,316 votes is a difference that is not only far beyond the likelihood of being reversed by a fair recount; it is also beyond what political scientists call ‘the margin of fraud.’  Simply put: Kloppenburg can waste Wisconsin’s money, if her Democratic/Big Labor bosses wish it, but it won’t make a difference anyway.

I fully expect that the Activist Left will wish to ride this one out to the bitter end – which is entertaining, primarily because it will cause them more long term angst and disappointment than anything that I could do.  Or possibly even be allowed to do without risking serious long-term harm to my basic ethical state.

We’ll need a few months – or years – to fully assess the Wisconsin situation, of course.  But on first analysis I think that the situation can be accurately described as follows: the Democrats needed to win; a tie would go to the Republicans.  The Left is undoubtedly going to work off of the narrative that coming close shows their power, or that they at least put a scare in the Republicans, or that this is an excellent start to the next set of electoral battles – in short, the sort of things that people who get beaten in elections tell themselves in order to keep their spirits up*.  But the truth is, the Democrats were beaten… and they needed to win this battle more than the Republicans did.

You see, a victory would have not have supported the Democratic narrative about the current state of affairs in Wisconsin; support was never really necessary to keep their base in line.  What it would have done is given that narrative some actual teeth.  Put another way… I could care less if a bunch of Democratic-friendly online sorts go around muttering about how Scott Walker’s policies cause poverty, fascism, and halitosis; but I do care quite a bit if they somehow manage to get that muttering to matter when it comes to opposing Scott Walker’s policies.  The Democrats just tried to do just that.  They did not quite succeed.

And close does not count.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: One other note… Kloppenburg might have won if she hadn’t let that filthy ad about the child molester get promulgated in her name.  I’m sure that said ad did wonders for liberal motivation – but it seems to have turned out to do rather more for conservative motivation, which would make it ultimately counterproductive.  In other words: the moral 0f that story is that you can take progressives’ money, sure – but for the love of God, never take them seriously.

*People who win elections instead tell themselves Hey.  We won! – which does a much better job at encouraging morale.


  • Aruges says:

    If she opts for it, it still won’t be entirely “free”. The state would pickup the tab for the administrative costs for the recount, but she’s still going to have to pay for her lawyers (or rather the unions would have to pay for the lawyers). And given that he unions have some recall elections to fund, they will have to think a bit about funding an extremely long shot recount effort.

  • Rob Crawford says:

    In two weeks, Kloppenberg will be sworn in and we’ll be wondering how they managed to find 8000 net votes for her.

  • Bill Johnson says:

    Rob, I’ll take that bet. How much you gonna wager?

  • Jim B says:

    Most importantly, this exposed unions as a paper tiger. They threw everything they had at this election including a lot of out-of-state money, and in the end, they lost an election that they SHOULD have won.

    It was a special election in which the more motivated and better-organized side almost always wins. And there’s no doubt that the unions had the maximal advantage in both arenas in a 50/50 state which Obama pretty much NEEDS to win in 2012*. And they still lost.

    * Yes I know it’s only 11 electoral votes by itself. But if you’ve lost a traditionally blue state like Wisconsin, then you’re not going to hold Ohio, Florida, Indiana or other similarly situated states either.

    Here’s the intriguing question for 2012: Given the ground shifting under Obama’s feet and the election of multiple Republicans in statewide elections, could Pennsylvania be in play in 2012? If it is, then Obama is toast.

  • BigGator5 says:

    Second place is the first loser.

  • Ronald Ward says:

    Gotta disagree Moe. I think you underestimate how powerful, recognized, and established Prosser is and how much of an absolute nobody KloJo is/was. WI Supreme Justices aren’t easily tossed. It really never ever should have been a contest. From your own admission, had KloJo tweaked her campaign ads, she may have won. So, the energized based was actually there but a selling stratagem tilted the scales? That sounds more like a godsend that won that battle but certainly shouldn’t be considered as a shoe in for the upcoming recall elections. Close speaks volumes.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      To quote SM Stirling: ‘close’ only counts with fragmentation weapons. The Left needed to win this race. They didn’t, thanks largely to their own structural inadequacies. The details of why they almost won is immaterial, as long as they don’t learn from their mistakes. Which they will not.

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