Think you’re tired of campaign season? Try Wisconsin. The Badger State — which in the last year has been through the upheaval of heavy protest followed by state Senate recall elections – is headed for four major elections over the next seven months: a May Democratic primary for the recall election of Republican Gov. Scott Walker, the recall election itself in June that includes both Gov. Walker and targeted state senate seats, a contested Republican primary for US Senate in August, and the general election in November. Each race will effect the next — control of state government hangs in the balance during the recall elections, and the results could drastically effect the momentum and enthusiasm of activists on both sides of the political divide going into the fall.
Operatives in both parties still consider the recall election the biggest prize in Wisconsin, the culmination of the year plus battle over Act 10, the law that Gov. Walker and the Republican-led legislature passed stripping most collective bargaining rights for most public unions. Democrats, having come up short in their attempts to retake the state Senate in the previous round of recall elections, also point to the June state Senate recalls as a way to stop Walker’s agenda, which they are argue has already been stifled. “Last year was sort of a proxy recall,” one senior Democratic operative told TPM.
The problem? That was last year. The question now, the operative said, was whether Democrats could complete the goal of recalling Walker — a year after the effort was first launched. The hardcore activists on the Democratic side have been out collecting signatures for the string of recall elections since March and April of 2011, so there is a question of how much they have left in the tank.