Journal Sentinels Craig Gilbert did some nice numbers work that can only be encouraging for Democrats in 2012 (Click here to see more and the great graphs):
With all nine Wisconsin recall elections in the books, here’s a recap by the numbers, based on the unofficial results gathered by AP:
Close to half a million people voted in these nine races, with about 51% casting their votes for Democrats and 49% casting their votes for Republicans. There was less than a 7,000-vote difference between the combined vote totals for the two parties, with Democrats winning five races and Republicans winning four, narrowing GOP control of the state Senate from 19-14 to 17-16:
Nine Democratic candidates: 244,978 votes
Nine Republican candidates: 238,527 votes
Republican support more or less “held” in three districts, in the Milwaukee (Darling), Twin Cities (Harsdorf) and Green Bay (Cowles) metropolitan areas. It eroded significantly in the other three seats.
Here’s another great analysis to build on:
Greg Sargent-Washington Post: What labor and Dems failed to accomplish should not diminish what they did accomplish. They revealed an important truth about the mood of the country, one that will have ramifications in 2012: There simply is no clear public mandate for a governing approach that has been widely embraced by national Republicans and conservatives as the way of the future — what we might call “Walkerism.”
The labor-backed We Are Wisconsin is distributing a memo containing some key data points. The new 17-16 split means that “Walker’s working majority in the Wisconsin state senate is over.” Walker — despite his national adulation — has paid a “huge political price” in the state, with his numbers tanking among independents in particular.
And while the Wisconsin fight ended up being about a range of issues, and not so much about union rights, it is a simple fact that Dems successfully seized on Walker’s overreach to articulate a series of unabashedly populist messages that made gains in traditionally Republican districts. As a dress rehearsal for 2012, Wisconsin will persuade national Dems not to refrain from sharp populist messaging. But if you combine the totality of the Wisconsin events with the public backlash to Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan, it is now overwhelmingly clear that the 2010 elections did not constitute a mandate for the overarching ideological approach that turned Walker into a hero among national conservatives. I believe the public is generally susceptible to the conservative economic worldview, but Wisconsin proved that GOP excess can quickly persuade the public to give the left’s case another listen. The events in Wisconsin did not amount to public vindication for Walkerism — in fact, the totality of the last six months amounted to a clear public repudiation of it.