Monday, May 23, 2011

Prosser victorious, but win isn't mandate for Walker

Election results indicate a shifting attitude among Wisconsin electorate

The Government Accountability Board certified its recount results within the State Supreme Court race today, confirming that sitting Justice David Prosser won the bout by a margin of 7,000 votes -- or less than one-half of one percent of the total ballots cast.

Congratulations are due to Prosser -- he won the election, after all, and despite my frustration with the results they must be respected. The recount was about ensuring the integrity and openness within the election, especially in Waukesha County where County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus discovered 14,000 uncounted ballots days after the election ended, miraculously giving her former boss Prosser a victory. With those results now confirmed after a lengthy recount process, we must respect what they indicate -- that Prosser was the preferred candidate for voters between himself and JoAnne Kloppenburg.

Many on the right will undoubtedly try to say that this election was a referendum on Walker's policies, that the majority of the state, in supporting Walker's preferred judicial candidate, also prefer Walker himself, alongside his anti-worker initiatives.

But that couldn't be more wrong. Firstly, Walker himself, when it looked like Prosser was going to lose, stated that this election wasn't such a referendum. Polls also indicate that Walker's proposals are largely unpopular, particularly those that dealt with workers' rights.

Consider this as well -- if this Supreme Court race was indeed a referendum on Walker, then a sitting incumbent aligned with Walker's policies nearly lost to an unknown candidate, someone whom the state had never heard of before this election took place. A court race to determine who should be placed within a separate branch of government, especially when its outcome is so close, is hardly a call of support across the state to continue these policies...and it's certainly no mandate for Walker.

If anything, these election results indicate a tide of change within Wisconsin, as more people across the state moved left of what the 2010 elections produced in the electorate. Walker is right in telling his disciples this past week that they ought to take the senate recall elections very seriously. But the right also needs to acknowledge the fact that the state made a major swing this past spring, a shift that possibly hasn't yet finished materializing.

1 comment:

  1. It was the left who framed this as a referendum on Walker. They did everything they could to tie Justice Prosser to Gov. Walker in order to get Ms. Kloppenburg elected. Now that it's over, the left is turning around and saying that this was, in fact, NOT a referendum on Gov. Walker. You can't have it both ways. The bottom line is this: If there was an election that the left should have won, it was this one. Their people were as fired up as they've ever been and they had all the motivation in the world to go to the polls. Still, they failed.
    As it turns out, it WAS a referendum on Scott Walker. If it wasn't, then there wouldn't have been nearly as many voters. The left can distance itself from this race all it wants. It can try to "put lipstick on a pig" and make this look like something positive when, in fact, it was nothing but a repudiation of the socialist agenda and union thuggery.