Rachel Weiner has the latest from Wisconsin — Dems say they’ve gathered more than half the signatures they need to hold elections to recall GOP Senators, and are now flatly predicting they’ll take back the state senate:
Twenty days into a recall campaign spurred by the state’s rollicking budget fight, Wisconsin Democrats are now predicting that they will be able to take back control of the state Senate this summer.
Statewide, Democrats say they have over fifty percent of the number of petitions they need to recall eight Republican state senators, although they are not over the fifty percent threshold in every district.
“We’re well ahead of schedule,” said Graeme Zielinski, Wisconsin Democratic Party spokesman. “I think in mid-summer, you will have a Democratic Senate.” The party would not release detailed percentages of where the party stood in each targeted seat.
Click the link for a detailed rundown of which GOP senators are in the most trouble.
In the case of the drive to recall Republicans, the signaures are due to be submitted on May 2nd. This gives Dems and labor activists a good five weeks to go — well over half the total 60 days alloted — with more than half the signatures already gathered. Now, a word of caution: If Dems are only claiming more than half the total number they will need in the end to hold the recall elections, then this isn’t a slam dunk: They will need to gather far more than that number to allow for disqualifications. Still, this would seem to put Dems in a pretty strong position, and more important, it may signal that the energy behind the recall drives hasn’t dissipated.
Meanwhile, Republicans are still refusing to release the numbers of signatures they’ve gathered to recall Dems.
Ultimately, what’s really interesting here is that the drive continues to maintain momentum even though the national media has completely moved on from this story. But the skirmishing in court over Scott Walker’s proposal, and the stuff that’s been coming out about Walker fibbing about emails to his office and GOP state senator Randy Hopper’s affair, have kept the story on full boil in Wisconsin. And with outside groups getting more and more involved, this remains a national war with a huge amount riding on the outcome.