Six Republican state senators faced recall votes in Wisconsin today. Three of the GOP incumbents — state Sens. Robert Cowles, Sheila Harsdorf, and Luther Olsen — held on to their seats. Democrats have won two races, against Republican state Senators Dan Kapanke and Randy Hopper.
The Democrats need to win the final race, against state Sen. Alberta Darling, to gain control of Wisconsin’s upper chamber.
We are liveblogging the results here:
1:46am | Final Tally.
To maintain their Senate gains, Democrats will have to win two additional contests next week. Democratic state Sens. Bob Wirch of Pleasant Prairie and Jim Holperin of Conover face recall votes Tuesday.
Check back with us tomorrow for a breakdown of the election outcomes.
1:30am | Darling holds on to her seat.
The effort to recall Republican state senator Alberta Darling fell short tonight, quashing Democrats’ hopes of winning a majority in the Wisconsin state Senate. Darling took 53% of the vote, pulling ahead of her challenger by about 5,000 votes.
0:25am | Darling now has a slight edge in the 8th District.
Darling, the Republican incumbent, now leads in the 8th District with 53% of the vote. We are still waiting on votes in 16 precincts.
Base on the new vote, we now see Darling with a slight edge in the race, although it is still too close to call.
0:14am | 8th District race looks too close to call.
New votes in from suburban Milwaukee indicate that the 8th District race is simply too close to call.
11:52pm | Dems have an edge in the 8th District.
We believe Democrat Sandy Pasch has a slight edge over Darling, the Republican incumbent, but we are still not close to projecting a winner. Pasch holds the lead with 51% of the vote. There are 26 precincts left to report.
11:37pm | KING WINS 18th DISTRICT.
We project King, the Democratic challenger, has won the 18th District with 51% of the vote. Only three precincts left to report.
This puts the evening score at 3-2. It all comes down to the 8th District now.
11:20pm | The races in the 8th and 18th districts are very close.
Darling, the Republican incumbent in the 8th district, just surged back on votes from suburban Milwaukee. Democrat Pasch has only a marginal lead with 51% of the vote.
The race in the 18th District is still tied.
11:13pm | Votes in the 8th District are coming in slowly.
Does anyone know why? Let us know in the comments section.
Only half of Milwaukee’s precincts have reported.
Also, the AP has finally called the 32nd District race for Shilling.
11:09pm | Democrat King appears to have the lead in the 18th District.
But we can’t make a firm projection. There are still 14 precincts left to report.
10:56pm | DEM WINS.
With 54% of the vote and more than 80% of precincts reporting, we project that Shilling, the Democrat, has won the recall vote in the 32nd District.
As we note in our handicap of tonight’s recalls, this was the win most likely to be picked up by Democrats. The seat represents the LaCrosse area, which has grown increasingly liberal over the past few election cycles.
10:48pm | Where The Race Stands.
With Olsen’s win in the 14th District, Republicans are now projected to hold on to three seats.
Harsdorf has retained her seat in the 10th district, and Cowles, another veteran incumbent, has 58% of the vote in the 2nd, with 87% of precincts reporting.
Shilling, who leads Kapanke with 54% of the vote in the 32nd, is the only Democrat with a solid lead.
The races in the 18th and the 8th districts remain close.
10:45pm | Fond du Lac votes are in and Republicans win the 14th District.
We are calling the 14th for Olsen, the incumbent, who has 54% of the vote with 120 of 126 precincts reporting.
This is a key win for the Wisconsin GOP, as many saw the 14th District seat as a possible pickup for the Democrats.
10:37pm | AP calls District 10 for Harsdorf, the Republican incumbent.
AP has called the 10th district recall election for Harsdorf, the 23-year Republican incumbent. Harsdorf has 58% of the vote with 76% of precincts reporting.
10:32pm | Tight races in Districts 14, 18, and 32.
The race is very close in the 14th district; Olsen, the incumbent, is ahead with 54% of the vote. This vote will come down to Fond du Lac’s nine precincts, none of which have reported.
In the 18th district, King and incumbent Hopper are in a dead heat. Less than 20% of precincts have reported.
Democrat Shilling has opened up the lead in the 32nd district, with 53%, but the race is still quite close.
10:17pm | Wisconsin Dems night just got a little brighter.
Shilling, the Democrat, is beginning to build a lead against Kapanke in the 32nd district. She has 53% of the vote with more than 30% of precincts reporting.
10:11pm | Dems are surging in District 8 on the Milwaukee vote.
Pasch, the Democrat, pulled ahead with votes from eight of Milwaukee’s 51 precincts. She now leads Darling 57% to 43%.
10:03pm | This isn’t the last of Wisconsin’s recalls.
There are two more recall elections next Tuesday, this time against two Democratic state senators. If Democrats do win three seats tonight, they will still need to hold on to two seats next week to gain control of the State Senate.
10:01pm | We project Republicans keep their seats in Senate Districts 2 and 10.
In the 2nd, Cowles leads with 57%; Harsdorf leads with 58% in the 10th district. More than 30% of precincts have reported in both districts.
9:52pm | Cowles and Harsdorf have solid leads.
Districts 2 and 10 appear to be sending the incumbent Republicans back to Madison by comfortable margins. District 8 appears to be Republican, but there’s a big chunk of Milwaukee vote that is currently 0/0, meaning no votes from no precincts. The other three races are very close.
9:46pm | Our guide to the recalls.
District 32: State Sen. Dan Kapanke (R) vs. State Rep. Jen Schilling (D):
Likely Democrat: The district, in the LaCrosse area of southeast Wisconsin, is fairly blue and polls have consistently put Schilling in the lead.
District 18: State Sen. Randy Hopper (R) vs. Jessica King (D):
Possible Democrat: In 2008, Hopper beat King by only 163 votes, despite the fact that the 18th is in a Republican stronghold. The district also has the most public workers outside of Dane County. And did we mention Hopper lives with his 26-year old mistress?
The 18th is still GOP-leaning, however, and Hopper has made recent gains.
District 14: State Sen. Luther Olsen (R) vs. State Rep. Fred Clark (D)
Tossup: Olsen and Clark are in a statistical dead-heat in this swing district, which represents Fond du Lac.
District 8: State Sen. Alberta Darling (R) vs. State Rep. Sandy Pasch (D):
Tossup: This race, for a seat representing suburban Milwaukee, is the one to watch. A lot of the outside money spent on the recalls has gone into this race, where Milwaukee’s expensive media market has driven up competition costs.
District 10: State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R) vs. Shelly Moore (D):
Likely Republican: Harsdorf, a 23-year state legislator, is considered relatively safe in this GOP-leaning district.
District 2: State Sen. Robert Cowles (R) vs. Nancy Nusbaum (D):
Likely Republican: Cowles, another Senate veteran, is considered the strongest Republican in the recall elections.
9:38pm | Republicans looking strong in 4 Senate races.
Not much vote yet, but Republicans are running well in District 2, 8, 10 and 14. Districts 2, 8 and 10 look like early calls.
9:32pm | Senate Districts 18 and 32.
These are the two seats the Democrats must win if they’re going to do any business tonight. Currently, they lead in District 32 and trail in District 18. But very preliminary vote.
9:31pm | First vote is now coming in.
The two Senate seats considered “safe Republican” are looking that way in early voting. GOP leads in 5 of the 6 races, but very little vote is in.
9:23pm No vote yet.
Still waiting for some data. No vote reporting yet.
9:12pm | The polls in Wisconsin have officially closed. Strong voter turnout reported in every district.
Although voter turnout tends to be overestimated during polling hours, election officials in Wisconsin are reporting that ballot counts are approaching 2010 numbers, if not presidential-year levels.
Politico reports that in Senate District 8, a key battleground district in suburban Milwaukee, some precincts are apparently predicting 70% voter turnout or higher.
In District 14, a largely rural area that is another battleground seat, the largest city, Baraboo, reported that turnout had reached 2010 levels.
As we noted earlier today, voter turnout will determine this election. Voter energy appears high, but it is difficult to predict who will show up to vote in an August recall election.