Tomorrow is another big day in Wisconsin, with two Democratic Senators facing recall. Sen. Robert Wirch, in SD-22, looks relatively safe in his Democratic leaning district, but Sen. Jim Holperin, in SD-12, is a different story. RRH commissioned a poll that showed Holperin narrowly leading Republican Kim Simac, 51-49, within the margin of error. I have heard of several GOP/Simac internals where she leads by 4+ points. Below the fold, we will analyze each race.
SD-12 53% Obama
Sen. Jim Holperin vs Republican Kim Simac
SD-12 2008 Presidential Election SD-12 is a Republican leaning district in the North Woods. Kim Simac, who led the effort to recall Holperin, is the Republican nominee. This is the premier race of tomorrow. Sen. Jim Holperin, who holds the distinction of being the only lawmaker in America to be recalled twice, has massively outspent Simac. Despite this, the race is a toss-up, with internals on both sides showing it as a tight race, and our own poll showing Holperin up 51-49. Republican groups and unions have made this a battleground this week, pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into this race for just one week. If we win, it will deliver yet another blow to the unions, after the Supreme Court race and their failure to win a majority last week. This race will come down to GOTV. To help you along tomorrow night, here are baselines for how Simac should be doing in each county in the district to have a narrow win:
*This county is subject to massive swings and accounted for less than 1,000 votes in 2008. It is an Indian Reservation. Apparently Indians don't like KloJo as much as Obama and Barrett.
**This county is home to both Simac and Holperin. Holperin has been elected here since the 1980's.
The different races all offer different turn-out models. The Presidential one is probably optimistic for Holperin, since there was a more Democratic than usual electorate and because of McCain's weakness in the Midwest. The 2010 one is probably optimistic for Simac, as the electorate was slightly more Republican than normal. The Supreme Court Number is probably best, as it most closely reflects the current mood in Wisconsin.
SD-22 57% Obama
Sen. Bob Wirch vs Republican Jonathan Steitz
2008 Presidential Election in SD-22 This race is not expected to be close. After narrowly beating now-RNC Chair Reince Priebus for his seat in 2004, Wirch was easily re-elected in 2008. Republican outside groups have ignored this race, and Steitz has not raised enough to be competitive with Wirch and the unions on the air. This district is based in heavily Democratic Kenosha, and, if Steitz were to win, he would face a tough re-election, as this district has become a Kenosha-Racine vote-sink in redistricting. Any path to victory here would run through Racine County. This district contains Burlington Township in Racine County. Burlington gave McCain 55% of the vote in 2008, and Steitz would have to get well over 60% there to win, along with holding Wirch to less than 51% in Kenosha. Steitz is a strong candidate with a bright future ahead of him, but this is just a very tough district.