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Wisconsin Recall Election Today

For only the third time in U.S. history a sitting governor is facing a recall election. Today the voters of Wisconsin have to decide if they want to keep Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), who has taken an extremely hard line against the state's unions, which got them angry enough to successfully collect sufficient signatures to force a recall election. Walker is facing former Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett (D). The other governors who faced recall elections were Lynn Frazier, governor of North Dakota, who was recalled in 1921 and Gray Davis, governor of California, who was recalled in 2003. Here are the most recent six polls of the Wisconsin recall election.

Pollster Barrett Walker Start End
We Ask America 42% 50% Jun 3 Jun 3
PPP 47% 50% June 2 June 3
Angus-Reid 46% 51% May 30 Jun 2
Marquette Law School 45% 52% May 23 May 26
We Ask America 42% 54% May 23 May 23
St. Norbert Coll. 45% 50% May 17 May 22

If the polls are to be believed, Scott Walker will keep his job. However, as with primary elections, turnout on special elections tends to be low so a lot depends on which side is better at turning out its supporters.

No matter what happens today, Wednesday morning a lot of soothsayers will be examining the results for clues to November as if they were the entrails of a goat. A Walker victory today means a Romney win in November and a Barrett win means Obama will get a second term they will all say. It seems unlikely. It often happens that people vote for a Democrat for one office and a Republican for another. If everybody voted a straight party line, then each state would either have a Republican governor and two Republican senators or a Democratic governor and two Democratic senators. In reality, 14 states have a Republican governor and two Republican senators, 11 states have a Democratic governor and two Democratic senators, and 25 states have some other combination. So in half the states, the voters don't vote a straight ticket, including Wisconsin. Here is the list of sitting governors and senators (this list is also on the Data galore page in case you look for it later).

State Governor Senior senator Junior senator
Alabama Robert Bentley (R) Richard Shelby (R) Jeffrey Sessions (R)
Alaska Sean Parnell (R) Lisa Murkowski (I) Mark Begich (D)
Arizona Janice Brewer (R) John McCain (R) Jon Kyl (R)
Arkansas Michael Beebe (D) Mark Pryor (D) John Boozman (R)
California Edmund Brown (D) Dianne Feinstein (D) Barbara Boxer (D)
Colorado John Hickenlooper (D) Mark Udall (D) Michael Bennet (D)
Connecticut Daniel Malloy (D) Joseph Lieberman (I) Richard Blumenthal (D)
Delaware John Markell (D) Thomas Carper (D) Christopher Coons (D)
Florida Richard Scott (R) William Nelson (D) Marco Rubio (R)
Georgia John Deal (R) Saxby Chambliss (R) John Isakson (R)
Hawaii Neil Abercrombie (D) Daniel Inouye (D) Daniel Akaka (D)
Idaho Clement Otter (R) Michael Crapo (R) James Risch (R)
Illinois Patrick Quinn (D) Richard Durbin (D) Mark Kirk (R)
Indiana Mitchell Daniels (R) Richard Lugar (R) Daniel Coats (R)
Iowa Terry Branstad (R) Charles Grassley (R) Thomas Harkin (D)
Kansas Samuel Brownback (R) Patrick Roberts (R) Gerald Moran (R)
Kentucky Steven Beshear (D) Addison McConnell (R) Rand Paul (R)
Louisiana Piyush Jindal (R) Mary Landrieu (D) David Vitter (R)
Maine Paul LePage (R) Olympia Snowe (R) Susan Collins (R)
Maryland Martin O'Malley (D) Barbara Mikulsi (D) Benjamin Cardin (D)
Massachusetts Deval Patrick (D) John Kerry (D) Scott Brown (R)
Michigan Richard Snyder (R) Carl Levin (D) Deborah Stabenow (D)
Minnesota Mark Dayton (D) Amy Klobuchar (D) Alan Franken (D)
Mississippi Haley Barbour (R) William Cochran (R) Roger Wicker (R)
Missouri Jeremiah Nixon (D) Claire McCaskill (D) Roy Blunt (R)
Montana Brian Schweitzer (D) Max Baucus (D) Jon Tester (D)
Nebraska David Heineman (R) Benjamin Nelson (D) Michael Johans (R)
Nevada Brian Sandoval (R) Harry Reid (D) Dean Heller (R)
New Hampshire John Lynch (D) Jeanne Shaheen (D) Kelly Ayote (R)
New Jersey Christopher Christie (R) Frank Lautenberg (D) Robert Menendez (D)
New Mexico Susana Martinez (R) Jeffrey Bingaman (D) Thomas Udall (D)
New York Andrew Cuomo (D) Charles Shumer (D) Kirsten Gillibrand (D)
North Carolina Beverly Perdue (D) Richard Burr (R) Kay Hagan (D)
North Dakota John Dalrymple (R) Kent Conrad (D) John Hoeven (R)
Ohio John Kasich (R) Sherrod Brown (D) Robert Portman (R)
Oklahoma Mary Fallin (R) James Inhofe (R) Thomas Coburn (R)
Oregon John Kitzhaber (D) Ronald Wyden (D) Jeffrey Merkley (D)
Pennsylvania Thomas Corbett (R) Robert Casey (D) Patrick Toomey (R)
Rhode Island Lincoln Chafee (I) John Reed (D) Sheldon Whitehouse (D)
South Carolina Nimrata Haley (R) Lindsey Graham (R) James DeMint (R)
South Dakota Dennis Daugaard (R) Timothy Johnson (D) John Thume (R)
Tennessee William Haslam (R) Lamar Alexander (R) Robert Corker (R)
Texas James Perry (R) Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) John Cornyn (R)
Utah Gary Herbert (R) Orrin Hatch (R) Michael Lee (R)
Vermont Peter Shumlin (D) Patrick Leahy (D) Bernard Sanders (I)
Virginia Robert McDonnell (R) James Webb (D) Mark Warner (D)
Washington Christine Gregoire (D) Patricia Murray (D) Maria Cantwell (D)
West Virginia Earl Tomblin (D) John Rockefeller (D) Joseph Manchin (D)
Wisconsin Scott Walker (R) Herbert Kohl (D) Ronald Johnson (R)
Wyoming Matthew Mead (R) Michael Enzi (R) John Barrasso (R)

Five Primaries Today

Although Mitt Romney has more than enough delegates to capture the Republican nomination, the primary process is continuing to roll along, with primaries in California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota today. In a number of cases there are contested primaries for the Senate and House, so there will no doubt be substantial turnout. Incumbent vs. incumbent elections are happening in New Jersey and California. Also, in New Mexico, there are tough Democratic and Republican primaries in New Mexico for the Senate seat of retiring senator Jeff Bingaman.

Today's Presidential Polls

State Obama Romney   Start End Pollster
Virginia 47% 47%   Jun 03 Jun 03 Rasmussen