UPDATE 4: There’s been yet another lead change in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race.
In a race still too close to call, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg took a paper-thin lead over Justice David Prosser in the state Supreme Court race early Wednesday, capping a race marked by massive voter turnout, Gov. Scott Walker’s union bargaining plan, and record spending by outside interest groups.
As of 11:30 a.m., The Associated Press had results for all but 1 of the state’s 3,630 precincts and Kloppenburg had taken a 235 vote lead after Prosser had been ahead most of the night by less than 1,000 votes.
That one precinct would appear to be in the Town of Lake Mills, where town officials were meeting to count the last of the paper ballots.
The Jefferson County Clerk’s officer reported that Prosser picked up only 2 votes in the electronic vote in Lake Mills and that 24 handwritten ballots were not yet counted.The results of a single township in Jefferson County should be known by about 1 p.m. Wednesday after local officials finish examining votes from Tuesday’s election.
About 220 votes were cast in Town of Lake Mills – seemingly not enough for Prosser to make up the votes he would need to defeat Kloppenburg.
There will likely be a recount.
And Greg Sargent explains why this is a Big F’ing Deal.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court race is down to within 600 votes, with the incumbent, David Prosser, clinging to a narrow lead after a race that swung wildly back and forth overnight.
UPDATE 3, 12:34 AM EST: Prosser has retaken the lead with 93 percent reporting:
David Prosser (inc) 689,201 – 50%
Joanne Kloppenburg 688,802 – 50%
UPDATE 2: with
90 p 92ercent reporting, the race is back under 5,000 2,000 votes:
Joanne Kloppenburg 684,512 50%
David Prosser (inc) 682,935 50%
UPDATE: with 84 percent reporting, Kloppenburg is now up 51%-49%, with an increasingly comfortable lead:
Joanne Kloppenburg 640,660 – 51%
David Prosser (inc) 605,734 – 49%
73 percent of precincts recording, it appeared controversial Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, whom his opponents worked tirelessly to tie to Gov. Scott Walker, was headed to defeat … or a recount.
As of 11:49 p.m., Joanne Kloppenburg was clinging to about an 8,000 vote lead over Prosser:
Supreme Court REPORTING 78%
Joanne Kloppenburg 583,113 – 50%
David Prosser (inc) 575,930 – 50%
The race was considered a major test of whether unions and their supporters could turn outrage over Walker and the Republicans’ union-busting budget, which was rammed through the state assembly while 14 State Senate Democrats fled the state, into an electoral victory. Prosser has also courted controversy, by calling the court’s female chief justice a “total bitch.” And Prosser has appeared to pre-emptively vow to support Walker’s legislative agenda, calling his impatiality into question.
Special interests spent heavily on the race, with Prosser winding up outspending his Democratic opponent 3 to 2:
The Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University Law School estimates interest groups spent more than $3.5 million on TV ads in the high court campaign between Justice David Prosser and Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg. That broke the previous record of $3.38 million for the 2008 contest in which Michael Gableman unseated then-Justice Louis Butler.
Four conservative groups backing Prosser spent a total of 37% more than one liberal group backing Kloppenburg, the center reported. Slightly more than a week ago, liberal and conservative spending on TV ads was about equal, according to the center’s figures.
The liberal Greater Wisconsin Committee was still the group spending the most on ads, mainly attacking Prosser, at $1.36 million. But it was outspent by $2.18 million from conservatives backing Prosser and attacking Kloppenburg: Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, $893,990; Citizens for a Strong America, $813,660; Wisconsin Club for Growth, $415,860; and Tea Party of Wisconsin, $53,710.