Wisconsin's Prosser vs. Kloppenburg Race Has Tweeters Biting Their Nails
Statewide races in Wisconsin have turned into a referendum against controversial Republican Governor, Scott Walker. Voters overwhelmed the polls and Twitter was abuzz with real-time news, predictions, and a whole lot of agonizing. Commentary centered primarily on the fight to unseat incumbent State Supreme Court Justice, David T. Prosser, seen as the key to a right-leaning court.
Six weeks ago, election predictions for the Supreme Court race had Prosser winning by a whopping 55% over his opponent, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, who was expected to garner roughly 25% of the vote. If campaign spending were any indication of potential success, Prosser, who appears to have outspent his opponent 2-to-1, should have won handily.
But as the night of April 5th faded into the wee hours of a wet and chilly morning, hundreds of Wisconsin residents were still sitting at their computers biting their nails, obsessively refreshing the results, tweeting and texting, red-eyed, from cell phones and laptops. So much political weight seemed to lay on this event that even in the U.K., the Guardian was opining on the event. The race had become an electoral ping-pong battle. By midnight, the point spread was down to less than 2000 votes.
As the polls closed and districts posted their results, Kloppenburg supporters predicted that the few remaining precincts would lean her way, as would the 8000 absentee ballots that were being counted in Milwaukee. By 2 a.m. Prosser's lead had dropped to less than 600. The Eau Claire County website posted the following disclaimer: "Election results will be late due to a higher voter turnout than expected. Some municipalities ran out of ballots and needed to use paper ballots which need to be hand counted." Everyone was on the edge of their seats.Continued on the next page