July 20, 2011

Wisconsin Senator Dave Hansen: He lives!

Hansen "survives," sez Politico dot com. Gimme a break.

survive, v., continue to live in spite of an accident or ordeal.

There was an accident, alright, in that the WISGOP's only other relatively viable candidate couldn't scrounge up a measly 400 signatures to get on the ballot. And there was an ordeal, alright, in that the candidate the WISGOP did field was rather unique, except it's the WISGOP that's enduring the ordeal of being represented by its candidates' uniqueness.

Seriously, Politico, Dave Hansen won nearly 70% of the vote in a Senate district comprising three Assembly districts, each of which went to Republicans in the "Tea Party" of November 2010. In fact one of those Assembly districts belongs to John Nygren, the fellow who couldn't raise 400 signatures (or 399, which he could have if he signed his own name).

David VanderLeest, the unique candidate that the WISGOP put against Hansen, received 5,000 fewer votes than the number of signatures that the WISGOP collected to force last night's election in the first place.

That seems pretty unique too. What happened to the other 5,000?

Gone back to Utah?
"I don't think it tells us too much about the big issues in the recalls — collective bargaining and senators leaving the State," said St. Norbert College political scientist David G. Wegge.
To the contrary, it says quite a lot, considering yesterday's general election was directly inspired by Dave Hansen's decision to leave the State in order to draw public attention to the Fitz Van Walker regime's hitherto unadvertised plan to crush the right to collective bargaining.

Instead, Prof. Wegge informs us, "it was much more about a mismatch." The embedded assumption, it appears, is that Hansen v. Nygren would have been less of a mismatch, which is probably true. But it's not as if some extraneous set of circumstances or Acts of God prevented John Nygren from participating to the extent political scientists might be in a better position to evaluate substantively. It's that John Nygren himself couldn't muster enough WISGOP support to challenge Hansen. Sheesh.


gnarlytrombone said...

"it was much more about a mismatch."

Cue Cleatus the Fox Sports Robot graphic.

Jeremy R. Shown said...

I agree that "survives" misses the mark, but I'm really not sure what conclusions we can draw.

Hansen got about the same percentage of the vote that he got in 2008 (68 vs. 66) and VanderLeest got almost the same percentage as Hansen's last opponent (about 33% each).

That "nearly 70%" is a nice rhetorical flourish, but he got "nearly 70%" in his last election. Where is the anti-Walker bounce?

illusory tenant said...

I don't know that you'd see an anti-Walker bounce in a special election engineered by pro-Walker forces which failed to make even the slightest dent in the incumbent's support. Where we did see an anti-Walker bounce was between February 15 and April 5, when Kloppenburg advanced by up to 15 points in the State's most conservative counties. Now there's an incumbent who barely survived: David Prosser.

Mike said...

The Republicans are demoralized and are committing unforced errors. That tends to happen when you play defense for month after month with no letup in sight. If Nygren had the troops our side puts in the field every day, he would have had 800 solid signatures in a matter of days, no big deal.

Now the previously vulnerable Jim Holperin has Kim Simac as an opponent, winning handily in her primary no doubt with the help of Democratic voters who can hardly wait to VanderLeest her next month (karma's a bitch).

Paula Lee Bright said...

Karma is a bitch, and I love it. Had lost a little faith in it lately, but I feel stirrings in my blood that tell me I may be in for good news.

Then again, on the national front, those Tea Partiers with their crazed no-compromise positions scare the crap outta me. Dang!

Good post and comments. :)

jeff simpson said...

I think this race shows two things. 1. that the republicans have no talent ready to run in any of these races(see also kim simac), and 2. Knowing who Vanderleest is now, there is a pretty good chance they did not legitimately get the required amount of signatures to actually recall Hansen(phonebooks anyone).

illusory tenant said...

It is odd that 15,000 people were motivated to recall Hansen in principle but only 10,000 turned up to actually do it. Maybe they changed their minds.