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Fake Democrats Go Down in Wisconsin, Non-Fake Democrat Wins Congressional Election in California

Just a brief recap of what happened last night on the election front:

In Wisconsin, the recall elections kicked off with primaries in 6 races, all of which are seats held by Republican incumbents being recalled. As you may know, Republicans ran “Democrats” in all six races against the official Democratic challengers, in an effort to delay the recall elections by a month. This both gave time for the Republican incumbents to fundraise and campaign, and allowed the leadership to force through a redistricting plan before losing control of the state Senate. That redistricting plan could tilt the state in their favor for the next 10 years.

Anyway, there was some thought that, in a low-turnout election, the six official Democratic challengers might have trouble defeating the fake Democrats, who were mostly Republican activists. This was especially true because there are open primaries in Wisconsin, and Republicans could cross over to vote for the fake Democrat. There was even some electioneering done by Republicans to try to get crossover votes and defeat the official Democratic challengers. But it was not to be.

Six Republican candidates posing as Democrats lost to genuine Democrats in primaries on Tuesday in Wisconsin. The voting was a prelude to the first in a series of recall elections singling out nine Wisconsin state senators for their positions on the divisive union rights restrictions of Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican.

The primary winners will now take on the incumbent Republicans on Aug. 9 […]

Five of the six winners had at least 65 percent of the vote, based on unofficial results. A sixth had 54 percent.

The 54-46 race was won by Shelley Moore, who will now face Sheila Harsdorf on August 9. The rest of the races, as mentioned, were blowouts. I don’t know if you can read anything into the closeness of the Moore race. Now it’s a four-week sprint, and expect lots of cash to be spent on the recalls on both sides.

The other special election last night came in my Congressional district, CA-36. I said yesterday that this would wind up with a single-digit victory for Janice Hahn over Craig Huey, and that’s precisely how it turned out. Hahn won 54-45. The one poll commissioned before the race turned out to be dead-accurate, and Republicans were wise not to waste money in an expensive district getting Huey across the line. A few Republican dreamers try to go for seats like this in California every couple years, and they are endlessly disappointed.

Hahn will not be anywhere near the leader that, say, Debra Bowen would have been for CA-36. She’s just another number on the Democratic side in the House. Currently, Republicans have a 240-193 advantage in the House, with two vacancies; NV-02, vacated by Dean Heller when he moved to the Senate to replace John Ensign, and NY-09, vacated by, ahem, Anthony Weiner. Both of those elections will occur September 13.

UPDATE: FYI, here’s a report from Marcy Winograd about Janice Hahn’s acceptance speech last night:

When Janice Hahn gave her victory speech last night, she reaffirmed her commitment to supporting U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as protecting Medicare and Social Security. Those two issues drew the loudest applause from the audience, hundreds of supporters and volunteers gathered in the harbor at San Pedro. It was a bittersweet moment for both Janice Hahn, the next Congresswoman from the 36th District, as well as her brother, former LA Mayor Jim Hahn, as their beloved mother Ramona Hahn had passed away in her sleep the day before. The two paid tribute to their mother, as well as their legendary father, LA County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn. I congratulated Janice and wished her well.

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David Dayen

David Dayen