The loss was both hard and significant on a number of levels.
Had the election been influenced by a low voter turnout – something that typically bodes ill for Democrats – that would have been put a different face on the story.
But the turnout was spectacular. And, based on the results, Republicans were every bit as energized as Democrats.
GOP supporters had the backs of their sitting Senators, coming to the polls in big numbers to deliver the message that they too are as engaged and energized in the battle taking place in Wisconsin as the progressives and that is precisely what should have those who oppose the conservative agenda – in Wisconsin and throughout the nation – shaking in their boots.
The GOP was not just sending the message that they too know how to show up at the polls. They had a deeper message to send, one that was addressed to the unions. It was a message that came through loud and clear.
We’re (the voters) just not that into you.
The unions poured some $20 million dollars in the Wisconsin effort. For their money, they improved their minority in the State Senate by two votes but failed to come away with the majority required to put the breaks on Governor Scott Walker’s agenda.
That’s a lot of cash to spend for the return achieved.
While the other side also poured serious cash into the state, organizations like Club For Growth can, at the least, come away from the battle knowing that their agenda has not been stymied and, for as long as Governor Walker sits in the state house, they remain free and unfettered in their efforts to move their mission forward while pushing the state of Wisconsin – and the country – backward.
Now, the Wisconsin Democrats are left to determine their plans for the future, particularly with respect to the proposed recall effort against Governor Scott Walker.
The good news is that last night’s battles were fought on enemy territory while a statewide recall will bring the Democratic faithful throughout the state into play.
The bad news is that we’ve now learned that those who support the Walker agenda – and we’d best acknowledge that there are far more of them than Badger State Democrats might have wanted to realize- will not be sitting idly by when it comes to supporting an agenda of wiping out collective bargaining rights, cutting education and healthcare to the bone and disenfranchising those who are more likely to cast their vote for Democrats.
In the end, besides my issue that this was necessary in the first place, there was a level of complacency among the Wisconsin Unions/Democrats, in thinking that their cause was so just that everyone would naturally gravitate to them.
Well, that didn't happen, and if you assume that in 2012, for either a Scott Walker recall or a Barack Obama re-elect, we're in trouble.