Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board has received the full number of certified results by county in last week’s state Supreme Court race between David Prosser and Joanne Kloppenburg. With all counties in, Prosser leads by 7,316 votes: this margin is enough to permit a free recount by the state on the defeated Kloppenburg’s behalf, but 7,316 votes is a difference that is not only far beyond the likelihood of being reversed by a fair recount; it is also beyond what political scientists call ‘the margin of fraud.’ Simply put: Kloppenburg can waste Wisconsin’s money, if her Democratic/Big Labor bosses wish it, but it won’t make a difference anyway.
I fully expect that the Activist Left will wish to ride this one out to the bitter end – which is entertaining, primarily because it will cause them more long term angst and disappointment than anything that I could do. Or possibly even be allowed to do without risking serious long-term harm to my basic ethical state.
We’ll need a few months – or years – to fully assess the Wisconsin situation, of course. But on first analysis I think that the situation can be accurately described as follows: the Democrats needed to win; a tie would go to the Republicans. The Left is undoubtedly going to work off of the narrative that coming close shows their power, or that they at least put a scare in the Republicans, or that this is an excellent start to the next set of electoral battles – in short, the sort of things that people who get beaten in elections tell themselves in order to keep their spirits up*. But the truth is, the Democrats were beaten… and they needed to win this battle more than the Republicans did.
You see, a victory would have not have supported the Democratic narrative about the current state of affairs in Wisconsin; support was never really necessary to keep their base in line. What it would have done is given that narrative some actual teeth. Put another way… I could care less if a bunch of Democratic-friendly online sorts go around muttering about how Scott Walker’s policies cause poverty, fascism, and halitosis; but I do care quite a bit if they somehow manage to get that muttering to matter when it comes to opposing Scott Walker’s policies. The Democrats just tried to do just that. They did not quite succeed.
And close does not count.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: One other note… Kloppenburg might have won if she hadn’t let that filthy ad about the child molester get promulgated in her name. I’m sure that said ad did wonders for liberal motivation – but it seems to have turned out to do rather more for conservative motivation, which would make it ultimately counterproductive. In other words: the moral 0f that story is that you can take progressives’ money, sure – but for the love of God, never take them seriously.
*People who win elections instead tell themselves Hey. We won! – which does a much better job at encouraging morale.