Democrats Hold Their Ground In Wisconsin Recall Votes

Democrats keep two seats, holding the GOP majority in the Senate to 17-16

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Wisconsin Democrats, at least, didn't lose any more ground last night in the state's recall elections. Sens. Jim Holperin and Robert Wirch (pictured) held on to their seats and kept the the Republican majority in the Senate to a 17-16 margin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The recall elections--which lost drama when the GOP won four of six seats last week--were seen in part as a referendum on labor organizing efforts in response to the controversial anti-union legislation that Gov. Scott Walker signed amidst large protests earlier this year.

But even though Democrats failed to take the Senate, the Sentinel notes, "the narrower [GOP] majority would make it tougher to win approval of controversial legislation, such as stricter abortion restrictions or tougher penalties for illegal immigrants." Which led the Democratic party chairman, Mike Tate, to spin the result into a moral victory (Via National Journal): "[The recall elections] forced Walker and the GOP to pay public lip service to moderation and bipartisanship for the first time since they took power in January. All of these facts show that voters gave Democrats the overall victory in this summer's historic senate recall elections."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.