I’m actually doing a bit of a homer nod here because I am the e-mailer in question. Tom Blumer wrote about how the duelling recall efforts are playing nationwide, and the fact that, to the LeftStreamMedia, the only recalls that are happening are being organized by the Democrats. With a modification for events that happened since I sent the e-mail Monday night (specifically, a DailyKos/PPP poll) as relayed by WisPolitics’ JR Ross on Jay Weber’s show yesterday, here’s my take on who is actually vulnerable, in order of decreasing vulnerability (updates in italics, some of the original text was edited by Tom):
- Dan Kapanke (R-32nd) – Given the two college towns (La Crosse, Eau Claire) and the Mississippi River shoreline in his district, I don’t know how he ever won election. Indeed, he was beaten in the Congressional race in November. Ignore the fact that there were, until Mike Huebsch was chosen as Administration secretary, 2 Republican Assemblymen out of the 3 Assembly districts that make up the Senate district – both of them were liberal “Republicans”, and the one that is still in the Assembly voted against the budget repair bill. Further, Kapanke has been the target of multiple incidents of personal property damage.
- Jim Holperin (D-12th) – His district is the mirror opposite of Kapanke’s. All three Assemblymen in the district are Republicans. It also is one of 4 districts where there is a local effort, and it’s the one that has had the most threats directed against it (to the point where one business ordered the recall organizers to not set up there after receiving threats, and not the boycott variety).
- Dave Hansen (D-30th) – The district is slightly less Republican than Holperin’s, but once again, all three Assemblymen are Republicans. Again, there is an active local recall committee.
- Randy Hopper (R-18th) – On paper, he “shouldn’t” be vulnerable. In generic terms, the district is middle-of-the-R spectrum. However, the district is home to several prisons (think corrections officers), and Hopper is not particularly well-liked, especially by his soon-to-be-ex.
- Robert Wirch (D-22nd) – Despite the fact that 2 of the 3 Assemblymen are Democrats, this district is a toss-up. The top-line races were virtually identical to the statewide races. Once again, there is a local group at work.
Luther Olsen (R-14th) – I didn’t have this on my radar initially, but a DailyKos/PPP poll seems to suggest he’s vulnerable to the generic Dem. Much like the neighboring Hopper’s district, on paper, Olsen really “shouldn’t” be vulnerable. The fact that Olsen is “not exactly” a conservative, however, points to one of two things, both potentially troubling for Olsen – either the district is more liberal than the “top-line” races suggest, or Olsen could be vulnerable to a challenge from his right.
- Alberta Darling (R-8th) – I probably shouldn’t include this as a “vulnerable” district, but the North Shore suburbs are a bit “funny”, especially since it is right next to the UW-Milwaukee campus. The main reason the 2008 election was close was Darling had a health issue at a time that was aggressively used against her. Of note, the same DailyKos/PPP poll that suggests Olsen is vulnerable gives Darling a comfortable advantage over the generic Dem.