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Republican Scott Walker became the third governor in U.S. history to face a recall last night, and the first ever to retain his seat in such an election, defeating Democrat Tom Barrett by an even wider margin than when the two first met in 2010.With nearly all of the vote counted, Walker defeated Barrett by a 53-46 percent margin. Both candidates surpassed their 2010 vote totals but it was Walker who ran them up more.With all eyes on Wisconsin, Walker's victory speech in Waukesha was broadcast far and wide. Walker—the son of a preacher—made frequent reference to his religious faith, opening his speech by saying, “I want to thank God for his abundant grace.”The governor also used the spotlight to paint himself as a national and even a world figure, “Tonight, we tell Wisconsin, we tell our country and we tell people all across the globe that voters really do want leaders who stand up and make the tough decisions.”Walker...

Democrats won one of the four state Senate recall races last night, with John Lehman's very close win in southeast Wisconsin's 21st District. The margin of victory was about 800 votes.Addressing a small die-hard crowd of supporters at Racine’s Labor Center just before 1 a.m., Lehman claimed a razor-thin victory.If the victory withstands likely challenges, Lehman’s win over Republican incumbent Van Wanggaard would shift control of the Senate to Democrats, at least until the next election in November. Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca of Kenosha says he believes the switch will force Gov. Walker to live up to his word.Over at his campaign headquarters, Wanggaard declined to speak to reporters after Lehman’s victory speech.

State Democratic leaders say they have no regrets about the recall campaign against Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch that failed to remove the two Republicans from office.Walker and Kleefisch won relatively easy victories Tuesday against their Democratic opponents, but state Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate says he has no regrets about initiating the recall.Rashma Mchale says she worked very hard on getting out the vote for the recall. She says her only regret is the result of the election.Republicans and their supporters say the Walker win means good news for the state; Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson says Walker and Lt. Gov. Kleefisch are leaders who have set an admirable example for the rest of the nation.The business group Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce says that thanks to Walker, Wisconsin now has a competitive advantage over states that didn’t make the same tough, but necessary choices to balance their budgets.

Tell Me More

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker survived a recall election. Also, voters went to polls in five primaries, including California and New Mexico where Latinos make up more than a third of the populations. Host Michel Martin takes a look at what the results mean with Wisconsin Public Radio's Shawn Johnson and Gabriel Sanchez of Latino Decisions.

Two powerful, long serving lawmakers went head-to-head in the 29th state Senate race last night. In the end, Republican Jerry Petrowski prevailed over Democrat Donna Seidel.Jerry Petrowski only entered the race after recall target Pam Galloway resigned her Senate seat. He thanked a roomful of people who have backed him in the Assembly for 14 years: “I'm not sure anybody's ever run a 10 week state Senate campaign, but we have.”Several miles away, Assistant Minority Leader Donna Seidel told a stunned group of supporters at the Wausau Labor Temple to keep fighting for health care, education, and women's rights, “And we need to continue to commit to those ideals, and those values, and those priorities, and we will!”Seidel said she hopes Republicans will now reach out to Democrats: “Even the Republicans have to recognize that what's gone on in Wisconsin is not good for any of us. I would hope that better angels prevail.”Petrowski said he'll make the effort, “I'm...

The Republican leader of the state Senate, Scott Fitzgerald, will keep his seat after defeating Democratic challenger Lori Compas in Tuesday's historic recall election.Fitzgerald won by a margin of more than 10,000 votes. But political newcomer Lori Compas came 10,000 votes closer to beating Fitzgerald than his most recent Democratic opponent in the 2010 election. Compas says despite her defeat, the voters who supported her aren't going away. She says they'll work to block bills sponsored by national conservative group American Legislative Exchange Council: “I certainly think we are going to be a thorn in the side of Sen. Fitzgerald moving forward. I mean honestly, we are going to be watching him and we are going to be watching ALEC. We really don't like the idea of legislation coming from outside. I just want to keep this spirit alive.”But Sen. Fitzgerald says he'll work to keep the spirit of Gov. Scott Walker's reforms alive. He told a crowd of supporters...

Gov. Scott Walker easily beat back a recall challenge from Democrat Tom Barrett Tuesday. Walker acknowledged the bruising battle could leave scars, and says bringing the state back together will take time.Supporters greeted Gov. Walker after his victory with chants expressing gratitude.The recall against Walker was sparked by his limits on collective bargaining for public employees, but it grew to a coalition opposing budget cuts to health care and education. Walker says his reforms helped fix the state's deficit, despite being unpopular: “We tell our country and we tell people all across the globe that voters really do want leaders who stand up and make the tough decisions.”Walker says he will increase the number of jobs in Wisconsin, although Barrett took issue with that claim during the campaign. During his concession speech the Milwaukee mayor said the recall was democracy in action: “To those of you who care about this city which I love. To those of you who care...

Voters are turning out at the polls to make a change or to stand by their man in Wisconsin.Superior City Clerk Terri Kalan is pleasantly surprised by how busy it’s been. She says outside of a couple of scanner misfeeds and some polling place confusion, everything has been going well: “All of the chief inspectors that I’ve talked to said that everyone has been very pleasant coming through the line and not complaining about having to wait. So, so far it seems like everything is going very well.”There were waiting lines this morning and Kalan expects more lines when people get off work later today. Janice and John Letsos were expecting a bigger rush at the polls. They were trying to avoid what they’ve seen in previous years with elections, “We always vote. We vote in every election and this is a heated election, let’s put it that way. And that’s why we’re here early.”...

Many of Wisconsin's smaller, rural communities had higher-than-usual voter turnout for yesterday's election.In the town of Barre in La Crosse County, Town Clerk Sally Stelloh says she’s seeing twice as many voters as usual: “We have a good turnout in Barre, people are civically-minded and they’re very interested in what’s going on.”Down the road the rural town of Bangor is seeing a heavy voter turnout too. Bangor Clerk Peg Culpitt says as of noon, already a third of the registered voters in the community had cast their ballots. She says she’s not surprised at the turnout so far. Culpitt says the election has stirred up strong emotions. “I think in some cases its brought conflict into families where two people are coming and they’re canceling each other out.”Despite the large turnout, there have been no major problems in the towns of Barre and Bangor....

There are reports of high voter turnout throughout Wisconsin as people head to the polls for the state's first ever gubernatorial recall election. That includes projected turnout of as high as 100-percent in Madison.
The 100-percent figure from Madison City Clerk Maribeth Witzel Behl is based on the number of people who had voted by 11 o'clock this morning. Turnout was already about 25-percent. She says that number typically doubles by four o'clock and doubles again by the time polls close at eight.
If it sounds impossible, Witzel Behl says you have to remember the way turnout percentages are calculated, "It's not mathematically impossible because our numbers are based on registered voters. And so it means we'd have a lot of new registered voters--people who hadn't registered in advance of the election."
Dane County Clerk Karen Peters said she'd ordered enough ballots to accomodate 100-percent turnout countywide. Based on the turnout she saw this morning Peters ordered...

State elections officials are reporting “very heavy” voter turn-out in today’s recall election. Noah Ovshinsky has more.

Gov. Scott Walker's recall election victory might not seem like it would have much relevance outside the Badger State. But the outcome may embolden other governors to follow Walker's lead and move against public employee unions. It also could boost conservatives and disrupt President Obama's re-election strategy.

Morning Edition

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat, conceded to Republican Governor Scott Walker Tuesday night. Democrats and labor unions tried to oust Walker in response to his push to strip public employee unions of bargaining rights.

Governor Scott Walker thanked supporters in Waukesha after being projected the winner of Tuesday's recall election. Supporters chanted, "Thank you, Scott," as Walker thanked his family, campaign staff, and supporters throughout Wisconsin. He said his victory shows that voters do want leaders who make the tough decisions. He says tomorrow, he will meet with his cabinet and renew his commitment to grow Wisconsin's economy and move forward.
When a few supporters booed at his mention of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Walker said, "No, the election is over," and urged Wisconsinites to get past the election and move forward.
Earlier, Barrett urged his supporters in Milwaukee to "never stop doing what you believe is right."
Walker says he plans to invite members of the legislature to his residence for, "burgers, brats, and maybe some good Wisconsin beer," and to talk about ways to improve the state for all residents.

Returns are coming in for today's recall elections for governor, lt. governor, and in four state Senate districts. Follow the results online at Wisconsinvote.org and listen to WPR's Ideas Network tonight for reports and analysis.

The state's Republican Gov. Scott Walker has survived a recall election in one of the most closely watched and dramatic state races. He defeated Milwaukee's Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett.

After seven months of signature collecting, delays and primaries, the recall election targeting Republican Governor Scott Walker is Tuesday. (6/5) The result of the contest between Walker and Democratic challenger Tom Barrett could depend on turnout.

Gov. Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Barrett are close in the polls. The surveys show only a few percent of the electorate undecided. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee governmental affairs professor Mordecai Lee says in that kind of race turnout is typically key. Lee says he's impressed at the get out the vote efforts.

Lee says the amount of time, energy and money going into a governor's race has been unusual. Voters also get to choose between lieutenant governor candidates Mahlon Mitchell and Rebecca Kleefisch, and there are four state Senate seats up for grabs.

Nearly 100 supporters were on hand to greet Democratic candidate Tom Barrett during a campaign stop at a La Crosse coffee house Monday morning.
In a room full of sign-carrying supporters, and local Democratic lawmakers, Barrett likened the gubernatorial race to a heavyweight fight. He attacked Scott Walker for accepting millions in out-of-state money, “In one corner you’ve got Scott Walker who has raised millions and millions of dollars from the billionaire in Texas, from the developers in Missouri. Stacks and stacks of money. And in the other corner, I got you.
Both candidates have said voter turnout will be key with recent polls showing a close race. Barrett urged his supporters not only to vote but to urge others to do the same, “To make sure that everybody we know votes, this is our democracy. When the founders put together those documents, they didn’t talk about they the people, they talked about we the people. This is...

The candidates for Governor are crisscrossing Wisconsin in advance of Tuesday's historic recall election.

Gov. Scott Walker made his first of a half-dozen campaign stops Monday at a Fitchburg plastics manufacturer. Speaking to reporters Walker delivered what has been one of his closing arguments in this recall, "We want to make sure we get our voters out, and we want to make sure we make as many last-minute appeals to undecided voters that if they want to move on, if they want to move forward, then we're the candidate. If they want to go back and rehash the entire debate all over again that we saw for the last year-and-a-half, then they should vote for our opponent."

Walker said he expected a big turnout with passions running high on both sides. The governor said he wasn't surprised that polls showed the race tightening and that he'd always expected a close vote. Walker was asked whether he had...

Wisconsin election officials are making their final preparations ahead of tomorrow's recall. Municipalities have been swamped mailing absentee ballots and handling early in person voting. According to the Government Accountability Board over 206,000 absentee ballots had already been issued as of noon Monday.
"It's been very busy," said Kris Teske. She's the Clerk for the City of Green Bay. "Very busy at the counter, very busy with requests. Today feels really good because nobody can vote or register today so it gives us time to catch up."
Teske says that they're all set for the polls to open tomorrow at Green Bay's 47 wards.

"We're prepared," she said. "It's just like any other election. Granted we'll have more people but we'll just send more supplies."
The Government Accountability Board is estimating turnout to be around 60 to 65 percent. Polls in Wisconsin are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m....

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