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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Survives Recall, But Dems Gain Slight Edge In State Senate

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Jun 6, 2012 1:40PM

Gov. Scott Walker beat Democratic challenger Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in yesterday's recall election, hanging onto his post with a voting margin that was narrow, but not as close as expected. Walker pulled 53 percent of the vote over Barrett's 47 percent.

"Second verse, same as the first..." The election played out just like the 2010 election in which Walker beat Barrett by almost 6 percentage points. Walker says he wants to bring people together, and wants to invite the Legislature to meet over burgers, brats and beer.

"It's time to put our differences aside and find ways to work together to move Wisconsin forward," Walker told the AP. "I think it's important to fix things, but it's also important to make sure we talk about it and involve people in the process."

It's not all bad news for Democrats, though. The Wisconsin State Senate is currently split 16 to 16, and if just one Democrat won a recall, the balance would shift in their favor. Final counts in District 21 show former state Sen. John Lehman beat incumbent Republican state Sen. Van Wanggaard by less than 1,000 votes. Lehman declared victory, but Wanggaard says he will review the results before conceding. There may still be a recount.

Votes in the other three senatorial recall elections weren't so close, with Republicans dusting off their Democratic challengers. See the full results from the AP below.

Turnout was off the charts with more than 2.5 million people, 57 percent of voting-age adults, casting a ballot. That's more than any midterm gubernatorial election since at least 1950, and tops the 2.17 million turnout in the 2010 governor's race. For comparison, the 2008 presidential election attracted 3 million voters.

That's a lot of voters for a state that has had seven elections in the last 14 months. You'd think the state ran out of "I voted" stickers by now. They only have two months off from voting before they have to cast another ballot — a Senate race in August, followed by the presidential race in November.

And as for that presidential race, analysts predict this win will help conservatives rally for Mitt Romney in the fall. It showed the Republicans have a formidable presence on the ground that has the state swinging a little further to the right.

Scott Walker, Scott, GOP (i): 1,331,076, 53%
Tom Barrett, Dem: 1,158,337, 46%
Hari Trivedi, Ind 14,332, 1%

Lieutenant Governor
Rebecca Kleefisch, GOP (i): 1,296,916, 53%
Mahlon Mitchell, Dem: 1,150,991, 47%

District 13
(96 of 97 wards reporting)
Scott Fitzgerald, GOP (i): 47,116, 58.4%
Lori Compas, Dem: 32,870, 40.7%
Terry Virgil, Lib: 760, 0.9%

District 21
John Lehman, Dem: 36,255, 50.5%
Van Wanggaard, GOP (i): 35,476, 49.5%

District 23
Terry Moulton, GOP (i): 39,843, 56.7%
Kristen Dexter, Dem: 30,479, 43.3%

District 29
Jerry Petrowski, GOP: 44,027, 61.4%
Donna Seidel, Dem: 27,702, 38.6%