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In final Wisconsin recall, signs of a national tea party backlash?

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Even with Republicans ruling all three branches of state government no matter the outcome, Tuesday’s election does give Democrats a chance to hold tight to that slim margin, which they can use to strategize with Republican moderates to vote against future conservative legislative efforts.

“A one-vote majority in any legislative assembly is pretty tenuous,” says Professor McAdams. “Republicans would really be quite better off if they could pick up one of the races on the ballot.”

Tuesday’s recall elections pit Democratic Sen. Bob Wirch against challenger Jonathan Steitz, a corporate attorney, in the Kenosha-area 22nd Senate District. In the other race, Democratic Sen. Jim Holperin is being challenged by Kim Simac, a tea party activist, in the 12th Senate District, located in the north.

The campaigns can’t help but address the controversial legislation pushed by Gov. Scott Walker (R), which includes bills to limit the collective bargaining of unions, give gun owners the right to carry concealed weapons, redistrict political boundary lines, and create tougher ID restrictions at the voting booth.

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