Daily Kos did some polling of three of the recall elections in Wisconsin, and the numbers look fairly good for Democrats.
Jennifer Shilling (D): 56
Dan Kapanke (R-inc): 42
Jessica King (D): 50
Randy Hopper (R-inc): 47
Shelly Moore (D): 45
Sheila Harsdorf (R-inc): 50
The numbers bear a striking resemblance to preliminary polling, also done by Daily Kos, back in March, before signatures were even filed. In those polls, Dan Kapanke trailed a generic Dem 55-41, Hopper trailed 49-44, and Harsdorf led 48-44. So there really hasn’t been much movement, and all of it within the margin of error.
If that’s the case, then the election to watch is Luther Olsen in SD-14. In that preliminary polling, he trailed a generic Dem by 49-47. Rob Cowles in SD-2 also was very close, just 45-43 in favor of Cowles in that March polling. If the other races stayed in line with that early polling, Democrats would pick up three seats and take back the state Senate in Wisconsin.
But it’s somewhat early, and the polls (other than the Kapanke race) are pretty close. David Nir attributes the trail in the Harsdorf race to some outside expenditures from right-wing groups:
Finally, teacher and activist Shelly Moore is taking on Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, whom she trails by five. Moore was the subject of an early attack ad by the Club for Growth, which had been airing for a week before we went into the field. Fortunately, the labor umbrella group We Are Wisconsin fired back with a “compare-and-contrast” spot hitting Harsdorf late last week, which was probably too recent to have an effect on our poll. So the fact that the contest is still so close despite a weeklong barrage against Moore suggests that once the We Are Wisconsin ad begins to penetrate, the race could tighten further. In other words, it’s definitely within reach.
Now we know why We Are Wisconsin picked that race to launch their first ad.
Democrats are going to be outspent. The Club for Growth, Crossroads GPS and even the Chamber of Commerce can be expected to play here. But so far, at least, that hasn’t moved the numbers dramatically. If Wisconsin Democrats have a good enough plan to get out the vote and can capitalize on an intensity gap, they are well-positioned to win back the state Senate. But it should be close.