In addition to the new anti-public employee union law, Hopper faces other obstacles related to his ongoing divorce, and public accusations by his estranged wife that Hopper had committed adultery. A survey released in mid-March by Daily Kos, conducted by Public Policy Polling (D), showed Hopper trailing a generic Democrat by a margin of 49%-44%.
Also on the recall front, Democrats announced last week that they were filing enough petitions to trigger a recall against state Sen. Dan Kapanke (R), who represents the bluest district currently held by a Republican. The Daily Kos poll from mid-March had Kapanke trailing a generic Democrat by 55%-41%.
As Greg Sargent reported Monday, Democrats have now put a number on the signatures they collected against Kapanke: Saying that they filed 22,561 -- well above the 15,588 minimum, and constituting 145% of the quota. As a rule, Dems are seeking well more than the minimum necessary signatures, in order to have a buffer against signatures that could be disqualified.
The state Senate currently has a 19-14 Republican majority, with Democrats hoping to pick up three seats in recall elections and win a majority. Wisconsin state senators serve four-year terms, with half of them up every two years. Wisconsin's recall law contains a condition that any effort cannot begin until at least one year into a term -- meaning that only 16 members, eight Democrats and eight Republicans, could currently be recalled.
In order to initiate a recall, petitioners must gather signatures equal to 25 percent of the total votes within that district in the previous gubernatorial election. This must take place within a 60-day window, but in these two cases the collection has not taken nearly as long -- as the state elections site shows, the recall Kapanke committee and recall Hopper committee signatures are not due until May 2.