In it, but not of it. TPM DC
Normally, of course, a state Supreme Court election would not be national news. But in the wake of Republican Gov. Scott Walker's legislation curtailing public employee unions, and the political protests that gripped the state and attracted national attention, the court race very quickly turned into a proxy political battle. Conservatives were supporting Prosser, a former Republican state Assembly Speaker in the 1990s, and liberals backed Kloppenburg, who many years ago interned for Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, who is in turn viewed as being in the court's liberal wing.
Prosser should have been safe in all of this, as incumbent justices -- especially conservative ones, backed by the state's business establishment -- almost always win re-election. Even two weeks ago, a prominent Democrat in Wisconsin told TPM in an off-the-record conversation (now cleared for publication) that they believed Kloppenburg didn't stand a chance, and Prosser should win by double digits. But in the state's hyper-polarized environment, this race quickly became a hot contest.