Wisconsin Democrats have easily fended off a Republican ploy in the state Senate recalls, with the official Dem candidates in each of six races easily defeating Republican activists who also filed in the Democratic primaries. But Republicans have not failed to reap some advantages from the situation.
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With the vast majorityÂ of the precincts now in, all six official Democrats have been projected as the winners by the Associated Press. Only oneÂ primary, for the 10th District (GOP Sen. Sheila Harsdorf), has turned out to be tight or seriously contested, with official Dem candidate Shelly Moore winning by a margin of 54%-46%.
The otherÂ Dem primaries are nowhere near that close: Nancy Nusbaum is winning the primary for the 2nd District (Sen. Robert Cowles) by 65%-35%; Sandy Pasch is winning the 8th District (Sen. Alberta Darling) by 67%-33%; Fred Clark is winning the 14th District (Sen. Luther Olsen) by 67%-33%; Jessica King is winning the 18th District (Sen. Randy Hopper) by 68%-32%; and Jennifer Shilling is winning the 32nd District (Sen. Dan Kapanke) by 70%-30%.
Soon after the recall elections were triggered, Republicans declared a strategy to plant fake candidates in the Democratic primaries -- which they have called "protest candidates" -- in order to delay the general elections from July to August, while the GOP incumbents ran unopposed. The candidates included a GOP activist in his 20s, and an octogenarian former GOP state representative, among others. As it turned out, the scheme would cost local governments throughout the state over $400,000.