Polls: Wisconsin State Senate Recalls Down To The Wire

August 8, 2011 9:19 a.m.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET.

A new round of Daily Kos/Public Policy Polling (D) numbers for the Wisconsin recalls, conducted over the past weekend in four out of the six Republican-held seats on the ballot Tuesday, show these contests headed down to the wire. Democrats have a clear lead in one race, Republicans in another, and the other two in statistical dead heats.

However, there is a very important caveat to any polls of these races: There is simply no standard statistical model or frame of reference for these very unusual mass recalls. As such, no prediction is really safe, and election-watchers just have to wait until the votes are counted Tuesday night. Everything will ride on the parties’ turnout operations.

In the 32nd district, Democratic challenger Jennifer Shilling leads GOP state Sen. Dan Kapanke by 54%-43%, beyond the ±3.4% margin of error. Meanwhile in the 10 district, GOP state Sen. Sheila Harsdorf leads Democrat Shelly Moore by 54%-42%, outside the 2.7% margin of error.In two other races, GOP state Sen. Randy Hopper has a 49%-48% edge over Democrat Jessica King in the 10th district, well inside the ±2.7% margin of error; and in the 14th District, GOP state Sen. Luther Olsen is ahead of Democrat Fred Clark by 50%-47%, with a ±2.8% margin of error.

Daily Kos/PPP last polled the other two races two weeks ago finding GOP incumbents Alberta Darling and Rob Cowles with narrow leads over their Democratic opponents.

The state Senate currently has a 19-14 Republican majority, with Democrats needing to gain at least a net three seats to gain control on the senate. (And even this would not be the end of it — they hope to recall Walker some time next year.) All in all, this is the closest this country’s system of government can get to a snap parliamentary election, with control of the chamber up for grabs.

Late Update: A new poll of the 18 district by Republican pollster Magellan Strategies gives Democratic candidate Jessica King the lead over GOP incumbent Randy Hopper, by a margin of 50%-47.5%. This is still within the ±2.57% margin of error.

So yes — a Democratic firm’s poll has the Republican ahead, and a Republican pollster has the Democrat ahead, though both are actually statistical dead heats.

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