Prosser Takes Lead In Wisconsin (For Now)

April 7, 2011 12:07 p.m.

Incumbent Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser appears to have taken a super-narrow lead in the state’s hotly contested Supreme Court race, as one county has posted new numbers — just one step in a very likely long process that will involve the continued canvassing of the votes, and a full recount.

On Wednesday, liberal-backed challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg declared victory. With 100% of precincts reported in the Associated Press, Kloppenburg had a lead of 204 votes against the once-safe conservative incumbent — fueled in great measure by liberal mobilization against Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-public employee union legislation.

But now, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

Figures on Winnebago County’s website are now different from those collected by the AP.

Winnebago County’s numbers say Prosser received 20,701 votes to Kloppenburg’s 18,887. The AP has 19,991 for Prosser to Kloppenburg’s 18,421.

The new numbers would give Prosser 244 more votes or a 40-vote lead statewide.

On Wednesday, the director of the state’s election agency told reporters that votes are expected to change as the counties go through their results.

Keep in mind that spreadsheet errors and adjustments happen in nearly every election — but most elections aren’t so close that people start to notice or care. And once all of them are discovered, they often tend to roughly balance out and only barely move the numbers. Then again, in an election this close, even a tiny movement of the numbers could have an effect.

But bottom line: We didn’t truly know who won the election on Wednesday, and we don’t know right now, either. It’s probably going to be a while.

(Via Dave Weigel)

Late Update: Prosser has reportedly picked up another 200 votes from the correction of a clerical error in New Berlin, located in the Republican stronghold of Waukesha County in the Milwaukee suburbs.

Again, these corrections are only a piece of the whole picture, and it’s going to be a while. Don’t be surprised if the lead ends up switching multiple times.

Late Late Update: TPM has just confirmed with the local clerk’s offices that Kloppenburg has gained some net votes in some other counties: +113 in Grant County, +30 in Iowa County, and +91 in Portage County. She has also gained +24 in Vernon County.

Buckle up, folks.

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