From New York Times-
Two Republican state senators lost their seats in recall elections around Wisconsin on Tuesday, but Republicans maintained their control of the State Senate, ultimately handing a defeat to union groups and Democrats who had spent months and millions of dollars trying to wrestle away at least some of the state’s political power.
The outcome was seen as a victory for Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican whose move to curtail collective bargaining rights for public workers this year set off a firestorm of protests, then counterprotests and finally a summer of unprecedented recall efforts.
Although two of the Republicans — Senators Dan Kapanke of La Crosse and Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac — were removed by Democratic challengers on Tuesday before the ends of their terms in office, Republicans still hold a majority — now 17 to 16 — over Democrats in the Senate. Until Tuesday, Republicans had dominated with a 19 to 14 majority, but with six recall elections in a single day, the damage for Republicans could have been far worse, and Democrats and some national labor groups had hoped it would be.
Two Senate Democrats also face recall elections next week — one more chapter in the same collective bargaining rights battle — but given the results on Tuesday, those races now cannot affect which party controls the State Senate, the question that had always been the ultimate concern on both sides. If anything, Republicans could now increase their hold next week.
That appeared to assure Mr. Walker and leading Republican lawmakers that they can continue to pursue their agenda — which has included budget cuts, a concealed weapons provision and a requirement of identification to vote — with relative ease.
In the election on Tuesday, four Republicans held onto their jobs, including Senators Robert Cowles of Green Bay, Luther Olsen of Ripon and Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls. The counting of votes in a challenge to Senator Alberta Darling, who is the powerful Republican co-chair of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee and someone the Democratic Party’s state chairman last week described as the “crown jewel of our recall efforts,” dragged into the early hours of Wednesday; ultimately, Ms. Darling was deemed the winner, preliminary results from The Associated Press showed.
In a way, these recall elections — more than have ever been pursued against Wisconsin lawmakers in the state’s history — grew out of a different election. Last November, in a pattern that played out in several states, Republicans swept into power in Wisconsin, taking over control of the governor’s seat, the State Assembly and the State Senate and pledging to make major changes.
Reasons being given last night for the Union/Dems failure to take back control-the districts were Republican strongholds, the districts were gerrymandered to be Republican, Koch brothers bought the election etc etc. Before the vote Ed Schultz was practically giddy about the prospect of the Dems taking over, afterwards not so much. Unions poured millions of dollars and volunteers into this race only to end up with egg on thier collective bargaining faces.