Saturday, December 10th, 2016

Recount, cheesehead style

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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s campaign team is readying itself for a Minnesota-style recount if Tuesday’s election is close, according to Politico.

Floating the prospect of a recount is, of course, a message that bolsters the party’s claims that the race is closer than people think and that it will go down to the wire — despite polls showing Walker with the lead.

Yet there’s reason a recount can’t be so easily dismissed.

Walker can’t seem to break his 50 percent ceiling of support among Wisconsin voters. His ballot support has hovered at either 50 percent or 49 percent in 12 of the 14 polls released since early May, and recent polls show the race tightening in the final stretch.

“We’re very much anticipating that there’s a chance that we could be in a recount scenario,” said Mike Tate, chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. He said the party will have more than 440 lawyers in the field on Tuesday “doing election protection activities but also tasked with recount preparation, making sure that we know where absentee ballots are at, making sure that we have a strong handle on what’s happening out there.”

John Nichols reports for The Nation that the Democrats have already hired Mark Elias, the lawyer for Senator Al Franken during the long recount for that senate seat. Whether Wisconsinites will tolerate a long recount will depend upon who is up and by how much. And remember, the patience for a recount is already thin after the long recount in the Kloppenburg-Prosser race for state Supreme Court and the endless protests and recall elections since Walker was elected in 2010.

If Walker or Barrett are up substantially, but still within the margin for a recount, look for pressure to build almost immediately for the candidate that’s behind to concede.

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