If you have any doubts whatsoever about the bottom line on the Wisconsin recall elections, check out the headlines in the state:
Capital Times: “Republicans hold off Dems”; "GOP holds onto Senate but Walker recall hopes still strong"
Chippewa Herald: “Darling wins; GOP retains control of state senate”
Herald Times Reporter: Republicans maintain control of Wisconsin senate”
Fond du Lac Reporter: "King ousts Hopper in recall election for 18th senate seat"; “Wisconsin’s GOP stand in recall could reverberate elsewhere”
Leader-Telegram: “State GOP holds off Democrats in recall elections”
Madison.com: “Republicans hold off Dems in recalls, win enough seats to keep majority in senate”
Sheboygan Press: “Wisconsin GOP holds off Democrats in recall elections”
Stevens Point Journal: “Wisconsin Republicans hold off Democrats in recall elections”
The Post-Crescent: “Four Republicans retain seats, Dems pick up two”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "Republicans take 4 of 6 in recall elections, hold senate"
Of all the Wisconsin papers I checked out this morning, only the LaCrosse Tribune trumpeted good news for the Democrats in the state’s $30 million battle: “Shilling ousts Kapanke.”
There were signs that things aren’t all that rosy for the Republicans, like the very fact of the recall effort itself, and that winning Republicans senators Robert Cowles and Luther Olsen, who had not had a Democratic challenger in more than a decade, actually had to fight to stay in office.
And though the Dems didn’t win back the majority in the senate, if the single Republican senator who opposed Gov. Scott Walker’s policies stays true to his original stands, the GOP agenda could, in fact, be in trouble.
But no matter how historic the two Dem wins, there’s still turbulence ahead for progressives. There are two Democrats up for recall next week and one, Jim Holperin, is considered vulnerable to his Republican challenger.
If this happens, the GOP senate majority will not only be solid but emboldened. And have no doubt that the Republicans will come back even stronger in 2012: Walker has just signed a redistricting plan that strongly favors the GOP.
The big winner in Wisconsin last night? Walker, big time. The recall effort against him -- which can’t start until later this fall and requires more than 500,000 petition signatures -- suffered a huge blow. Democrats insisting on continuing the drive should sit down after the smoke clears from this mess and rethink that one.