Wisconsin State Senate Recall Election Pool

Seeing the diversity of opinion in response to my post on the upcoming recall elections, I thought it would be fun to make predicting the recalls into a competition.   I therefore announce the first ever (and hopefully last ever) Wisconsin State Senate Recall Election Pool.

Here’s how it works…. In order to enter, you just have to post in the comment space below the vote percentage that you believe the incumbent will receive in each recall election, rounded to the nearest whole percent.   That’s it.  The only other catch is that if you predict the incumbent will receive 50% of the vote, you must also indicate which candidate you think will win.  See my example in the 1st comment… it might just be easiest to just copy and paste my entry and then update the percentages as you see fit.

Scoring will be as follows:  The winner will be the person at the end with the LOWEST score.  You get 1 point for each 1% that you are off of the true total in each race.  So if I pick Hansen to get 55% of the vote and he in fact gets 58%, then I get 3 points.  You get an additional 5 point penalty if you pick the wrong candidate to win a race.  You get a -5 point bonus if you guess the vote % of a race exactly right (again, all races will be rounded to the nearest percent, so don’t worry about decimals).

A few other details: Entries are due at 6PM on July 19th, so hurry up and submit your picks ASAP.  Once entered, no changing of picks is allowed, no matter what happens between now and election day.   I’ll post updated standings on this site the Wednesday after each of the 3 election days.  If the winner lives in the Waukesha county area, I’ll take them out to lunch.  If not, another suitable small prize will be found for the champion.   If you have questions about any of this, feel free to post those in the comments space as well.

Good luck!


  1. Ryan Morgan says:

    July 19th
    District 30 (Hansen-D) 55%
    August 9th
    District 2 (Cowles-R) 58%
    District 8 (Darling-R) 56%
    District 10 (Harsdorf-R) 56%
    District 14 (Olsen-R) 58%
    District 18 (Hopper-R) 48%
    District 32 (Kapanke-R) 46%
    August 16th
    District 12 (Holperin-D) 50%- the Republican wins
    District 22 (Wirch-D) 53%

  2. I sure hope that’s legal. You get me in trouble kid and I’ll be mad.

    That said:

    July 19th
    District 30 (Hansen-D) 52%
    August 9th
    District 2 (Cowles-R) 60%
    District 8 (Darling-R) 52%
    District 10 (Harsdorf-R) 60%
    District 14 (Olsen-R) 60%
    District 18 (Hopper-R) 51%
    District 32 (Kapanke-R) 44% (Dem wins)
    August 16th
    District 12 (Holperin-D) 48%- (Repub wins)
    District 22 (Wirch-D) 55%

  3. The Lorax says:

    I did some finetuning.

    July 19th
    District 30 (Hansen-D) 56%

    August 9th
    District 2 (Cowles-R) 55%
    District 8 (Darling-R) 49%
    District 10 (Harsdorf-R) 46%
    District 14 (Olsen-R) 59%
    District 18 (Hopper-R) 46%
    District 32 (Kapanke-R) 43%

    August 16th
    District 12 (Holperin-D) 51%
    District 22 (Wirch-D) 58%

    I’m going to be optimistic 😀

  4. MuskieGo says:

    July 19th
    District 30 (Hansen-D) 66%

    August 9th
    District 2 (Cowles-R) 53%
    District 8 (Darling-R) 53%
    District 10 (Harsdorf-R) 55%
    District 14 (Olsen-R) 52%
    District 18 (Hopper-R) 49%
    District 32 (Kapanke-R) 43%
    August 16th
    District 12 (Holperin-D) 48%
    District 22 (Wirch-D) 52%

  5. The Lorax says:
  6. That poll is atrocious. Walker won 54% in the district, but the sample only had 44% Walker voters.

    The Daily Kos people are uncertain about what will happen tomorrow and so they wanted to craft a poll that gave Hansen an aura of inevitability in hopes that the conservatives will be unmotivated stay home.

    That’s my view at least… I guess we will soon find out.

  7. The Lorax says:

    They don’t craft the poll though, PPP does. It is PPP for Daily Kos. Meaning the venerable polling agency did the polling and DK paid for it. Not to mention the PPP polls for DK are usually not far off.

    That said, 62% seemed high to me but Hansen’s opponent is kind of a dirt bag, so who knows.

    Plus, how many northern Wisconsin conservatives will see this Daily Kos poll? Few I’d imagine.

    The poll shows that Barrett voters having 95% fidelity to Hansen while a whopping 22% of Walker voters going for Hansen.

    Oh and Hansens favorables are 59-38 while VanderLeest’s are 23-63.

  8. July 19th
    District 30 (Hansen-D) 65%
    August 9th
    District 2 (Cowles-R) 51%
    District 8 (Darling-R) 52%
    District 10 (Harsdorf-R) 52%
    District 14 (Olsen-R) 57%
    District 18 (Hopper-R) 47%
    District 32 (Kapanke-R) 45%
    August 16th
    District 12 (Holperin-D) 52%
    District 22 (Wirch-D) 55%

    Net change +2 Democrats. Hansen\’s romp today will motivate some Democrats next month. The GOP missed huge opportunity and handed a PR victory to the Democrats (just like the debt ceiling debate).

  9. To be fair, Ryan, PPP has been pretty accurate this year. They modified their sampling approach in an attempt to dispel the notion that they are in the tank for Democrats (even though they are a left-leaning pollster). They want to become the Left’s equivalent of Rasmussen (biased, but usually accurate).

  10. July 19th
District 30 (Hansen-D) 54%

August 9th

    District 2 (Cowles-R) 58%
District 8 (Darling-R) 53%

    District 10 (Harsdorf-R) 60%

    District 14 (Olsen-R) 60%
District 18 (Hopper-R) 51%

    District 32 (Kapanke-R) 46% (Dem wins)

August 16th

    District 12 (Holperin-D) 46%- (Repub wins)
District 22 (Wirch-D) 56%

    When all is done, much ado about nothing.

  11. Well, it looks like Muskiego is in first, I’m in 2nd, and that PPP poll was pretty accurate. I’d pay close attention to their polls for August 9th.


  12. In other words, a landslide. Republicans should really be taken to the woodshed over this snafu. I know I’m hard on them, but this time they deserve it.

  13. MuskieGo says:

    Wow, current results show 66% with 99% reporting. Nice to be so close.

    Are write-in’s included in the total at this point? With a Republican candidate that weak (toxically so) and a stronger candidate unable to get on the ballot, I would have expected a significant number of write-in’s.

  14. The Lorax says:

    And PPP nails it!

  15. Yup, kudos to PPP…. their poll was right on the money.

  16. Ryan Morgan says:

    Standings after 1 recall are below. Obviously a lot more will be known after August 9th, but MuskieGo is off to the best start possible.

    MuskieGo -5
    KPOM 1
    Lorax 10
    Ryan 11
    Jim 12
    Cindy 14

  17. Looks like I gained 3 points off of the second round. This would bring my total to -2.

    I suspect that the Wirch race will end up a lot more favorable to him than my prediction so that will likely move my number up in the final round.

  18. +19 for me, putting me at 20. I was right on with Kapanke but completely underestimated the support for Cowles and Harsdorf.

  19. If my math is right, here are the updated scores:

    MuskieGo -2 (+3 yesterday)
    KPOM 20 (+19 yesterday)
    Ryan 25 (+11 yesterday)
    Cindy 29 (+15 yesterday)
    Jim 33 (+12 yesterday)
    Lorax 53 (+43 yesterday)

    MuskieGo has gotten 3 races exactly right (Hansen, Olsen, Hopper), and ought to be looking at restaurant availability on the 17th. 🙂

  20. MuskieGo should be writing here! That’s impressive.

  21. I didn’t post results yet because there’s still 1 Milwaukee precinct out and Darling is at 53.6%. So her 54 could easily drop to 53.

    But the bottom line is the MuskieGo has an insurmountable lead and is the clear champion. KPOM’s standings are correct assuming Darling stays at 54. If she falls to 53, Muskie’s lead will be padded even further… 53 is exactly what Muskie predicted that Darling would get, so that would be a 4 races out of 8 where Muskie would be exactly right.

    Congratulations Muskie! Please e-mail me at rpm002(at)gmail to claim your prize. 🙂

  22. 2nd place is still very much in play. Perhaps we could have a mini-contest for next week?

  23. Right. Then 2nd place could get stuck having lunch with me? I don’t know… Maybe 2nd place could have a guest post.

  24. I’d be interested in a guest post, or at least a guest topic. 🙂

  25. The Lorax says:

    Well, that was officially a pathetic showing from the Lorax!

  26. Ooops… there was an error in the Cowles race… he actually got 58%, not 60%. That is good news for me and Jim and bad news for Cindy. Here are the corrected standings:

    Muskie -4
    Ryan 18
    KPOM 18
    Jim 26
    Cindy 36
    Lorax 52

    Also, I realized that I was a bit pre-mature in crowning Muskie… if KPOM is exactly right on both of the 2 remaining races, he can tie Muskie’s score. Any other scenario means Muskie is the sole champion.

  27. 57.51%. Just a few dozen more “found” votes for the Democrat and I’d have been 5 points ahead of Ryan. 🙂

    Are we still on for the 2nd place race? It appears to be a 3-way race between Ryan, Jim, and me. Anyway, politically, I’d rather Muskie be right, as he has the GOP picking up one of the seats that it lost on Tuesday.

    Update: Ryan, I’m 5 points ahead of you at 17 to your 22. Cowles actually got 57.4% of the vote. From the J-S:

    “Bottom line: Cowles actually got 57.5% of the votes, winning 27,037 to 19,974. Or, if you include 62 “scattered” votes for write-in candidates, that’s 57.4% of the total vote. Coincidentally, that’s the exact percentage Scott Walker gathered in the 2010 gubernatorial election.”


    Theoretically, I could win by one point if I am spot on next week, though I’ll be pulling for the two GOPers.

  28. PPP has released its final two polls showing the Democrats with double-digit leads.


    Read down the article to see that Daily Kos is recommending further recalls next year in the hopes of temporarily retaking the Senate. Wisconsin had better tighten up that recall law, since it appears that liberal activists still see recalls as “do-overs” of elections rather than as a last resort to remove officials for misconduct. Of course, they’d cry foul if it were done to them.

  29. At least those are respectable margins of error. I agree, it puts that one Republican in the hot seat for a while. Still, most of what needs to be done is done, so “taking the Senate” will amount to nothing.

    However, I find it extremely delusional a group of liberals would be advocating recalls when the districts will be changing so soon. Oh well. I guess they can keep spending tens of millions and pretending they win. Maybe I should set up a new business as a liberal print shop and scoop up some of that cash they are so willing to toss around. 🙂

  30. BrkfldDad says:

    How close was PPP on last weeks elections? I’d also find it odd that recalls would be based on old district lines. Talk about confusing!? Voters could vote to recall or support a senator that no longer represents them???? Can’t be…

  31. Does make things interesting, eh?

  32. @BrkfldDad, the argument is that the candidates are vying for the right to finish the term of the recalled legislator. Since that person was elected from the old district, it makes sense that the recall election is from that same district.

    I don’t recall the exact percentages, but PPP has been pretty close this year. They improved their polling methodologies before the 2010 elections in order to counter the assertion that they are unreliable since they are an advocacy pollster (they actively support Democrats). Last week, they had Hopper hanging on with 50% but the actual results were well within the margin of error. The other races they polled were as they predicted (Schilling winning and Cowles and Olsen hanging on – I don’t think Kos commissioned polls of the Harsdorf or Darling races since they were seen as “safe GOP”).

  33. Well, it’s looking like Holperin and Wirch will survive fairly comfortably. Holperin’s got about 54% right now with a majority in, and while Steitz is still barely ahead as I write this, it appears most of the remaining votes are in the city of Kenosha. Knocking off one of them would have been icing on the cake and a nice rebuke, but it looks like it wasn’t to be. Too bad Steitz wasn’t facing Holperin. I think he was the stronger candidate, but in a much less favorable district.

  34. Interesting. Although Muskie will win the overall point total, I was the only one who correctly predicted all 6 winners.

  35. Yeah, I got destroyed on that last round. About +18 from only two races.

    The Steitz result was pretty expected, but I blame Simac for the poor showing in her district. The northwest area WI Republican party groups need to get their act together with choosing candidates. First Vanderleest and now this. Personally, I think that both of those were very winnable.

  36. Agree with Muskie 100%… they sure were. But both are up again in 2012, right?