6:42: We just drove by our polling place, and I could tell by the lack of cars in the parking lot and along the street that there were very few people inside. This morning, when we voted (at 8:15 or so), there were cars, and inside there were people but no line. We were also up at the Capitol Square, where there was an "Occupy Madison"-style group at the State Street end, but not much else. A guy was banging a drum, and someone had put an "Anonymous" mask on the "Forward!" statue. I'll have some photos and video soon.
7:00: This was the scene at the Capitol at about 6:20 this evening:
"Eat The Rich"... "Liberté! Egalité! Fraternité!"...
Despite raising $30 million, Scott Walker's election night event is cash bar. That might actually justify a recall. #wirecall
— Christian Schneider (@Schneider_CM) June 6, 2012
7:52: Neil Cavuto, on Fox News from Madison, Wisconsin, shows a shot of the Transit of Venus, and I say "What does this have to do with Scott Walker?" and then Cavuto actually connects it to Scott Walker, using the segue "Imagine the history being made here. Right? You have the third governor in U.S. history being recalled, Venus passing through the sun, and people in the middle of what could be a revolution in Wisconsin, dining casually outside. The great confluence of events that you only get here on Fox Business Live."
8:00: The polls are closed. There's no litigation to keep any polls open late. And Fox Business News reports that it's too close to call at this point.
8:03: CNN's exit poll has 56% of men for Walker and 56% of women for Barrett. But there are more women for Walker (44%) than there are men for Barrett (43%). Independents favored Walker 50% to 49%. By the way, if these are exit polls, they obviously don't include all the early absentee voters, but perhaps they do a calcuation to account for that. The early voting efforts seemed to be done by Barrett supporters.
8:13: No actual vote counts yet, but they will appear here.
8:31: I get the feeling the TV shows are being theatrical with their "too close to call" announcements. Looking at the HuffPo "Election Dashboard," linked in the previous update, which is an actual vote count, we've got 58.3% for Walker and 41.1% for Barrett, with 7.4% reporting. Nearly the same spread between Kleefisch and Mitchell.
8:35: Intrade has Walker at 93.7%. I guess nobody believes the TV exit polls.
8:39: 60.6% Walker. 38.8% for Barrett. 11.4% reporting.
8:42: If you click on the counties at the HuffPo link, you can compare the current percentages to the percentages in 2010, when Walker beat Barrett in the regular election. So, for example, you expect the Democrat to win by a lot in Dane County (which includes Madison), and Barrett won with 68% in 2010. But right now, with 15.5% of the vote reported, Barrett is only winning with 55.8%. That's a HUGE step down from 2010.
8:51: Intrade's spiked to 98.7%.
8:54: Here's my edited video from the Capitol Square done around 6 p.m. this evening:
9:00: "NBC is full of shit!!! Dane County and Milwaukee haven't reported their results yet, and NBC called it for Walker?!?!" The outrage at Democratic Underground.
9:02: Fox News calls it for Walker.
9:03: CNN calls it for Walker. Man, the exit polling was pathetic. I just don't believe it was ever real. It was like the cable news channels colluded for the first hour and held off until 9 to tell us what we all knew. The question is how huge the victory is. We're looking at some numbers -- actual vote counts -- that are in the 60%/40% range.
9:06: Paul Begala is emoting like mad on CNN about how the Wisconsin recall has absolutely nothing to do with what will happen to Obama this fall.
9:11: Kleefisch wins too, CNN projects.
9:21: Meade gloats at Isthmus: "I hope somedaaaay you'll join us. And the state of Wisconsin can live as one."
9:39: Here's the Wall Street Journal: "Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker survived a recall election Tuesday, dealing a blow to organized labor, unsettling President Barack Obama's re-election strategy and signaling to Republican lawmakers across the nation that challenging government unions could pay political and fiscal dividends."
9:39: Larry Sabato on Fox Business says if the exit pollsters can't improve their techniques, the news shows shouldn't even use them.
9:42: Rebecca Kleefisch is giving her victory speech. She wants to thank everybody who never lost faith. A short speech, and those 2 little daughters seem to want to get off stage as quickly as possible.
9:49: Mitt Romney congratulates Walker: "Governor Walker has demonstrated over the past year what sound fiscal policies can do to turn an economy around, and I believe that in November voters across the country will demonstrate that they want the same in Washington, D.C. Tonight’s results will echo beyond the borders of Wisconsin. Governor Walker has shown that citizens and taxpayers can fight back – and prevail – against the runaway government costs imposed by labor bosses. Tonight voters said ‘no’ to the tired, liberal ideas of yesterday, and ‘yes’ to fiscal responsibility and a new direction. I look forward to working with Governor Walker to help build a better, brighter future for all Americans."
9:56: "Well, Russ Feingold said it’s not over till we win, which is kinda like the German position in Stalingrad. . . . But comparing one’s opponents to Hitler is right out. Right, Russ? Oh, never mind. . . ."
10:02: Bloomberg editorial: "Recall elections have their place: generally, in cases of serious breaches of the public faith or morality, or of extreme incompetence. The effort to recall Walker, however, stemmed from a political disagreement over his support for a law that, among other things, limited the collective-bargaining rights of public-sector employees.We have mixed feelings about the legislation...."
10:06: Walker is missing the prime time audience for his victory speech because BARRETT IS CHOOSING not to concede. Barrett, who said HE would end the "civil war" in Wisconsin. What hypocrisy!
10:09: Look at the blue-red balance on the map for last year's state supreme court battle. Now look at tonight's map.
10:12: Finally, Barrett is conceding. "Please, please, please, remain engaged, remain involved, because we will continue to fight for justice and fairness in this city and this state."
10:15: He continues with his bland banalities. Let us continue to do what is right. Tom Barrett. Epic fail. And then he — who said he'd end the "civil war" in Wisconsin — ends it with "Let's go get 'em." So... continuing the war. Ridiculous!
10:24: Walker's victory speech. "First of all, I want to thank God for his abundant grace...." And the people in factories and farms have "sustained" him. He loves his wife, Tonette. "Tonette's just been a rock." (Women love that, being called "a rock.") This must be so immensely rewarding to him. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. He's praising The Framers. "What has made our country unbelievable... what has made the United States arguably one of the greatest countries in the history of the world"... is that there have been men and women who have stood up. There have been "good and decent people" who had "courage." I know he's trying to say that about himself, even though he won't say "I." But: I was courageous and I made the tough decisions....
10:36: "Talking together... solutions... prosperity for all our people..." Walker is talking about ways to "bring all our people together": with brats and beer! "Now is the time for us to come together."
10:39: A very satisfying evening. I was touched to see Scott Walker, speaking in such a selfless, public-spirited way, after all the abuse he's taken for well over a year. He must feel so relieved and so vindicated, but there wasn't a shred of gloating or even basking. What a moment!