The Wisconsin Supreme Court race on April 5, pitting incumbent Justice David Prosser against challenger Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, could be going down to the wire in a state that has become highly polarized due to Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s new anti-public employee union law.
In an overview of the race, Robert Costa at National Review reports:
Two sources with knowledge of internal GOP polling tell us that Prosser and Kloppenburg are near even, a bad sign for the incumbent. “She has driven his negatives up,” one source says. “It will be hard to drive hers up. Her lack of judicial experience should hurt her, but it also makes her harder to pin down. The question now is: Does the Right have enough resources to counter the Greater Wisconsin Committee’s millions? And even if they do, is it too late? It is going to be touch-and-go for these last few days.”
The Greater Wisconsin Committee is a liberal group that has run attack ads against Prosser, such as tying him to Walker, and attacking his handling of a Catholic Church sex abuse case in the late 1970s when he was a district attorney.
As we’ve noted, a state Supreme Court election would not normally be major news. But in the wake of Walker’s legislation, and the political protests that gripped the state and attracted national attention, the court race has quickly turned into a proxy political battle. Conservatives are supporting Prosser, a former Republican state Assembly Speaker, and liberals backing Kloppenburg.