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Five Things to Watch in Wisconsin's Recall Election Five Things to Watch in Wisconsin's Recall Election

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Five Things to Watch in Wisconsin's Recall Election

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A woman with her children cast her ballot Tuesday, June 5, 2012, in Milwaukee. Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker is taking on Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in a recall election. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

The Downballot Races: Four Republican state senators face recall elections on Tuesday. With the GOP clinging to a bare 17-16 majority in the upper chamber following last summer's recall elections, there's a lot at stake. There has been virtually no public polling conducted on the local races, so it's hard to gauge who has the upper hand overall. But if you watch one race, make it the 21st District contest, where Republican Van Wanggaard faces a challenge from Democrat John Lehman in the southeastern corner of the state, in a district that supported Obama in 2008, then Walker in 2010. "The 21st is most competitive by the numbers," notes Marquette University pollster Charles Franklin. Whatever happens on Tuesday may be temporary, with regular elections that will take place in November could swing the balance the other way. Don't forget that there is also a lieutenant governor recall election. The Post-Election Message If Walker wins, conservatives across the country will celebrate his victory as a vindication for his budget reforms that have been replicated elsewhere by Republican governors across the country. Barrett's running as a centrist who has campaigned on a message of being a consensus builder. If he loses, will he still encourage bipartisan cooperation with an administration he has blasted for the past month? Or will he offer some read meat to a crowd that will be very disappointed if Walker prevails? Wisconsin has been in a permanent campaign state since 2011, with a heated state Supreme Court election, two rounds of state senate recall election and a gubernatorial recall election. With no more elections on the horizon until November, the candidates' tenors on Tuesday night will set the tone for the way each party approaches the rest of the election cycle in Wisconsin. --Reid Wilson contributed

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