WI: Prosser leads narrowly, recount very likely (Update: Kloppenberg now leads)

When I checked the Wisconsin Supreme Court results last night, it was clear that the results were unclear. David Prosser, the incumbent Republican, had a slim lead but it was far too close to call. That's where things stand today.

With 99% of the votes tallied, Mr. Prosser led Ms. Kloppenburg by fewer than 600 votes, 733,074 to 732,489 according to an unofficial tally made by the Associated Press.

If the margin between the candidates is less than 0.5%, there is no charge for a recount, according to the Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections. If the margin is between 0.5% and 2%, the candidate requesting the recount is charged $5 per ward.

A candidate has three days to ask for a recount from the day the election is certified.

Reason to worry: Since the 2000 debacle in Florida, the Democrats have gotten very good at "winning" recounts even when initial tallies had their candidate behind. In the last major recount in nearby Minnesota, Sen. Norm Coleman saw a recount swing of about 500 votes hand the seat to Al Franken. That recount was rife with shenanigans that favored the Democrats. The WSJ's tally may be a little bit behind in this count; Milwaukee's Journal-Sentinel has the margin at 835 in favor of Prosser. That raises the bar a bit for the Democrats to overcome.

Reason for some optimism: The unions made the Prosser election a hill to die on. They poured millions in resources into the race, they demonized Prosser at every turn, they have even used the police unions to threaten businesses, and made this election a national effort. And in a heavily unionized state, Prosser leads after the first count. That's a signal that a whole lot of voters in Wisconsin don't see Gov. Walker's efforts to fix the state budget long term as radical at all.

Update: Follow the vote here (hat tip Bilgeman). Kloppenberg now leads narrowly.