58% to 45% it seems (accounting for the Madison over-vote). Regardless of the final tally, the networks have called it for Walker.
UPDATE: Turn that machine back on!!! Over at Democratic Underground they’re going absolutely nuts: “NBC is full of shit! Madison polls aren’t even closed yet!” Hang onto your hats when the spin machine hits tomorrow but tonight, just enjoy the shocked anguish.
UPDATE II: all the media exit polls had it neck and neck – in fact, Google News was leading with “too close to call” until 10:15 Eastern Time. If the final tally comes in at the 60%-40% now predicted, it’ll be fair to ask if the media’s exit polls are really that worthless or whether the lefties who run these things were in the tank for Barrett. Regardless, the network news operations won’t be covering themselves in glory on this one.
RELATED: even little pissant papers in – where else – Madison were desperately denying that Walker was ahead.
Here’s what the NYT was still reporting 40 minutes after the polls had closed:
Michael D. Shear
The extremely close race between Scott Walker and Tom Barrett has raised the prospect that a recount might be requested to determine the winner.
Wisconsin election law does not provide for an automatic recount to be set off by a close race. Instead, it allows either of the candidates to request a recount if they think it could affect the outcome.
If the difference between the two candidates is .5 percent or less, the state would pay for a recount. If the difference is from .5 percent to 2 percent, the candidate requesting must pay $5 per ward to recount the votes. Candidates must pay the entire cost of a recount if the difference is more than 2 percent.
But the question of a recount may be difficult to determine Tuesday night because of the state’s rules involving absentee ballots.
The deadline for returning a filled-out absentee ballot in person was Tuesday. But absentee ballots are also accepted by mail until this Friday as long as they were postmarked by Tuesday.
In an extremely close race, a significant number of mailed-in absentee ballots could affect whether the candidate or the state would have to pay for a recount.