Our friends at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel are doggedly in denial about what happened in the 7th State Senate district on Tuesday, when challenger Chris Larson whomped incumbent Jeff Plale in the Democratic primary. It is a heavily Democratic district, and winning the nomination is, as the pundits say, tantamount to victory in November.
In what poses as analysis, both columnist Patrick McIlheran and reporter Jason Stein have claimed that Larson, the more liberal Dem, beat Plale because Democratic voters crossed party lines to vote in the Republican primary for governor, presumably for Scott Walker.
That's exactly upside down.
The district, which includes Milwaukee's east side, Bay View, Cudahy, Oak Creek, and South Milwaukee, is solidly Democratic. It consistently gives Democrats huge margins of victory in November. Some of the Dems in the southern suburbs, admittedly, are more conservative than those on the liberal East Side. But they're Democrats.
Plale won his seat in a special election in April of 2003. He was opposed in the Democratic primary by a more liberal candidate, Joel Brennan, and a third candidate, Edwin Thaves, whom I don't even remember.