With the polls now closed, things remain fairly calm outside the Capitol Building in Madison. Celebratory but calm. The number of red and blue, fist-bearing union shirts has increased steadily throughout the day, and police presence is slowly mounting. But as of yet, the crowds and demonstrations are nothing compared to the ruckus of February 2011, with the atmosphere feeling more like a summer carnival than a protest. The gathering is decidedly pro-Barrett, with only a handful of people touting Walker/Kleefisch signs.
When asked what their thoughts are on Act 10, many union supporters replied with a befuddled, “What’s that?” Despite this minor confusion, the Barrett-ers are confident of a win and are showing their support. One woman – a member of the Local 236 Labor Union of Madison – decorated her truck in duct tape: Union Sluts 4 Barrett. Senator Fred Risser, one of the infamous “Wisconsin 14” who fled the state to deny Walker his quorum, is proudly marching around the Capitol, assured that Barrett will defeat the current “radically right” governor. With media outlets reporting conflicting exit poll data, it’s bound to be an eventful evening in Madison.