However, Democrats appear to have gained control of the state Senate, based on the preliminary vote tally from a tight recall election in Racine County. Former Democratic state Sen. John Lehman beat state incumbent Republican Sen. Van Wanggaard, with 36,255 votes to Wanggaard's 35,476 votes, according to unofficial results with all precincts reporting. If Lehman wins the Democrats will take control of the state Senate by a 17-16 majority.
Nevertheless, the results Tuesday were seen by the triumphant governor and his supporters as affirmation of Walker's leadership, which has been under attack for the past 16 months.
Walker took the stage late Tuesday for a rousing victory speech to chants of "Thank you, Scott." He said the message was "voters really do want leaders who stand up and make the tough decisions."
The governor quieted the rowdy crowd when he mentioned his opponent, Barrett, striking a note of unity.
"No, no, the election is over," he said. "It is time to move the state forward. Tomorrow we are no longer opponents. Tomorrow we are one as Wisconsinites."
Read more on Walker's victory.
Meanwhile, the recall election in Racine County appears to have narrowly flipped control of the state Senate to the Democrats. Republicans handily won three of four state Senate recall elections Tuesday. But in Racine County, the results of the Lehman-Wanggaard race are not yet official and the race is so close Wangaard could request a recount. Lehman declared victory.
Around 12:50 a.m., Justin Phillips, Wanggaard's campaign manager, released a statement saying, "We owe it to all of Senator Wanggaard's supporters and the voters of Wisconsin to thoroughly examine the election and its results and act accordingly once we have all of the information."
Some of the delay came from absentee ballots. More than an hour after polls had closed in Racine, and as late as 11:30 p.m. in Mount Pleasant, election workers were still entering stacks of absentee ballots.
Read more on the Racine County state Senate recall results.