Recall elections are hard to win. They are hard to even get - both the Democrats and the Republicans tried to get 8 recalls (total of 16 attempted recalls - out of 33 elected state representatives), but the Democrats only got 6 and the Republicans only got 3. The Republicans failed to recall any of the 3 Democrats they got on the ballot, while the Democrats recalled 2 of the 6 Republicans they got on the ballot.
This moved the Wisconsin State house from 19 (R)/ 14(D) to 17 (R) /16 (D). This is a CLEAR win for the Democrats, but they did not quite win enough to regain the majority. The GOP tried to spin it as a 'win' for them because they kept the majority.
Part of the problem is that the driving force for the recall was really hatred of Governor Walker, not of the 6 lapdogs that did his bidding. But incumbency/name recognition is a big advantage. But the biggest problem with recall elections is voter apathy. Frankly we just get tired and disgusted with the process. We don't enjoy voting - it a a sacred duty. Like all chores, we do it with reluctance.
Wisconsin went is at heart a purple (neither Lib or Con) state. It went Blue (Dem) for Obama in 2008, red temporarily in the 2010 election, it is back to blue again in 2011 (Democrats won 10/16 proposed recalls). Walker pissed off people and Obama is smart enough to take advantage of it. As a result the Wisconsin Democrats now have some immediate advantage - they just need one ethical Republican to stop a bill. More importantly, there is one Moderate Republican who has stood up to Walker before. This means that much Walker's conservative agenda - such as anti-abortion and anti-immigration will have to be watered down.
But more importantly, it is a huge sign that the GOP is in for a rude awakening next November. The GOP has used a dis-satisfaction with Obama's ability to fix the economy as an excuse to push a heavily conservative agenda that most Americans simply don't agree with. Whether we are talking about trying to attack liberal institutions such as Planned Parenthood's non-abortion services (which make up 97% of it services mostly in STD testing/treatment, contraception, and cancer testing/prevention as opposed to 3% that is abortion related.), or to prevent tax hikes on the wealthy, the GOP is about to find out what the term BACKLASH really means.
It got 2 Republicans kicked out of the Wisconsin State House before there term was up and we are going to see what it does to House Republicans in a bit more than one year.