The Journal Sentinel recently offered a glimpse into which state senators are particularly vulnerable to a recall by taking a look at the vote for Obama in 2008 and Walker in 2010 in each senate district. You can read the article here. They remark that Cowles represents a district where Obama got more than 50% of the vote in 2008 and then end on this note, which they included in an update:
Update: Related to the point above about personal popularity, some of the lawmakers on this list had very narrow victories last time, while others won unopposed or by large margins. It's important to factor that in as well. RepublicansIn 2008 Hansen won re-election with 66% of the vote, a healthy margin to be sure, but the margin for Cowles was even bigger. In 2008 there were just under 61,000 votes cast in the 2nd Senate District that Cowles represents, he got 99% of them.
So in Cowles, we have a state senator subjected to a recall drive who just two years ago was able to command 99% of the vote in his district. Add to that the fact that he is the subject of a recall primarily because some Democratic leaning interest groups don't like the efforts of the Governor to curtail collective bargaining for public employees, and Cowles has publicly been supportive of the Governor's bill.
Hansen, by contrast, didn't command that much of the vote in the last election. More importantly from my perspective is the fact that Hansen has fled the state with the express intent of shutting down legislative activity in the state of Wisconsin, at least with respect to fiscal matters.
As I've said before, I'm dubious with respect to the value of recall efforts. Elections have consequences, and we shouldn't seek to undo them without cause. Perhaps some see the end of collective bargaining for public employees as such a cause For my money, leaving the state just to avoid losing a vote in the legislature seems like a much more compelling reason to undo election results.