MADISON, Wis. (AP) — After a summer of recall elections stemming from how Wisconsin lawmakers reacted to Gov. Scott Walker's proposal curbing public employee union rights, Republicans emerged bruised but not beaten while Democrats expressed optimism the tide was turning their way.

Republicans lost two seats in the state Senate through the recalls, one short of the three Democrats needed to retake the majority. All three Democrats targeted for recall, including two on Tuesday night, were victorious. Following their two defeats, the Republican majority in the Senate narrowed to 17-16.

More than $40 million was estimated to have been spent on the recalls, with most of it pouring in from national unions and independent conservative groups, as the battle in Wisconsin took on national implications in advance of the 2012 presidential race.

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