President Obama won the state with 56 percent of the vote in 2008, but Democrats took a beating at the state level last election, losing a Senate seat, two House seats and control of the governorship as Democrats failed to show up at the polls.

The fight over unions fired up the Democratic base in a big way, and Democrats in Wisconsin and D.C. are hoping they can keep the energy up with these recalls, and possibly recall Walker down the line. They also see it as an opportunity to paint a contrast between their policy vision and Republicans’ and to avoid a repeat of the 2010 elections, which were seen as a referendum on Obama rather than a choice between the parties.

The advertisement attacks Hansen’s opponent for his “criminal and civil court battles,” and is the first volley in what could turn into an expensive air war between liberal and conservative outside groups.