Wisconsin Voters Reject Recall Attempt of Governor Scott Walker

5 years ago

In the 2008 presidential primary season, the late spring-early summertime blossomed with pundit opportunities, what with Hillary dropping out and Barack Obama consolidating his nomination. This time around, the boom for June has come from the before, during and after speculation as Wisconsin voters went to the polls Tuesday to vote whether to recall Governor Scott Walker (more on the exit poll results and overall results).

So how'd things turn out after eye-popping sums of money, much of which came from outside of Wisconsin and flowed to Scott Walker, were dropped on the land of Cheeseheads?

The short story: Wisconsin's Governor, Republican Scott Walker, won the election against the Democratic challenger, who was the same as Walker's 2010 opponent, Mayor of Milwaukee, Tom Barrett. Although voter turnout climbed above the 2010 threshold, it fell short of the 2008 presidential election level. Even so, Walker's 2012 margin of victory was higher in the recall (seven points, 53-46) than it was in 2010 (under six percentage points).

(Credit Image: © Rick Wood/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com)

What happened in Wisconsin?

Folks are going to be examining that for a long, long time and probably giving new meaning to the phrase, "deep dive." Somehow, the high stakes for organized labor, Walker's repeal of equal pay rights and general disdain for women's issues, and even Lily Ledbetter's visit to the state to campaign against that repeal couldn't galvanize enough voters to oust the incumbent.

E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post chalks the results up to three things: Barrett's advantage with women fell below Walker's advantage with men, Walker's advantage with money performed like a tsunami and finally - no surprise to this Ohio voter: the swing voters. Ah, the swing voters. Here's how he put it, especially given how these voters aligned with President Obama as winner in a 2012 presidential election exit poll stat:

Third, to win, Democrats need to overwhelm Republicans among moderates....

Roughly one Walker voter in six preferred Obama to Romney. Who were the Walker-Obama voters? An analysis by Jon Cohen, the Post’s polling director, found that this swing group was made up of more moderates than the electorate as a whole, and also more independents — not surprising for a swing group, but an important finding nonetheless. Turning out your own supporters is essential. But so is fighting for the pure swing voters.


Swing Voters

Ah, the swing voters. I'm in Ohio so I hear about this group all the time, and in my state, they are believed to make up nearly a third of all voters due to the way we identify party affiliation (whatever was the party of the last partisan primary ballot you pulled).

On election day, Mae Sussman of WYNC wrote, "Scott Walker Recalled or Not, Wisconsin's Days of Unity are Gone:"

As a born-and-raised Wisconsinite who grew up 20 minutes from the state capitol, I see the recall reflecting a darker national trend: growing divisiveness in government. The state's long history of treading on shared political common ground through cooperation in government has given way to two sharply divided parties whose supporters have lost the civility and respect that once characterized state politics.

Heather Smith, president of Rock the Vote, used the Wisconsin's special day to highlight the importance of voting overall.

And well-known law professor and conservative blogger, Ann Althouse, has multiple posts covering yesterday's events, including this live-blog stream with video. Her final entry?

10:39: A very satisfying evening. I was touched to see Scott Walker, speaking in such a selfless, public-spirited way, after all the abuse he's taken for well over a year. He must feel so relieved and so vindicated, but there wasn't a shred of gloating or even basking. What a moment!

I'd say the fact that the state of Wisconsin even had a recall and the loser received over a million votes means there's a heck of a lot of folks who will never relate to Althouse's emotions. Those voters? They'll have to wait until November to do something about that and exit polls seem to indicate that they will.

Read more:

Dispatches from a Cheesehead/South Bay Labor Council: The Whole World is Watching

Kathleen at Political Gates: Wisconsin Scott Walker Recall Election

The Capitol Times/Madison Politicalscope: What Does Scott Walker's Win Mean for Unions?

Jill Writes Like She Talks

In The Arena: Jill Miller Zimon, Pepper Pike City Council Member

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