Wisconsin

Walker, Barrett meet for final recall election debate

Last night, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his Democratic opponent, Tom Barrett, squared off in Milwaukee for the last debate before Tuesday’s recall election. From the looks of it, the debate was heated at times; however, Walker managed to make Barrett look foolish on economic issues facing the state, including job creation. He also knocked Barrett for supporting a very expensive, two-mile train.

With polls looking bad for Barrett with just a few days left to go, Molly Ball, writing at The Atlantic, explains why the race has gone so badly for Democrats:

* Money: Walker raised an unprecedented $21 million for his recall campaign this year, nearly double the $11 million he spent getting elected in the first place in 2010. Barrett, who entered the race in March, has raised just $3 million. At the same time, independent groups have poured money into the state; though national progressives and public-employee unions are on the side of the recall effort, they haven’t been able to match the pro-Walker side’s spending. Currently, Walker and his allies are outspending Barrett and his backers on television ads by a 3-to-1 margin, according to a Hotline analysis.

Democrats managing expectations in Wisconsin

With a week to go in the recall election against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, it looks like Democrats are beginning to manage expectations, a signal that they know their nominee, Tom Barrett, will lose:

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Sunday attempted to mitigate the potential fallout of a Democratic loss in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race next month, saying that the race has no national implications and has been useful even if Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett loses there.

“I think [Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett] has a real opportunity to win,” the Florida congresswoman said on CNN’s State of the Union.

But with recent polls showing Gov. Scott Walker in the lead, Wasserman Schultz took a decidedly less optimistic tone on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers, asserting that it was impossible for Democrats to respond to the amount of outside money poured into the race by Republican supporters.

“There’s no way that we were ever going to be able to counter the massive efforts that was dropped into Wisconsin by Republicans’ special interests,” she said on Newsmakers.

On both shows, the Florida Democrat attempted to play the race as a win for Democrats, even if they lose.

This isn’t exactly a suprise. The Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association opted not to send money to the state in mid-May, realizing early on that it was unlikely that they would knock off Walker.

Another poll shows Scott Walker ahead in Wisconsin

With a little over a week to go until the recall election in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker, who has been targeted and unfairly maligned by labor unions over reasonable measures pushed to limit collective bargaining, is leading his Democratic opponent, Tom Barrett, by a solid margin:

Embattled Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) got more encouraging news Thursday with a new poll showing him continuing to hold a sizable lead ahead of his June 5 recall election.

Walker leads his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, 50-42 percent among likely voters, according to a Reason-Rupe poll released Thursday.

That’s an improvement for Walker over the six-point lead he posted in a Marquette poll last week, and further evidence that the incumbent governor seems likely to stave off his recall challenge.
[…]
[T]he poll showed that Wisconsin voters might be wary of union efforts. Only 35 percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of public-sector unions, versus 31 percent who said they had an unfavorable opinion. More than half of those surveyed also signaled support for increasing the amounts government employees contributed to their healthcare and pensions.

The poll found that 44 percent said public employee unions have too much power in negotiating their contracts, and a plurality said public-sector unions have done more to hurt than help local economies.

Reason debunks lies about Scott Walker

If you listen to his critics, you’d think that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is a far-right conservative that has slashed spending and taxes to near apocalyptic levels. Of course, wth a recall election coming early next month in Wisconsin thanks to Big Labor’s outrage at reforms to the state’s collective bargaining agreement, this sort of rhetoric is expected. But Reason has pieced together a view debunking some of the oft-repeated lies about Gov. Scott Walker’s fiscal conservatism:

Scott Walker’s lead in recall election holds steady

With the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association staying away from the recall election in Wisconsin, the latest polls in the race show Gov. Scott Walker’s lead over Tom Barrett holding steady:

Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker has opened up a lead in his upcoming recall election, according to a poll released Wednesday by Marquette University Law School.

The results indicate that Wisconsin will be a hotly-contested political battleground into the November general election. The poll shows President Obama leading former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 46 percent to 44 percent among all registered voters. Obama and Romney are tied at 46 percent among likely recall voters.

The survey shows Walker leading Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett 50 percent to 44 percent among likely recall voters. In the school’s previous poll in late April, Barrett led Walker 47 percent to 46 percent among all registered voters.

Walker also has a significant advantage over the Milwaukee mayor in the poll’s favorability ratings. Among all registered voters, 50 percent said they have a favorable opinion of Walker, while 45 percent said they have an unfavorable opinion. Thirty-seven percent of registered voters said they have a favorable opinion of Barrett, while 45 percent said they have an unfavorable opinion of the Democrat.

Scott Walker leads Democrat by 9 points in recall election

Democrats in Wisconsin are upset that the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association aren’t sending money up to their state to defeat Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), who has been targeted after proposing perfectly reasonable changes to the state’s collective bargaining laws, in the upcoming recall election. Greg Sargent notes:

Top Wisconsin Democrats are furious with the national party — and the Democratic National Committee in particular — for refusing their request for a major investment in the battle to recall Scott Walker, I’m told.

The failure to put up the money Wisconsin Dems need to execute their recall plan comes at a time when the national Republican Party is sinking big money into defending Walker, raising fears that the DNC’s reluctance could help tip the race his way.

“We are frustrated by the lack of support from the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association,” a top Wisconsin Democratic Party official tells me. “Scott Walker has the full support and backing of the Republican Party and all its tentacles. We are not getting similar support.”

“Considering that Scott Walker has already spent $30 million and we’re even in the polls, this is a winnable race,” the Wisconsin Dem continues. “We can get outspent two to one or five to one. We can’t get spent 20 to one.”

This may cause one to scratch their head, but the most recent poll out of Wisconsin shows that Walker has a nine point lead over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett with just a few weeks to go until the election:

Scott Walker leads in Wisconsin

If you listen to Big Labor, they say that they have Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker cornered. After some needed reforms to the state’s collective bargaining laws, they launched a successful recall effort against him as payback. But the reality is that they are struggling mightly.

On Tuesday, Big Labor’s favored candidate, Kathleen Falk, lost to Tom Barrett, a former Mayor of Milwaukee who lost to Walker in 2010. To make matters worse for them, Walker managed the biggest turnout in Wisconsin in 60 years. And this, folks, is a special election, not a general primary.

Moreover, Rasmussen Reports shows that Walker is leading Barrett, who Big Labor will no doubt get behind, just a few weeks against of the recall matchup:

A new Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey shows that 50% of the state’s Likely Voters prefer Walker while 45% choose Barrett. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate and another two percent (2%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Romney sweeps Tuesday’s primaries

If you’re Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich, you’re taking a hard look this morning at whether or not you should stay in the race for the Republican nomination. Last night, Mitt Romney had a very good showing in three primaries — Maryland, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia, taking some 90% of the delegates on the table.

Maryland

  • Romney: 49%
  • Santorum: 29%
  • Gingrich: 11%
  • Paul: 10%

Wisconsin

  • Romney: 43%
  • Santorum: 38%
  • Paul: 12%
  • Gingrich: 6%

District of Columbia

  • Romney: 70%
  • Paul: 12%
  • Gingrich:  11%

As it stands now, Romney has 655 delegates, more than half of the 1,144 needed to secure the nomination. Santorum is far behind with 278 delegates. Gingrich has 135. And Ron Paul, who has had a better showing that four years ago, only has 51.

It’s becoming more apparent that Romney isn’t going to be stopped at this point. And The Hill reports this morning that Santorum may go ahead and withdraw from the race before Pennsylvania, his home state, heads to the polls on April 24th. It would be a face saving move. He wouldn’t risk losing his home state to Romney, where he only holds a small lead, and he wouldn’t harm his chances in 2016 — assuming Romney doesn’t win in the fall.

Paul Ryan, Ron Johnson back Romney in Wisconsin

With polls in Wisconsin showing Mitt Romney with a healthy lead headed into tomorrow’s primary, Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Ron Johnson, both respected conservatives, have endorsed the former Massachusetts Governor in hopes to put him over the top.

Ryan, whose “Path to Prosperity” has become the budget blueprint for House Republicans, endorsed Romney on Friday:

“Who will make the best president? And who has the best chance of defeating Barack Obama? … In my opinion, Mitt Romney is clearly that person,” Ryan said on “Fox & Friends.” “I am convinced that Mitt Romney has the skills, the tenacity, the principles, the courage and the integrity to do what it takes to get America back on track.”

Asked if this was a message he has conveyed to Rick Santorum, Ryan, whose budget plan passed the House on Thursday, said he is planning on speaking to the former Pennsylvania senator later on Friday.

“I’m just convinced now, that if we drag this thing on until summer, it’s going to make it that much harder to defeat Barack Obama this fall,” he added. “The more we drag it out, the harder it is to win in November.”

Johnson, a part of the 2010 Tea Party class who has become a strong voice on health care, announced his support of Romney yesterday during a visit to Meet the Press:

Johnson announced the endorsement on MSNBC’s Meet the Press (MTP), according to a Sunday morning tweet from MTP executive producer Betsy Fischer.

Romney leads Santorum in Wisconsin

With all of the excitement over this week’s arguments in the Supreme Court, the on-going race for the Republican nomination for president has largely fell off the radar. However, there is still plenty of news to share, but not all of it is good, depending on which candidate you’re backing.

Republicans in Wisconsin will head to the polls next Tuesday, April 3rd, to cast their votes in the race. And while Rick Santorum had been doing well there recently, it looks like Mitt Romney has surged to the front in the latest poll:

The GOP race for president has flipped in Wisconsin since last month, with Mitt Romney overtaking Rick Santorum in the latest poll by Marquette Law School.

Romney leads Santorum 39% to 31% in a survey of GOP primary voters taken last Thursday through Sunday.

Ron Paul is running third in the poll with 11%, followed by Newt Gingrich with 5%.

The new numbers represent a major shift from Marquette’s February poll, which showed Santorum leading Romney in the state 34% to 18%, followed by Paul at 17% and Gingrich at 12%.

They are also roughly consistent with a poll done almost one week ago on March 21 by Rasmussen Reports, which showed Romney leading Santorum 46% to 33%.

If Santorum loses in Wisconsin, the pressure will only increase on him to drop out of the race. Many are saying that if he wants to be a player in 2016, assuming Romney doesn’t beat Barack Obama, than he needs to bow out very soon. But people close to Santorum say that a exit from the race is unlikely.


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