It's been a while since I talked about Wisconsin and Scott Walker and, with all the latest news, it's time for an update. The recall election has been set for June 5th with a Democratic primary on May 8th. Tom Barrett, the Milwaukee mayor and Democratic challenger in 2010 whom Walker ultimately defeated, will run again. Kathleen Falk, former Dane County leader, will compete with Barrett in the primary.
Recall that Barrett made national news when, as the mayor of Milwaukee, he intervened in a dispute, at the Wisconsin State Fair, to try to protect a woman being attacked and ended up being beaten by a tire iron while defending her.
I think that Barrett is a much better candidate than Falk who strikes me as too much of a contrast with Walker. Barrett only lost by 124,000 votes and, with nearly 1 million signatures gathered for Walker's recall, seems a better challenger.
The recall election itself is going to be tight because neither side can really claim that Walker has done a good job or a bad job. Take a look at this graphic.
While Scott Walker certainly hasn't lived up to this promise, he hasn't exactly done anything that is deeply disastrous. The Wisconsin jobs reports for March, April and May will have quite the level of scrutiny leading up to the election. If they show any sort of job loss, he's toast. Any job gains and he might squeak it out.
The latest polls show an even 48-48 split on Walker and a Democratic challenger so it may simply come down to turnout. But remember that 2 GOP Senators were recalled last year and Walker isn't the only one being recalled in this election. The Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and GOP Senators Scott L. Fitzgerald, Van H. Wanggaard, Terry Moulton and Pam Galloway are also being recalled. Fitzgerald is safe but Galloway has already resigned her seat for family health reasons which leaves it totally open. She won by only 3,000 votes in the last election. Wanggaard won by the same margin in 2010 with Moulton winning by a couple thousand more. Any of these three seats could flip which means that even if Walker wins, he won't be able to push through any sort of agenda.
So, it's going to be interesting to see what happens in Wisconsin. Oh yeah, there's a primary there tomorrow. Mitt is going to win and pretty much sew up the nomination.