With nearly 100% of the precincts reporting this morning, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has survived the recall challenge, which engineered by Big Labor and state Democrats, against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett by a healthy margin.
- Walker (R): 53.2
- Barrett (D): 46.3%
- Trivedi (I): 0.6%
Some are saying that the race, given that Walker won by nearly 7 points, could put the state on the board this fall in the presidential election. There is certainly a measure of optimism for Republicans since this recall had such heavy implications. However, Republicans should be too hopeful since exit polling showed President Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney by 9 points.
The New York Times notes that, while outside spending was heavy in Wisconsin during the course of the race, nine out of every 10 voters had their minds made up by May 1st. Money is great if its on your side, but at some point voters probably started turning off their televisions because they were tired of seeing the flood of ads.
There was more on the line than just Walker winning the recall. There were also four State Senate seats on the line last night. If Democrats had managed to win just one of them, they would have gained control of that chamber. Republicans managed to hold three of the seats, but it does look like they will take SD-21, where John Lehman (D) is currently leading State Sen. Van Wanggaard (R). Not that this matters in the end since the there is an election just a few months away and legislature isn’t expect to come back into session until next year.
Looking back to early last year to now, this race is a huge loss to labor unions — not just in Wisconsin, but across the country. Walker had proposed some common sense measures, including curbing collective bargaining rights, to help bring his state back on a sustainable fiscal path. And it’s worked, folks. In just his second year, Walker has managed to turn a budget deficit left by his predecessor into a budget surplus.
As Reason recently noted, Walker isn’t perfect. He hasn’t cut spending or taxes. In fact, he’s increased spending on welfare programs like Medicaid, for example. However, he boldly took on Big Labor to help make the state fiscally viable again. That was his sin, according to those on the Left. But despite their efforts over the last 15 months, labor unions have failed to take Walker out.