2012 Election | News | Republican Party | Wisconsin

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Survives Recall Attempt

Anti-union governor Scott Walker delivered more than a tough blow to Democrats last night, surviving a recall attempt and sending a signal to conservative Republicans that unbridled Super-PAC funding and massive spending is the key to winning GOP races around the nation. Labor unions lost big, as did Obama.

The L.A. Times: Walker

With nearly all of the vote counted, Walker had 53% to 46% for his Democratic challenger, Tom Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee.

The recall race was anxiously watched by strategists in both parties as a possible harbinger of the presidential election, and the outcome was a major defeat for Democrats and their labor union allies. The heavy turnout of conservatives and voters in Republican strongholds suggested that at least here, the 2012 electorate continues to look much like the one that delivered power to the GOP in 2010.

Reuters reports:

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker scored more than a personal victory in Tuesday's state recall vote. He delivered a psychological boost for the Republicans and a blow to Democrats that could linger until the November 6 U.S. presidential election.

Walker, a Republican, sailed to a surprisingly easy win over Democrat Tom Barrett, ending a bitter 15-month political battle over Walker's efforts to eliminate most collective-bargaining rights for Wisconsin's public sector unions.

Many of Walker's national supporters - who flooded the state with anti-Barrett ads and gave Walker a more than 7-to-1 financial advantage - saw the results as a vindication of his take-no-prisoners brand of fiscal conservatism.

Labor unions just couldn't compete with the massive spending in the race, The Hill reports:

The fight to recall Walker was the biggest battle labor has waged in years — and to their credit, Democratic turnout was sky-high Tuesday. But Republicans managed to outpace them, aided by nearly $30 million spent by Walker.

Democrats and unions were outspent by a two to one margin by the governor and his allies in the race, the most expensive in Wisconsin history.

Much of unions’ diminishing political strength stems from a loss in membership, which has been on the decline for decades. Last year, just 12 percent of American workers were union members, down from more than one-third in the 1950s and about 20 percent in the early 1980s.

Barrett concedes, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. "Labor unions lost big, as did Obama."

    Well, at least thank you for your honesty.Funny how months ago when the talk was that Obama could be the first Presidential candidate to raise a billion dollars it was a fact that you were to be in awe of and say "Wow!", but now that reality sinks in and there just may be a billion raised to defeat him, the country is suddenly in crisis. Love it.

    Posted by: MarkUs | Jun 6, 2012 7:01:50 AM


  2. Best election that money can buy. Was out spent 3 to 1 due to some rigged election law in favor of the incumbent. Can't wait for talks of a mandate. 120k votes is hardly a mandate but it is his win.

    Posted by: Craven | Jun 6, 2012 7:19:43 AM


  3. There is a growing fear across the nation that the republic has been lost and has been replaced by an oligarchy able and willing to spend unlimited funds to mold the people to its will.

    Posted by: parnell | Jun 6, 2012 7:36:32 AM


  4. America SUCKS.....this country is such as friggin Joke..its actually Pathetic....and the Stupidity of the American people is Obvious!

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Jun 6, 2012 7:39:36 AM


  5. Wisconsin is huge on so many counts. Citizens United is clearly a disaster for Democrats and progressives, and the only way to undo is through a constitutional amendment, or decades later, through new Supreme Court appointments (you can't get new progressive justices unless we are able to elect Democratic presidents). ANother problem is that WI has ratified Scott Walker and his agenda has mainstream. No longer can Democrats claim that his union-busting agenda is extreme since the people ratified him and his agenda. Pro-union progressives look radical now. Now, Scott Walker is a national popular figure, perhaps a VP nominee. Finally, this has given conservatives and Republicans everywhere huge confidence. This was a huge experiment, and now they know they can pump huge amounts of money into races nationwide and prevail. They are emboldened, cocky, confident, and ready to conquer, from the White House, Capital Hill, State Houses, governors mansions, county government, mayoral offices, and city councils and school boards. They have every reason to be confident. The country will never be the same.

    Posted by: Malcolm | Jun 6, 2012 7:52:07 AM


  6. Wisconsin is always a huge disappointment. Don't get your panties in a wad yet. Barrett is not in any way, shape or form Obama. Just as WI is NOT America.

    Posted by: AJ | Jun 6, 2012 8:09:48 AM


  7. Obama is up between 7-10 points over Romney in Wisconsin with likely voters. With that being said, our country is headed in a scary direction, obviously.

    Posted by: Francis | Jun 6, 2012 8:18:03 AM


  8. Clearly the sky is falling. Keep that closet door open for re-entry. Obama should have kept his mouth shut about marriage equality.
    Drape Pride month in black. This website is now seditious.

    Still, I'm holding that FEAR means False Evidence Appearing Real.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Jun 6, 2012 8:53:15 AM


  9. Wow, I really thought he was a goner. What the F happened?

    Posted by: CHAD | Jun 6, 2012 9:26:11 AM


  10. The PAC money spent on this election by the 'Snotwankerites' represented considerably more the a 2-1 advantage. Local news outlets here in Wisconsin had it at something like 7-1. As a WI resident, I can tall you that local TV was inundated with ads for the incumbent Koch Brothers lackey; 4 or 5 in the course of the evening news. Make no mistake -- this was an election bought and paid-for by Koch Industries. Citizens United has delivered WI to the Koch Brothers as a midwest subsidiary of Koch Industries. Perhaps the sky isn't falling, but democracy has taken a serious blow -- whether it is fatal remains to be seen. CU must go.

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Jun 6, 2012 9:27:20 AM


  11. How did Obama lose? Exit polls in this election showed Obama WAY up over Romney. Obama is not going to lose Wisconsin, let's get real. But hey, if they want to waste money there (like they always waste it in NJ), go ahead! :)

    Unions WERE dealt a blow, but that was obvious after Citizens United. It is not hyperbole to state that Citizens United could well be the seed that finally destroys American democracy. How can any Democrat or moderate individual or organization compete against corporate billions?

    So who are all these Wisconsin voters who would vote for Walker AND Obama? Apparently, a huge number of Dems and Independents simply didn't believe in recalls outside of official misconduct. That should be a big lesson learned.

    But finally, Democrats did win one state senate seat, and gained control of the state senate. I think they are in recess for a while, so it may not have some great effect... but now there is a divided state government that can prevent the worst of Walker's excesses. Wisconsin Democrats are in no worse position, and they have learned some valuable lessons. And it reminds the rest of us that Citizens United was no joke.

    Posted by: Scott | Jun 6, 2012 10:40:19 AM


  12. I feel that this is an indication of things to come in November. The Koch brothers and other billionaire right wingers are going to try to bury Obama and the dems under a huge pile of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of negative ads. I fear we may be singing Hail to the Chief:Romney.

    Posted by: andrew | Jun 6, 2012 10:43:04 AM


  13. Instead of just getting rid of Citizens United, how about really FIXING the system by mandating public financing of campaigns, implementing term limits for everyone, and eliminating the electoral college.

    Posted by: ScottNYC | Jun 6, 2012 10:48:27 AM


  14. The money isn't the issue!!

    As a Wisconsin Democrat I have lived through the past year and a half of this whole recall and honestly people, the money isn't the issue. No matter how much was spent people's opinions were made up a long time ago and no amount of TV ads were going to sway anyone from their views.

    What is troubling to me is the idea of the recall itself. He ran for governor outlining what he was going to do and he won. He didn't do anything illegal or anything that warranted a recall. I think us Democrats have only set ourselves up for it to be done to us and shame on us!

    Posted by: Adam | Jun 6, 2012 10:53:38 AM


  15. I don't think there are enough legal protections for the average employee/worker in America, especially so-called employees at will [80-85% of American workers]. On the other hand, I think public sector workers get FAR too much 'protection', pay and benefits [and often flaunt it in the face of the majority who pay their salaries and benefits]. Add to this the fact in most locales political patronage is the driving force behind public sector jobs, and you end up with MANY angry people.

    Public sector unions have been very corrupt and getting away with murder [just like the 'bankers' and other industries in the de-regulated private sector] for a long time. I have serious problems with the main political parties [and mainstream 'conservatives' + 'progressives'] primarily because they've been brought and sold by a few powerful special interests groups. And to rub salt in the wound, almost anything that requires interaction with a local, state or federal employee or agency is a painful experience.

    I'm not defending this Walker per say, and certainly not defending those engaged in anti-gay activity, but mainstream so-called conservatives and hardcore progressives [AKA liberals] both need to get their sh*t together and deal with the corruption and bad policies some of their core special interest supporters impose on them.

    The mind boggling level of fraud and corruption in many private sector industries like financial services, agriculture and healthcare are another story. But government involvement in the form of subsidies, grants, and lucrative contracts along with poor regulation are responsible primarily for this, along with election financing laws.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jun 6, 2012 11:19:09 AM


  16. @ Adam
    Before the election he absolutely, flat-out lied about his position on collective bargaining. Once elected he absolutely, flat-out lied about the budget (non) crisis to garner support for union busting. I think the real problem is that people have a hard time admitting they were wrong and so they double down. I grew up in Oshkosh, and it's no shock that the intense loyalty shown to the Packers and Brewers is reflected in peoples party line votes; a sad reality reflected across the country and both major parties.

    Posted by: John | Jun 6, 2012 11:28:03 AM


  17. @Craven,

    I followed this recall election closely and most credible news outlets reported that Barrett was outspent 8 to 1, not 3 to 1.
    You can thank our Supreme Court and Citizens United for that! One or two billionaires can outspend the entire country in any given election from now on, thank you very much SCOTUS! Bastards!

    Posted by: Jake | Jun 6, 2012 12:16:35 PM


  18. i just wanna know which eye i'm supposed to look at

    Posted by: gomez | Jun 6, 2012 1:12:00 PM


  19. @Gomez...LOL--was thinking the same thing. Dudes got two lazy eyes. At least Dems now control the Senate so Walker will be KOCH blocked!

    Posted by: Chicklets | Jun 6, 2012 8:05:30 PM


  20. Take that Union goons,take that demacRATS,take that OBAMA

    Posted by: SPURWING PLOVER | Aug 12, 2012 5:26:01 PM


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