Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Impending Victory by Republican Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin Recall Race Will be a Huge Defeat for Democrats and Public Employee Unions

A Failed Revolution is Worse Than No Revolution 

At this point in time it appears that the incumbent Gov. of Wisconsin, Republican Scott Walker will survive a recall election on June 5.  Mr.Walker is ahead in the polls, and a win of about 52% to 48% is the most likely outcome.  However Mr. Walker seems to be gaining in momentum, and a 55% to 45% victory for him is not unlikely.

All three polls show Walker leading Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) by between 5 percent and 9 percent. Perhaps more illustrative, though, are the candidate’s personal favorability and approval numbers.

Despite all the attempts by Democrats and organized labor to turn him into the bogeyman, Walker’s job approval and favorable rating both remain in positive territory, at right around 50 percent.
Barrett, meanwhile, has no such luxury. The latest Marquette University Law School poll of this race showed his favorable rating at just 37 percent, compared to 45 percent who view him unfavorably.

The recall of the Governor was always a questionable action.  It occurred after Democrats and their public employee allies had failed to take back the State Senate in the summer of 2011 with recall votes, sending a strong message that the recall process was not a particularly good strategy.  But the anger at Gov. Walker was so great that enough signatures were gathered to force the recall election.  But as opponents of Gov. Walker are about to learn, getting a recall election and winning a recall election are two different things.

There are a number of forces arrayed against the Democrats and for Mr. Walker.  Foremost of these is money.  While most of us think that the union issue is a basic worker right, and that employees should be able to form or not form a union as they desire, powerful forces hate unions and are willing to pledge huge sums to defeat them.  This is happening in Wisconsin, where tens of millions of anti-union out of state money have flowed to the Walker campaign.

Other factors are the fact that Mr. Walker has moderated his tone, if not his policies and that appears to have placated some voters.  Also, Democrats had to engage in a divisive primary and expend huge sums in the effort just to determine who would face Mr. Walker in the recall election.  And there is also the attitude among many people that once a person is elected he or she should stay elected until the next regularly scheduled election.  This argument alone may convince many would be Walker opponents to vote for him or to just stay home.

The negative impact on Democrats if they lose the Walker recall election can not be overstated.  The loss will provide huge momentum to Republicans for the fall election in Wisconsin, possibly tipping the state to Mr. Romney and possibly producing a Republican Senate win.  Large donors on the Republican side will be encouraged to donate more, and resources of the Democratic side will have been nearly exhausted in a losing battle.

Republicans will ignore the fact that a recall election was held, and treat the Walker win as an endorsement of their policies.  Even more anti-union measure will be proposed, not only in Wisconsin but in other states as well.  Many in the union movement do not understand that the forces against them are determined to eliminate them, and will use any methods to do so.  Public employee unions suffered a huge loss in Wisconsin in 2011 from the Walker anti-union measures.  A loss in Wisconsin will tend to expand those anti-union measures nationwide.

When supporter of the recall elections got enough signatures on petitions to force the recall they celebrated.  Like many other celebrations, that one may have been way too premature.

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