There is no doubt that this nation needs a ‘Jimmy Stewart’ moment. One of those old-fashioned underdog pulls an upset type experiences that makes people know at the end of the day the good guy can still win.
There is also no doubt that Wisconsin is the place that desperately needs a Frank Capra sheen to spread across the landscape which allows for healing, and the lowering of rancor that has developed due to the collective bargaining fight.
It all sounds nice but my gut tells me this will not happen on Tuesday.
Over the past months one thing is very clear. Scott Walker has run a very competent and structured campaign. One does not have to like him to recognize his political capabilities.
Scott Walker has stayed on message, and his strong narrative–for all the actual flaws and shortcomings with his policies–has allowed him to stay in the lead according to various polls.
Scott Walker has whored for every dollar from every conservative across the nation willing to strike a deal, and as such has had far more capability to advertise. The unseemly side to politics is not new, to be sure, but to have witnessed it up close is a stark reminder of why real campaign finance reform is most needed.
Tom Barrett remains the nice man in the race. That is not a political statement, that is just a plain fact.
He is intelligent and would make an excellent governor. I recall Barrett’s days in the state legislature, and his easy comfortable nature allowed him to reach his goals and bring people together. That would be a tremendous asset in this troubled time we now find ourselves.
The problem, however, is that Barrett is not able to excite the electorate in a way that is needed when the race is close, and every vote is needed.
I have had concerns from the start of the recall about the Democratic messaging, and the lack of focus about the reason we are at this moment in our state’s history. And make no mistake about it, this is a historical moment we are living.
Collective bargaining and the abuse of the process of government are the reasons for the recall. That is what brought the Democrats to the dance. To change topics and focus on issues as if this were a general election contest undermines the gravity of the moment. By doing so makes some think this election is nothing more than a ‘do-over’. By allowing that thinking to occur cheapens all that we have fought for. I find that very disheartening.
The political landscape is tough for a recall, and rightly so. I am not convinced that Kathleen Falk would have fared any better given all the dynamics of the race, but I think there would have been more union enthusiasm for her candidacy.
There are plenty of reasons to vote, and large numbers are anticipated to head to the polls. Perhaps as high as 65% statewide turnout, according to the GAB. I predict the statewide turnout closer to the low-end of their assumptions, at 60%. Though in places around Dane County, and in Madison I expect to see some stunning turnouts well above 60%.
The end result of all the voting, however, will not be in the best interest of Wisconsin.
Scott Walker wins with 52% of the vote. I am not sold on the idea this race is tightening as some have suggested. People are not being swayed, they know exactly how they plan to cast a ballot.
I think the enthusiasm gap among the parties is the telling point in this recall. Who would have thought that would be the case seven months ago? Republicans are fired up, conservatives are lined up, and as nice as Barrett is there remains a lackadaisical response about his candidacy from many average voters.
Rebecca Kleefisch wins, of course, though with fewer votes than Walker since many will enter the polling place and say “Rebecca who?”
The state senate will not have a Democratic majority due to the Walker recall race drawing out so many Republicans in the four districts where elections are being held.