The Margin Of Victory Will Be The Key In Tuesday's Wisconsin Recall

How much does Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker win by? Buzzfeed's John Ellis weighs in:

The Wisconsin special gubernatorial recall election next Tuesday is the most important election of the campaign season to date. It will tell us a lot about the 2012 presidential race. And there will be policy repercussions because of it, in states all across the country.

At issue is whether Wisconsin should continue to move away from the Blue Social Model or not. The names on the ballot are Governor Scott Walker (R) and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D). But they are basically proxies for a larger policy battle. Simply put: Governor Walker is a vote against and away from Big Blue, Mayor Barrett is an affirmation of it.

If Gov. Walker under-performs, then it will be a huge win for the Liberal-Labor coalition. The Obama campaign will feel the warm rush of political valium, soothing their November jitters. Everyone expects Gov. Walker to win this election, despite the razor-thin margins of every special election that has been held across Wisconsin since the 2010 general election. The polls say he will win by 6 percentage points, at least. So a Walker defeat on Tuesday would be the biggest story of all.

Is there any chance that Barrett can pull off an upset? Probably not. If he was leading in the polls, President Obama would be campaigning for him this weekend. The fact that the president is not campaigning for him this weekend means two things: (1) Barrett is behind in Team Obama polling by more than the margin of error, and (2) a presidential appearance would not provide enough of a lift for Barrett to make the difference. So, using the Obama test, Mr. Barrett is a goner.

The key to this election, however, is not really whether Governor Walker wins. More or less everyone expects him to do that. The key is how much he wins by. The crude calculation is this: Walker defeat equals certain Obama win in November. Walker win by 1-5 percentage points equals very close presidential general election (nationally). A Walker win by 6 points or more equals Mitt Romney is the favorite to win in November.

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published this page in In The News 2012-06-01 17:00:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy