The Fix: recall

Wisconsin recall=Wisconsin 2010

The analysis of why Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker beat back the Democratic-led attempt to oust him from office on Tuesday continues to fly back and forth across the political world. (We have our own theories, which we explain here.)


Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker waves at his victory party Tuesday, June 5, 2012, in Waukesha, Wis. Walker defeated Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in a special recall election. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
But, for all of the words spilled about the “why”, Walker’s win can be boiled down into a single sentence: The recall electorate looks almost exactly like the 2010 governor’s race electorate where Walker first beat Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

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Wisconsin recall: Winners and losers

Wisconsin recall: Winners and losers

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) decisive victory against Democrats seeking to recall him on Tuesday amounts to a major moment in national politics due to the massive amounts of national money and attention the race garnered.

Any time there are such high stakes in an election, there are people who win big and people who lose big. And we at the Fix love nothing more than sifting through the results to go beyond the obvious “bests” and “worsts” of the night to find a few winners and losers you might not have thought of.

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Wisconsin recall: Union voters ≠ union households

Voters from union households turned out in droves for Tuesday’s recall election in Wisconsin in an unsuccessful attempt to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker (R).

But the strength of the union vote was limited, perhaps decisively, by a divide between union members and those who simply live in union households.


Many of the protesters were members of unions whose power to negotiate contract benefits would be affected.

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Despite Scott Walker’s win, Obama outpolls Romney in Wisconsin

Updated at 11:35 a.m.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is on his way to victory in the state’s recall election tonight, but looking forward to the fall, the Obama campaign may have something positive to glean from the results.

While the totals have Walker ahead significantly, exit polls suggest he did it with a healthy dose of support from voters who are leaning toward President Obama in the fall.

In fact, exit polls show Walker winning 18 percent of Obama supporters — much higher than Democrat Tom Barrett’s 6 percent of Mitt Romney supporters. Overall, the electorate that turned out Tuesday backed Obama by a 51 percent-to-44-percent margin.

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Wisconsin recall: 2010 all over again

So far, voters in the Wisconsin recall election have very similar ideological leanings to the 2010 electorate that first voted Gov. Scott Walker into office, according to preliminary exit polls. More than one in three voters identify as conservative while just north of two in 10 are liberals. Moderates continue to make up the biggest chunk of Wisconsin voters, accounting for over 40 percent of the electorate.

The 2010 midterm election marked a dramatic shift to the right from only two years before. Fully 37 percent of voters identified as conservatives, up from 31 percent in 2008.

Wisconsin recall: Should there be a recall at all?

Today’s Wisconsin recall is a very rare election - only 19 states even allow recall elections and just three sitting governors have faced a recall vote in all of U.S. history. That begs the question: When are recall elections appropriate?

Just about three in 10 said recall elections are appropriate for any reason, according to preliminary exit poll results. But the answer depends heavily on whether your party’s candidate is being dragged to the ballot box before their term is up. Republicans said by a near unanimous margin that recall elections are never appropriate or only appropriate in the case of official misconduct. But slight majority of Democratic voters said recall elections are appropriate “for any reason.”

Unions flex muscle in early Wisconsin recall exit polls

Early exit polling in the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election suggests that union household comprise roughly a third of all voters, a share of the vote that is higher than either of the last two presidential or gubernatorial elections held in the state.

Voters in the recall also tilt positively toward public sector unions in general, but not by a huge margin. Voters split about evenly in their support for changes to state law that limited the collective bargaining ability of government unions, an issue at the heart of recall effort.

Drawing broad conclusions about the shape of the electorate remains difficult due to the fact that these early exit poll reflect only morning and afternoon voters and can (and likely will) shift before polls close at 9 p.m. eastern time.

Still the preliminary numbers hint at answers to some key questions.

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Wisconsin recall: 5 things to watch in the exit polls

Wisconsin exit poll numbers will begin to be released in fewer than two hours, giving poll watchers a mountain of data with which to begin parsing the recall election for Gov. Scott Walker (R).


A woman with her children cast her ballot Tuesday, June 5, 2012, in Milwaukee. Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker is taking on Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in a recall election. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

While we all wait for the numbers, here are five key factors to keep an eye on in the exit poll data.

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Wisconsin recall: A Fix prediction contest

Voters are voting in Wisconsin. And you know what that means: It’s time for another Fix prediction contest.


CLINTON, WI - JUNE 05: Charles Lankford leaves a voting booth after casting a ballot in the Wisconsin recall election June 5, 2012 in Clinton, Wisconsin. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat, is trying to unseat Republican Governor Scott Walker in the recall election. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
That’s right. This is your chance to prove once and for all that you are the preeminent political prognosticator in the country (or at least on this blog) by submitting your prediction on how the Wisconsin recall will turn out tonight.

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Wisconsin recall and primary day: Five things to watch

Wisconsin is just one of six states holding elections Tuesday, as voters in California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota also head to the polls.

Nothing in those other states will approach the importance of what’s happening with the recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) — or even come close, really — but there are some interesting subplots to keep an eye on.

Below, we explore five of them.

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Wisconsin recall: An exit poll interactive!

Eager for a jump start on election night analysis? Use the interacitve below to see which Wisconsin voters have voted in state elections from 2004 to 2010, and how they’ve cast their ballots. Roll over any datapoint to see the percentage of the electorate in each category.

We’ll have the new Wisconsin exit poll data — and new tools — in this space starting around 6 p.m. eastern.

Note, the 2004 and 2008 data are from presidential elections; the 2006 and 2010 from gubernatorial contests.

Happy parsing.

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What a Scott Walker win would tell us about Wisconsin

What a Scott Walker win would tell us about Wisconsin

The expectation — among Republicans and Democrats — heading into today’s Wisconsin recall election is that Gov. Scott Walker (R) is likely to narrowly hold on to his office, a victory that will immediately set off furious speculation about what the result means for the presidential election in the state this November.

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The recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker explained

The recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker explained

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is fighting for his political life in Tuesday’s recall election in the Badger State.

But what’s up with the recall? And how does it work?

We explained it all last year when several Republican state senators faced similar recalls. Here’s an updated version for the Walker race:

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Should President Obama have gone to Wisconsin?

Two things are clear with 24 hours before polls open in the attempt to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R). First, the incumbent is a slight favorite over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D). Second, President Obama won’t set foot in the state prior to Tuesday’s vote.

The bigger question is whether those two facts are related. And the answer to that question depends on whom you ask.


FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2011 file photo, President Barack Obama receives an autographed Green Bay Packers Charles Woodson from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, center, and Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt, upon his arrival in Green Bay, Wis., en route to nearby Manitowoc, Wis., where he will a tour renewable-energy factories and talk about jobs and the economy. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

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Wisconsin recall: Scott Walker enters final week with edge

Wisconsin recall: Scott Walker enters final week with edge

A week from today, Wisconsin voters will decide whether to recall Gov. Scott Walker (R) or not, an outcome that remains possible if not likely, according to sources closely following the race.

Many Democrats — led by organized labor — have cast the Wisconsin contest as a referendum on what they believe to be a drastic overreach of power by a Republican elected governor in 2010.

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Wisconsin recall elections: Scott Walker launches ads against two top opponents

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is up with his first two ads of the state’s June recall election, with one ad hitting each of his top potential opponents.

The ads both feature black and white footage and suggest Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) and former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk (D) want to take the state backward, focusing on their records in local government.

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Scott Walker and the most polarized state in the country

Scott Walker and the most polarized state in the country

Exit polling from Wisconsin’s Republican presidential primary on Tuesday night makes one thing very clear: The Badger State has the most polarized electorate in the country. The source of that polarization? Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

In the last few weeks, we’ve had conversations with Republican and Democratic political operatives who expressed amazement at just how much the protracted struggle over Walker’s collective bargaining law, which he signed into law in the spring of 2011, has turned every voter in the state into a strong partisan.

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