On a conference call just now, I asked Wisconsin Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate to respond to the handful of polls we’ve seen in recent days showing Scott Walker with a lead of at least five points over Tom Barrett in the recall battle.
Tate said two noteworthy things: the party’s internal polling shows the race tied; and Dems are expecting a big influx of money for spending on ads, where Walker has swamped the opposition.
“We feel pretty good about where we’re at now,” Tate said. “The numbers we’re seeing internally show this race tied.”
Tate referenced the huge amounts of cash being spent on TV by the pro-Walker forces, and added: “The fact that he cannot put this race away is indicative of the fact that the people of Wisconsin are ready, willing and able to fire Scott Walker from his job.” Tate didn’t address the public polls showing Walker ahead.
Tate also insisted that all is forgiven between Wisconsin Dems and the DNC, after I reported earlier this week that local Dems were furious about the DNC’s foot-dragging in the face of their request for $500,000 for its field operation.
“I know we are going to have the resources we need to run a strong effort here,” Tate said, adding that the DNC was fully committed to Walker’s recall. However, he declined to discuss the cash request and wouldn’t specify whether the DNC had agreed to it.
The broader point, though, is that Tate hinted he expects a big influx of funds, which he said would allow Dems to be competitive both on the air and on the ground for the final stretch of the race.
One other thing that could boost Dem chances, however, is the new Wisconsin jobs report, which found that the state lost 6,200 jobs in April — after previous reports that have confirmed that Wisconsin’s job growth is the worst of any state.
Tate jumped on that news, and contrasted it with Walker’s release yesterday of his own set of jobs numbers.
“This adds to Scott Walker’s terrible jobs record,” Tate said, alleging a “pattern of reckless abuse of the facts in trying to hide what is the worst record in the nation on jobs loss.”
I’ve said before that I’m skeptical of the chances of recalling Walker, and I’m not prepared to revise that assessment. But new resources are expected to pour in on the Barrett side, and today’s job numbers — combined with Walker’s transparently political effort to revise them — give the anti-Walker forces a good closing message to amplify with those resources.