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Bill Clinton headed to Wisconsin for recall fight

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Former president Bill Clinton is headed to Wisconsin to aid the Democratic cause in the final days of the recall election against Gov. Scott Walker (R).

Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Wednesday on a trip to the state that Clinton was “in the process of sorting out his schedule.”

Michael Norris / Amarillo Globe-News

President Bill Clinton waves to the crowd after speaking during the West Texas A&M Distinguished Lecture Series Tuesday, April 24, 2012.

As first reported by the Plum Line, Clinton made up his mind on Thursday to wade into the contentious race.

“Folks in Wisconsin have been on the front lines of fighting for working, middle-class families across America for more than 16 months,” the former president said in a statement. “I'm coming to Wisconsin to help Tom and the extraordinary grassroots volunteers on the ground.”

Democrats in the state have been lobbying Clinton for weeks to campaign with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D), Walker’s opponent in the June 5 vote, hoping that enthusiasm for the former president will boost turnout.

Clinton remains a hugely popular figure within the rank and file of the Democratic party and Democrats in the state are clearly hoping his presence buoys their base in the final days before Tuesday’s election.

Wisconsin Democrats have complained that the national party is not investing enough in the recall, which was sparked by Walker’s collective bargaining reforms. The Republican Governors Association is outspending the Democratic Governors Association about two-to-one.

The DNC and the White House have come under considerable pressure to send President Obama himself to Wisconsin. But the administration has kept its distance from this fight, and Clinton’s trip almost certainly precludes a last-minute appearance by the current president.

Public polling give Walker the edge heading into next Tuesday’s election, but Democrats have released internal polls showing a dead heat.

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