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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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).
While we all wait for the numbers, here are five key factors to keep an eye on in the exit poll data.
Voters are voting in Wisconsin. And you know what that means: It’s time for another Fix prediction contest.
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.
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.
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.