It’s A Barrett-Walker Rematch in Wisconsin

Per Andy Kroll at Mother Jones:

Democrat Tom Barrett cruised to victory in the Wisconsin recall primary contest on Tuesday night and will face Gov. Scott Walker on June 5. Barrett’s win sets up his second gubernatorial fight with Walker in less than two years. With 81 percent of precincts reporting, Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee, led his top challenger, former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk, 57 percent to 35 percent.

Firefighter and union leader Mahlon Mitchell
, who dominated the Democratic primary for the lieutenant governor, will join Barrett on the Democratic ticket in the June 5 recall. Mitchell’s impassioned support for workers’ rights and public-sector unions during the 2011 protests transformed him into something of a celebrity in progressive circles in Wisconsin.

Labor unions, who poured money and manpower into backing Falk, wasted no time Tuesday night throwing their full support behind Barrett….

In 2010, Barrett, a five-time US congressman, lost to Walker by nearly 125,000 votes in a landslide year for Republicans. The GOP not only reclaimed the governor’s mansion that year, but also seized control of the state legislature. This time, the political climate is changed, and the state is divided on whether to vote Walker out of office 17 months into his first term.

Pollsters and political scientists say Walker’s foes will need to win over and turn out a small group of people—6 or 7 percent of registered voters—who unlike many Wisconsinites, remain undecided on whether to oust Walker. Paul Maslin, a Democratic pollster who worked for Falk’s campaign, says these undecided voters, “have no reason to make a judgment now, and they’re going to wait until the last possible minute.” He continued, “When they do vote, they’ll leave all the stuff aside, whatever they thought of this recall originally, all the noise and the back and forth, and they’ll make a judgment about who do they trust.”…

So I guess we (meaning: some front-pager who isn’t as tech-challenged as I am) need to set up a Balloon Juice ActBlue page for Tom Barrett, now.

12 replies
  1. 1
    Warren Terra says:

    Treating this as a Late Night Open Thread (because I know nothing about Wisconsin), the Decoding Mitt Romney Tumblr is fun.

  2. 2
    MikeJ says:

    18 million more jobs in five fewer years:

    “The BGOV Barometer shows that since Democrat John F. Kennedy took office in January 1961, non-government payrolls in the U.S. swelled by almost 42 million jobs under Democrats, compared with 24 million for Republican presidents… Democrats hold the edge though they occupied the Oval Office for 23 years since Kennedy’s inauguration, compared with 28 for the Republicans.”

  3. 3
    Ralphie; says:

    Barrett is my Mayor. Not my first choice for Governor but I will back him as I would anybody that’s not Walker. Remember, if you stand with Walker, you’ll fall for anything.

  4. 4

    Glad to see that Wisconsin elections went well last night. Go for it guys!

    North Carolina’s results are disappointing, to me anyway.

    It looks to me like a significant portion of the population of the US is moving towards a theocracy, where the state enforces the teachings of the church.

  5. 5
    Unsympathetic says:

    Walker (R-Koch Industries) needs to fall.

  6. 6
    ItinerantPedant says:

    Living here I’m bracing myself for the most toxic wave of slime in the form of interest group attack ads in the history of ever.

    Unfortunately I think Walker’s going to win. First the toxic ad wave. Second, this is the land of cheap ass Midwesterners and I’m already hearing the “look how much money this election is costing us” trope being pointed at Democrats. And finally, if Barrett isn’t beating Walker by a number greater than the entire population of registered voters in Waukesha county by the end of the night he’s going to lose anyway.

  7. 7
    ruemara says:

    @ItinerantPedant: It’s always great to read the can-do, positive attitudes of Democrats. No wonder we’re always on top.

  8. 8
    jacksmith says:

    REALITY!! And A Fix for Unemployment, Homelessness and Hunger

    In addition to fixing healthcare the right way we need a NewDeal. We need a permanent and updated FDR WPA (Works Progress Administration). A Full employment act requiring the government to provide a job for everyone able to work that wants to work at a living wage or better. At safe, meaningful work where they live. Guaranteed by the US government. With free or very affordable excellent healthcare and free or very affordable education and training for advancement or just personal enrichment.

    ( )

    ( Gov. Peter Shumlin: Real Healthcare reform — )

    ( Health Care Budget Deficit Calculator — )

    ( Briefing: Dean Baker on Boosting the Economy by Saving Healthcare )


    As you all know. Had congress passed a single-payer or government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one, our economy and jobs would have taken off like a rocket. And still will. Single-payer would be best. But a government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! that can lead to a single-payer system is the least you can accept. It’s not about competing with for-profit healthcare and for-profit health insurance. It’s about replacing it with Universal Healthcare Assurance. Everyone knows this now.

    The message from the midterm elections was clear. The American people want real healthcare reform. They want that individual mandate requiring them to buy private health insurance abolished. And they want a government-run robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one. And they want it now.

    They want Drug re-importation, and abolishment, or strong restrictions on patents for biologic and prescription drugs. And government controlled and negotiated drug and medical cost. They want back control of their healthcare system from the Medical Industrial Complex. And they want it NOW!


    For-profit health insurance is extremely unethical, and morally repugnant. It’s as morally repugnant as slavery was. And few if any decent Americans are going to allow them-self to be compelled to support such an unethical and immoral crime against humanity.

    This is a matter of National and Global security. There can be NO MORE EXCUSES.

    Further, we want that corrupt, undemocratic filibuster abolished. Whats the point of an election if one corrupt member of congress can block the will of the people, and any legislation the majority wants. And do it in secret. Give me a break people.

    Also, unemployment healthcare benefits are critically needed. But they should be provided through the Medicare program at cost, less the 65% government premium subsidy provided now to private for profit health insurance.

    Congress should stop wasting hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money on private for profit health insurance subsidies. Subsidies that cost the taxpayer 10x as much or more than Medicare does. Private for profit health insurance plans cost more. But provide dangerous and poorer quality patient care.



    This is what the American people are shouting at you. Both parties have just enough power now to do what the American people want. GET! IT! DONE! NOW!

    If congress does not abolish the individual mandate. And establish a government-run public option CHOICE! before the end of 2011. EVERY! member of congress up for reelection in 2012 will face strong progressive pro public option, and anti-individual mandate replacement candidates.

    Strong progressive pro “PUBLIC OPTION” CHOICE! and anti-individual mandate volunteer candidates should begin now. And start the process of replacing any and all members of congress that obstruct, or fail to add a government-run robust PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE! before the end of 2011.

    We need two or three very strong progressive volunteer candidates for every member of congress that will be up for reelection in 2012. You should be fully prepared to politically EVISCERATE EVERY INCUMBENT that fails or obstructs “THE PUBLIC OPTION”. And you should be willing to step aside and support the strongest pro “PUBLIC OPTION” candidate if the need arises.

    ASSUME CONGRESS WILL FAIL and SELLOUT again. So start preparing now to CUT THEIR POLITICAL THROATS. You can always step aside if they succeed. But only if they succeed. We didn’t have much time to prepare before these past midterm elections. So the American people had to use a political shotgun approach. But by 2012 you will have a scalpel.

    Congress could have passed a robust government-run public option during it’s lame duck session. They knew what the American people wanted. They already had several bills on record. And the house had already passed a public option. Departing members could have left with a truly great accomplishment. And the rest of you could have solidified your job before the 2012 elections.

    President Obama, you promised the American people a strong public option available to everyone. And the American people overwhelmingly supported you for it. Maybe it just wasn’t possible before. But it is now.

    Knock heads. Threaten people. Or do whatever you have to. We will support you. But get us that robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one before the end of 2011. Or We The People Of The United States will make the past midterm election look like a cake walk in 2012. And it will include you.

    We still have a healthcare crisis in America. With hundreds of thousands dieing needlessly every year in America. And a for profit medical industrial complex that threatens the security and health of the entire world. They have already attacked the world with H1N1 killing thousands, and injuring millions. And more attacks are planned for profit, and to feed their greed.

    Spread the word people.

    Progressives, prepare the American peoples scalpels. It’s time to remove some politically diseased tissues.

    God Bless You my fellow human beings. I’m proud to be one of you. You did good.

    See you on the battle field.


    jacksmith – WorkingClass :-)

  9. 9
    qwerty42 says:

    Well, I’m probably a Pollyanna, but I suspect Wisconsin is having a severe case of buyer’s remorse about the election of Walker and will vote him out in the next round. No matter how much $$$ is spent for him.

  10. 10
    Pen says:

    @ruemara: I’ll repeat for them: “And finally, if Barrett isn’t beating Walker by a number greater than the entire population of registered voters in Waukesha county by the end of the night he’s going to lose anyway.”

    This is a GOTV drive if there ever was one, but the crap going on in the media and ads here right now makes Bush v. Gore or Bush v. Kerry look childishly tame by comparison. The attack ads are nonstop already, and have been for weeks. It’s ugly, and now that Barrett’s the challenger it’s only going to get worse.

    The fact that we have an entire county that turns the tide in favor of republicans due to “mistakes”, every election, isn’t doing us any favors.

  11. 11
    aimai says:

    Paul Maslin, a Democratic pollster who worked for Falk’s campaign, says these undecided voters, “have no reason to make a judgment now, and they’re going to wait until the last possible minute.” He continued, “When they do vote, they’ll leave all the stuff aside, whatever they thought of this recall originally, all the noise and the back and forth, and they’ll make a judgment about who do they trust.”…

    Am I the only one who read that and mentally attached the following to it:

    In a suicide note today the Pollster, Paul Maslin, said “these undecided voters…” He ended with “What the fucking fuck is the point of polling people so stupid they don’t remember their own name on the morning of an election? Its like asking mayflies their opinion on next year’s harvest. Or watching plankton try to swim against the tide. I’m giving up. Its just not worth it.”


  12. 12
    James E. Powell says:

    What impact, if any, does the Wisconsin story have on the national political dialogue? Or on the presidential campaign?

    I expect that the Big Money that backs Walker is going to pollute the air and water with every second of time it can buy. I expect it will turn off a lot of voters and that Walker will survive, narrowly. I’d like to be more optimistic, but I don’t understand how this thing can even be close. What exactly has Walker done to help any ordinary people in Wisconsin? What positive results on anything has he produced?

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