Wisconsin Holds Recall Election Today [VIDEO]
After more than a year in the national spotlight, Wisconsin votes Tuesday on whether to recall its Republican governor, Scott Walker.
Polls show Walker, just 17 months into his term, with a small lead over Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
An exuberant Barrett told campaign workers in Portage, “We the people of the state of Wisconsin are going to reclaim our future.”
For his part, Walker said he expects a close race, saying, “We want to move on and move forward.”
Anger over Walker and his conservative agenda began building almost as soon as he took office in January 2011. Just a month into his term, Walker took the state by surprise with a proposal to effectively end collective bargaining rights for most state workers — a measure he said was needed to ease budget problems.
Walker is only the third governor in U.S. history to face a recall vote. The other two lost, most recently California Gov. Gray Davis in 2003. Wisconsin’s recall election is a rematch of the 2010 governor’s race in which Walker defeated Barrett by 5 percentage points.
Barrett says he’s not disappointed that President Barack Obama didn’t do more to support his effort to replace Wisconsin Gov. ScottWalker in Tuesday’s recall election.
Barrett told CNN Tuesday morning that he doesn’t feel ignored by Obama — “not one bit,” he said.
The President did show support for Barrett on Twitter. “It’s Election Day in Wisconsin tomorrow,” Obama tweeted, “and I’m standing by Tom Barrett. He’d make an outstanding governor.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie campaigned for Walker in May, predicting a Walker win. He said that victory will “not only empower him to continue to do the things to move Wisconsin forward,” but said it will also send a message to other politicians “all over the country.”
Barrett says there are some people who want to make the recall vote a national election. But, he says, it’s really more about Wisconsin, its people, and jobs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.