June 6, 2012 4 Comments
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker won his recall election last night 53-46. This is a significant victory against union thuggery. It was the public sector unions that got all of this recall nonsense started. They spent millions on recall signatures and millions on Democrat Tom Barrett’s campaign. Yet they were soundly defeated. The taxpaying public is sick of paying through the nose for lavish public sector employee benefits that simply aren’t available to people working in the private sector. Taxpayers are tired of deficits because of these benefits. Wisconsin voters in particular are tired of the union thuggery and the overly dramatic complaints and protests that have engulfed the state for the last year and a half.
The Tea Party was well organized in Wisconsin and it directly led to Walker’s victory. The Tea Party did what the unions have been doing for years, they’ve organized and gotten directly involved in the political process. The Tea Party ground game matched, if not exceeded, the progressive left’s ground game. That’s significant because in Wisconsin, which doesn’t have a strong evangelical Christian community, conservative and Republican grassroots organization was significantly lacking. Until the Tea Party, now it’s an equal to the progressive, left-wing and union organization.
The progressive left is whining to no end about the amount of money spent in Wisconsin. Their claim is that Walker spent eight times what Barrett did. This is very true, if we’re only talking about the official campaigns themselves. What the boys at MSNBC don’t tell people is how much money the unions spent on this campaign, almost all of which was spent outside of Barrett’s official campaign coffers. For all the money spent though, it was the grassroots organization which got out the vote for Walker that really won the day. The left will whine and whine about all the money spent on ads, they weren’t the difference though. The difference was the organization of the Tea Party, which the progressives don’t wish to acknowledge because they believe they have a monopoly on organization.
Yesterday’s recall must not be read as a sign of things to come in November. No matter who won there would be a temptation to claim that a Wisconsin victory will lead to the same result in November. Democrats are backing off of claiming Wisconsin is important today while Republicans are crowing that it’s proof Romney is on his way to victory. The opposite would be the case if Barrett had won.
But the fact of the matter is that this recall involved highly charged local issues which don’t really translate into a Presidential election. People voting for Walker weren’t impressed by the 1 point drop in the unemployment rate since he took office. The national unemployment rate is down that much over the same period and we all know how that has been manipulated. People in Wisconsin voted for Walker because they supported his curb on union power and they liked the fact that he’s nearly balanced a budget that when he took office was $3 billion in the red. These are local issues which don’t particularly translate into a Presidential election.
The lesson for Romney is clear. It’s going to take more than ads to win this election. He needs to have a solid ground game, which means his people need to connect with and excite various Tea Party groups as well as evangelical Christian groups around the country. This idea that Super PAC’s are going to spend a billion dollars for Romney and that will somehow propel him to victory is ridiculous and a recipe for defeat. Obama is organized, he’s moved to the far left to energize his base and get them all out to the polls. Romney has to equal that effort. He cannot misread the Wisconsin recall and assume the tide is turning against Obama. Romney has a long, long way to go.