Updated: Wisconsin’s Scott Walker is the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall election. Late reports show the race with Walker winning with 53 percent to 46 percent, with 97 percent of precincts reporting.
“First of all, I want to thank God for His abundant grace,” Walker told an ecstatic crowd celebrating his victory. “Tonight we tell Wisconsin, we tell our country and we tell the world that voters really do want leaders who stand up and make the tough decisions.”
Walker said it was time “to put our difference aside and find ways to work together to move Wisconsin forward.”
He said he planned to invite lawmakers to meet soon over burgers and brats with beer to discuss ways to bridge the political divide.
Voter turnout was heavy. Walker successfully fought off a national union-led effort to unseat him during his first term after he eliminated collective bargain agreements for state employees to close a multi-billion dollar budget gap.
In 2008, Obama won Wisconsin by 14 points. Now, the Walker victory is leading some Republicans to suggest the state might be within reach for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
According to reports, approximately $64 million had been spent on the race since November, setting a new state record. The record was previously set at $37.4 million during the 2010 governor race.
Mitt Romney issued a statement congratulating Scott Walker for his
victory saying, "I congratulate Scott Walker on his victory in
Wisconsin. Governor Walker has demonstrated over the past year what
sound fiscal policies can do to turn an economy around, and I believe
that in November voters across the country will demonstrate that they
want the same in Washington, D.C. Tonight’s results will echo beyond the
borders of Wisconsin. Governor Walker has shown that citizens and
taxpayers can fight back – and prevail – against the runaway government
costs imposed by labor bosses. Tonight voters said ‘no’ to the tired,
liberal ideas of yesterday, and ‘yes’ to fiscal responsibility and a new
direction. I look forward to working with Governor Walker to help build
a better, brighter future for all Americans.”
The GOP victory in Wisconsin’s gubernatorial recall election was an "absolute disaster for President Obama" and represents a clear sign of Republican momentum heading into the fall presidential election campaign, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus argues in a memo set for release Wednesday and shared early by POLITICO.
Priebus writes that the struggle in Wisconsin allowed Republicans to prime a first-rate operation in the state for the November election. And the results added up to a vote of confidence in the GOP’s 2012 message on spending restraint and the size of government.
"Less than four years after Obama won Wisconsin, Democrats lost in an election of their own making. That’s because the GOP excelled at our ground game, now giving us a significant advantage for the presidential race," Priebus argues. "Working with the Wisconsin GOP, the RNC ran joint voter contact Victory operations and opened 26 statewide offices. Since January, our volunteers made over 4 million voter contacts, more than the GOP did in the entire 2008 campaign and substantially more than Democrats and their union allies in this election. … In the process, more than 3,400 Wisconsin volunteers have signed up to help the party. And the data collected by door-to-door volunteers for Governor Walker was all promptly added to the RNC’s data center, thanks to the use of iPads, iPhones, and iPods."
He continues: "This race should draw a sharp contrast in the eyes of voters. On the Republican side stood Scott Walker–a man who kept his 2010 campaign promises and delivered. He balanced the budget, got Wisconsinites back to work, and put government back on the side of the people. It’s certainly a far cry from what President Obama is offering."
For more from Politico, click here.
American Future Fund released a web ad late Tuesday night titled “Do You Recall.”
The ad illustrates how Democrats and Liberal media raged about the importance of this race and the impact it would ultimately have on the presidency for many months. Rachel Maddow said it “will affect every race… from dogcatcher on up to the race for President.” She even called it “the most important race in the country.”
But the moment they realized Walker might win, they quickly began backtracking and discounting the election. If you have ever had Liberal friends and relatives question the credibility of Conservative media, ask them to explain this one from the Left.