Posted: 11/21/14 16:58
by Dave Mindeman
Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin is ruminating a run for President. And what is to stop him? He has won three (count 'em three) elections for Governor since 2010. Sounds like an electoral juggernaut.
But as with most "big ideas" from Republicans, it has some flaws.
Here are the election results from the 3 runs:
Walker 1,128,941 52.3%
Barrett 1,004,303 46.5% Turnout = 49.7%
2012 June 5, 2012 Recall
Walker 1,335,585 53%
Barrett 1,164,480 46% Turnout = 57.8%
Walker 1,259,031 52.3%
Burke 1,121,490 46.6% Turnout = 56.9%
First observation. The results are remarkably similar in each case. Walker wins by 6 to 7 points in each case.
Each election is an off-year type. The 2012 recall was held in June. And you may ask, who decides that? Well, in Wisconsin, that decision is done by the Government Accountability Board....a panel of 6 judges. And, surprise, surprise...4 of the 6 judges were appointed by Scott Walker. The other two by his predecessor Gov. Jim Doyle.
During the recall there were 931,053 signatures turned in to meet the statutory requirement. It seems a bit strange that 931,000 people were motivated enough to sign for the recall effort, but only about 230,000 additional people voted for the Democratic candidate. I offer no explanations but I do consider it a bit odd.
A more dominant point is that Walker won these elections with 50+% of the electorate voting. In the 2012 Presidential election, Wisconsin got 70% of its people to the polls.
Would Scott Walker even carry Wisconsin in a Presidential election?
I think that is a fair point worth considering. But let me give you a bit more about the recall. When the signatures for the recall were received, the GAB put the signatures on line with a searchable database (at a cost of $150,000 to the taxpayers) showing their signature. Your name was on the public record.
It took some time for the GAB to certify the election as they verified signatures....which had a certain additional Walker advantage....
Normally, candidates must follow strict limits on how much they can raise from any individual, but those restrictions are not in effect from the time recall petitions are first circulated until the accountability board decides whether a recall election must be held.
Republicans used that quirk of the law from November until Friday to their advantage, with Walker raising as much as $500,000 from one businessman - 50 times the usual $10,000 limit. Democrats had to adhere to the normal limits during those four and a half months, putting them at a fundraising disadvantage.
Walker raised an unprecedented amount of money heading into the recall.
He has manipulated his state to his advantage. And he has managed to get large sums of money from the usual national sources.
Those sources might support him for President, but can he extrapolate his "off-year" successes and state manipulation into a national campaign?
That doesn't sound like a strong national Presidential candidate to me. But then I'm not a Republican primary voter.