Wisconsin Recall Results

CNN exit polls show a dead heat between Gov. Scott Walker (R) and challenger Tom Barrett (D), 50% to 50%.

An important point: As many as 12% of Wisconsin voters voted by absentee ballot and these voters are not counted in the exit polling.

Based on the early exit polls, it’s not likely the Election Administrator’s Prayer has been answered.

The AP reports that those who made up their minds in the final month of the campaign broke for Barrett by nearly 30 points.

Huffington Post has a fantastic chart for tracking results as they come in.

A second round of exit polls show Walker opening up a four point lead, 52% to 48%.

NBC News projects Walker will survive the recall attempt.

Let the spin begin…

Obama Maintains National Lead

A new Pew Research poll finds President Obama leads Mitt Romney nationally by seven points, 49% to 42%.

Key finding: “Currently 37% say they are hearing mostly bad news about the economy, up from 32% last month and the highest percentage expressing that view this year… Perhaps even more politically charged, the new poll finds the number of Americans saying they have been hearing mostly bad news about jobs has spiked, from 38% in March to 55% currently.”

Obama Leads in Wisconsin

Despite indications that President Obama’s re-election campaign thinks Wisconsin is a swing state, exits polls in today’s gubernatorial recall election shows Obama leading Mitt Romney by six points, 51% to 45%.

Update: The final release of exit polling found Obama leading by an even wider 12 point margin, 54% to 42%. He won the state in 2008 by 14 points.

Nevada GOP Chair Insists He Never Hired New Aide

Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald said the state GOP “hasn’t hired a new political director after all, a day after a former Utah lawmaker announced he had the job,” the Las Vegas Review Journal reports.

“McDonald said he has never met Carl Wimmer and the state party’s executive board had not signed off on hiring Wimmer, who apparently got the impression from one of McDonald’s top aides that he would be starting the political director’s job as soon as this week… McDonald said he took full responsibility for what he called a communications breakdown that led to Wimmer putting out his own press release Monday announcing he would become the new Nevada GOP political director.”

Someone Hacked into Romney’s Email Account

After Mitt Romney’s personal email address was revealed by the Wall Street Journal, a tipster tells Gawker he hacked into Romney’s email and DropBox accounts.

“The lesson: If you’re running for national office, don’t use a private email that lets anyone reset the password if they can guess the city you were born in.”

Obama Ahead in Florida

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Florida finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney by four points in the key battleground state, 50% to 46%.

Key findings: “Neither of Florida’s most discussed Vice Presidential prospects would have a huge impact on the race. Marco Rubio is slightly popular with a 44/40 approval rating, but his presence on the ticket would only narrow Obama’s lead to 49-46… Jeb Bush wouldn’t help Romney either. He has a 48/42 favorability rating but with him as the VP Obama’s lead actually increases ever so slightly to 5 points at 50/45.”

What if the Supreme Court Strikes Down the Health Care Law?

Jeffrey Toobin: “It’s been said that Obama might somehow be better off politically if the Court were to strike down the unpopular parts of the law (or even all of it). According to this reasoning, he could then avoid the problem of defending the law on the campaign trail and concentrate instead on issues on which the Democratic view is more popular.”

“This is nonsense. In the first place, in politics and the rest of life, it’s always better to win than lose. Winners win, and losers lose. Moreover, the invalidation of such a central achievement of his Administration would taint Obama’s Presidency forever. To casual followers of politics (and the Supreme Court), which is to say most people, it would look like Obama overreached in the way that the stereotype suggests that liberals often do–in expanding the size of government. In the event of a loss, Obama would blame the Court, perhaps for good reason, but for better or worse the Justices will have the last word… A loss in the Supreme Court would send the Democratic Party back to square one on the issue.”

The Resilience of the Two-Party System

Thomas Edsall: “Given the scope of the demographic and ideological transformation of the United States over the last six decades, it’s interesting that the two-party system has not imploded. In the face of sustained centrifugal upheaval — including a proliferation of religious affiliations, the enfranchisement of substantial minority populations, rising levels of economic inequality, and the belief among a plurality of voters, 44 percent, that our economic system (capitalism) and the religious identification of three-quarters of the electorate (Christianity) are not compatible — we still are a nation of Republicans and Democrats.”

Andrew Sullivan: “Perhaps it’s the only truly tribal option left.”

17 Recall Elections

The Wisconsin gubernatorial race isn’t the only recall race, Joshua Spivak notes.

“Today alone, there will be 17 recalls. There will be the six in Wisconsin; three in Fullerton, California, which would be a major national story if it wasn’t for the Wisconsin recalls; three in Greenfield, California and five in Hermiston, Oregon.”

Quote of the Day

“Nobody has seen a communist in over a decade.”

— Bill Clinton, quoted by The Hill, criticizing House Republicans for failing to reprimand Rep. Allen West (R-FL) who claimed as many as 80 Democrats in Congress are members of the Communist Party.

Biden for President?

Jill Biden told the Today Show that her husband, Vice President Joe Biden, might be open to a 2016 presidential campaign and that he would “make a great president.”

She added: “I don’t know whether this is his last campaign. We’re focusing on this campaign and winning this campaign. I take one campaign at a time.”

Massive Spending So Far This Cycle

Huffington Post survey of federal spending reports “shows that the top 150 consulting companies — media, fundraising, digital/social, direct mail and others — have grossed $465.76 million so far in the 2011-12 electoral season, out of a total of $1.24 billion spent.”

“These figures presage an eventual take for the consulting industry of as much as $3 billion if, as some expect, total spending on all levels of campaigns tops out at some $8 billion this time (compared with $6 billion in 2007-08 and $4 billion in 2003-4).”

Tuesday’s Other Races

First Read points out that Wisconsin voters aren’t the only ones heading to the polls.

“Five states are holding their presidential and congressional primaries. In California, we’ll see the results from its first official free-for-all primaries (where the top-two finishers, regardless of party, advance to the general election); in New Jersey, we’ll find out the winner between the Obama-backed Steve Rothman vs. the Bill Clinton-backed Bill Pascrell in that member-vs.-member race; in New Mexico, we’ll see who wins the Democratic Senate primary between Martin Heinrich and Hector Balderas; and Montana and South Dakota also hold their primaries today.”

Emails Show How Romney Pushed Health Care Bill

“When Mitt Romney left office as Massachusetts governor, his aides removed all emails from a server computer in the governor’s office, and purchased and carted off hard drives from 17 state-owned personal computers,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“But a small cache of emails survived, including some that have never publicly surfaced surrounding Mr. Romney’s efforts to pass his now-controversial health-care law. The emails show the Republican governor was closely engaged in negotiating details of the bill, working with top Democratic state leaders and drafting early copies of opinion articles backing it… Romney and his aides, meanwhile, strongly defended the so-called individual mandate, a requirement that everyone in Massachusetts have or buy heath insurance. And they privately discussed ideas that might be anathema to today’s GOP — including publicly shaming companies that didn’t provide enough health insurance to employees.”

What Worries Romney Backers

Politico: “Mitt Romney has done the unthinkable: silenced the legions of conservatives who saw him as too starched, too ideologically wobbly and too Richie Rich to win. Now comes the hard part: getting those same conservatives not to pop off as he moves to confront a half-dozen very Mitt-specific political dangers — the ones top Republican officials say he must navigate to unite the party and attract skeptical conservatives and independents this summer.”

“Their calculus: President Obama’s campaign is threatened most by events he can’t control: a European financial catastrophe, an Israeli attack on Iran that could goose gas prices, economic stagnation. Romney’s campaign is threatened most by the man himself. And that’s pretty scary to GOP insiders, at a moment when they’re sensing they could win this thing.”

Obama Tweets for Barrett

President Obama made no effort to campaign in Wisconsin’s gubernatorial recall race but he finally declared his support for Tom Barrett (D) on Twitter.

Tweeted Obama: “It’s Election Day in Wisconsin tomorrow, and I’m standing by Tom Barret. He’d make an outstanding governor. -bo.”

Nevada Republicans Deride Romney

Jon Ralston points out a newly-erected billboard that is “a stark reminder of the Ron Paul takeover of the Republican Party” in Nevada’s largest county.

“The message is unmistakable: Ron Paul is like Ronald Reagan and Mitt Romney is like George W. Bush. The latter is not meant kindly, I assure you.”

He adds: “I swear, folks: The Republicans here are better than any act on the Strip. It is not even close.”

Feinstein Could Face “Birther” in General Election

A novel California primary process that premieres today “was intended to produce moderates,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports, but in the state’s U.S. Senate race, “it could yield a challenger who claims President Obama was born in Kenya.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) faces 23 challengers, “including 14 Republicans, the best known of whom is litigious “birther” Orly Taitz, a Russian Israeli emigre who has appeared on national television with her claims that Obama faked his birth certificate.”

John Avlon: “Seriously. It’s hard to overstate just how bad that would be for the Golden State GOP.”

Wisconsin Recall Fight is Personal for RNC Officials

John Avlon: “It’s not just because the attempt to recall conservative Gov. Scott Walker is a ground-game test case that foreshadows the super PAC-funded fight between big business and big labor in the fall presidential election.”

“It’s because the Wisconsin GOP dominates the Republican National Committee right now. This is a time of national influence for Badger State conservatives — and this recall effort is a personal challenge not just to Scott Walker, but to Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus and his team at the top of RNC… Politics is about personal relationships, and the Wisconsin ties within the RNC run deep right now.”

Romney Solyndra Slam Backfires

A Massachusetts-based solar technology company that received $1.5 million in state loans when Mitt Romney was governor “has filed for bankruptcy, opening the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to charges of hypocrisy,” the Boston Globe reports.

Romney has chided President Obama for investing $535 million in Solyndra, “a different solar company that failed, and has insisted governments should not pick winners and losers in the private sector.”

Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics

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