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Tonight's Crazy Story:
Report: 119% Voter Turnout in Madison, WI
A Madison election clerk told a radio host that Madison was expecting 119% voter turnout. While this could be due to same-day voter registration; it does not help defeat the impression of voting fraud.
Topic One: The Union Impact
The Walker victory spells doom for public unions: "Despite a last-minute smear campaign accusing Scott Walker of fathering an illegitimate love child, the governor’s recall election victory sends a clear message that should resonate around the nation: The fiscal cancer devouring state budgets has a cure, and he has found it. The costly defeat for the entrenched union interests that tried to oust Walker in retribution for challenging their power was marked by President Obama’s refusal to lend his weight to the campaign for fear of being stained by defeat. We’ll see how well this strategy of opportunistic detachment serves in the fall as Obama reaches out to unions for support." HotAir's Ed Morrissey adds: "It turns out that the majority of Wisconsin voters don’t sympathize much with the plight of poor, downtrodden … government workers."
However, Wisconsin was not the only state with union issues on the ballot. Voters in San Jose and San Diego approved changing the cities' pension systems into 401(k) systems. Thomas Lifson explains: "Voters in San Diego and San Jose, the 8th and tenth biggest municipalities in the United States, decisively voted to redistribute income from the rich (public employees) to the middle class taxpayers who earn far less on average. Both cities have strong Democratic registration majorities, indicating that the general public has fully absorbed the lesson that government jobs are wildly overpaid, and that it is necessary to choose between using money to serve the taxpayers, or using it to benefit the bureaucrats." Mike Flynn at Breitbart says this is only the start: Voters in San Diego and San Jose overwhelmingly approved significant cuts to their city workers' pension benefits. Its the start of a wave the unions will be unable to stop.
The unions responded that they believe these measures will be defeated in the courts: "Yolanda Cruz, president of the Municipal Employees’ Federation, the city’s largest union, said that the passage was “an unfortunate way to spend taxpayer money fighting it in court because we will definitely take it there. Taxpayer money would be better used getting services back.” Unions may know a lot about the unfortunate spending of taxpayer money, but though all these initiatives will end up in courtrooms — so much for “Power to the People!” — the mood of voters is unmistakable."
Time for a Laugh:
"Presidential primaries were held in California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota today. Both candidates for president — Obama and Romney — have already clinched their nominations. So today's primaries were mostly for people who really like stickers."
Topic Two: The Obama Impact
Red flags for Obama: "President Obama wasn't on the ballot in Wisconsin, but Gov. Scott Walker's decisive victory in last night's gubernatorial recall is a stinging blow to his prospects for a second term. The re-election was a telltale sign that the conservative base is as energized as ever, that the Democratic GOTV efforts may not be as stellar as advertised, and that the Democratic-leaning "blue wall" Rust Belt states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania will be very much in play this November. Walker won by a bigger margin than he did in 2010, and with more overall votes. He carried 38 percent of union households - a slight improvement from his 2010 midterm tally -- a strikingly strong number given how he's been cast as the villain of labor. It's a sign of the cultural divide between national Democrats and blue-collar whites, one that is particularly acute for the president."
The ground game impact: "Last night’s exit polls still showed Obama with a double-digit lead. But they also showed Walker and his opponent Tom Barrett in a dead-heat, when Walker actually won the race by seven points — raising doubts about the accuracy of the exit polling. Republicans may also have the ground game on their side. The Democratic Party relies heavily on unions to organize on the ground, but if Big Labor couldn’t get out the vote for Barrett against Walker — public enemy #1 for unions — they’ll likely also have trouble rallying support for Obama, whose relationship with the unions has been shaky at times."
Will Walker be the Romney's Margaret Thatcher? "Some elections are precursor elections. When Margaret Thatcher won in May of '79 and then stood tall against the British trade unions, no one knew then that she was not merely a strong leader, but also the first wave of generational reform and resolve. Ronald Reagan followed her victory with another 18 months later, and still people didn't understand the enormous change that had taken place. That revolution wouldn't be fully understood until the Soviet Union fell apart in 1989. The huge GOP win in 2010 was a major event, but Scott Walker's triumph yesterday was very much like Thatcher's win --a foreshadowing of a huge shift that will be completed in its electoral consequences when Mitt Romney wins in November. It is a "foreshock" in earthquake terms, and the size of Walker's margin of triumph is so large that the commentariat is still absorbing it this morning."
( As of Tuesday, June 5, 2012 )
Your share as a citizen: $50,316.62
Share per household: $137,727.25
Debt since Obama inauguration: $5,106,532,234,287
Topic Three: The Exit Polls
As the polls closed at 9:00 PM ET, the media reported the race as too close to call. However, as results began to trickle in, they quickly realized that the exit polls predicting a close race were wrong and called the race for Walker and Kleefisch only 51 minutes later. What happened? "On Tuesday, as in the other instances, the fault is less about the exit polls themselves, than it is about a widespread, albeit understandable misrepresentation of the numbers. The exit poll is, after all, a poll, complete with a margin of sampling error and other foibles. One issue with the exit polling for the recall election was that there was no telephone survey of absentee voters. NBC News estimates at least 15 percent of all voters voted that way, and that they favored Walker over Barrett. The first exit poll numbers to include estimates of the vote breakdowns for absentee voters was the release a half-hour after poll-close, perhaps accounting for the shift from 50-50 to 52-48. Another, easily forgotten aspect of early numbers is that they are preliminary."
Another item being discussed is the exit poll's support for Obama, showing him with a 51-44 lead over Romney. However, with the poll results pointing to a statistical tie between Walker and Barrett, can we trust the Obama/Romney numbers? Breitbart's John Nolte says: "Yes, the media is still quoting exit polls that couldn't even get the main event correct. The results between Walker and Barrett aren't 50/50. It wasn't even close. Walker trounced Barrett by an even wider margin than when they squared off in 2010: Seven points instead of six." Even if the six-point spread for the Obama/Romney race was correct, it is still less than half of Obama's 2008 victory margin. While the Obama camp may be trying to spin this as good news, I am sure that, internally, they are concerned about this result.
Tweet of the Day:
@AceofSpadesHQ: One could tune to either CNN and Fox and get both rightist and leftist analysis. MSNBC stood proudly alone in not even attempting a pretense
Topic Four: Walker's Vindication
Walker's victory is courage rewarded: "In the face of an angry and violent union movement and hostile media, Scott Walker chose to attempt a fundamental reform of his state’s budget woes. He was told he couldn’t get away with it, and for a time it appeared as if his critics would make him pay for his resolve with his job. But by not merely surviving the recall, but winning big, Walker demonstrated that it is actually possible for a conservative Republican to not only win an election by promising change but to successfully deliver it. ... After his recall victory, never again will union thugs storm a state capitol, as happened last year in Madison, secure in the belief that they had the muscle to intimidate a governor and a legislature with a fresh mandate for change from the people. Never again will liberals assume that the status quo they defend with such fervor is unassailable. The reforms Walker advocated and then passed have been shown to be more than theoretical ideas aired at symposiums at conservative think tanks. His recall victory shows that rather than being an example of how extremists always fail, he may well prove to be the first of a wave of reform-minded conservatives to successfully defeat the unions."
Walker didn't hide from fiscal reality: "But beyond the issue of whether Scott Walker's survival puts Wisconsin in play in November, his victory represents an example of the way politicians in our most pressed states are sorting themselves as they confront this long fiscal downturn. Increasingly they fall into two camps: those willing to undertake tough reforms in the face of severe fiscal restraints that don't appear likely to improve anytime soon, and those who continue to put off the difficult decisions even as their states' balance sheets deteriorate and investors grow wary of their budget instability. Just a few days before the Wisconsin vote, for instance, neighboring Illinois' legislators fled Springfield without passing pension reform despite enormous pressure on them to end the bleeding in the state's budget caused in part by growing retirement costs. Even a coalition of Illinois municipal officials led by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel couldn't persuade the legislators to pass a bill reducing the costs of the pension system. Lawmakers openly admitted that they feared for their jobs in November if they voted for reform in May."
Food for Thought - A Quote from our Founders
"Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the world that a free man, contending for his liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth."
Topic Five: The Response
One woman was apparently not happy that Barrett conceded the race before all the votes were counted. She slapped Barrett on the face as he walked by. But Walker's sweeping victory is shown in this county-by-county map. Walker won 60 of the state's 72 counties. I think the best line from the night was this statement from Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch: "Now this is what democracy looks like!" Finally, Democrats kept it classy on Twitter, threatening to kill Scott Walker.
Tomorrow in History
June 7, 1892 - Benjamin Harrison becomes the first President in American history to attend a baseball game.
Erick Erickson offers these seven conclusions from last night's results:
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