From “Why Walker Won,” Bruce Murphy, Urban Milwaukee:
“Back in the fall, when the Democrats first launched their recall effort, the problems with their approach became obvious. They justified the recall by talking about Walker’s poor record on jobs and cuts in education funding. But did they really expect voters would recall a governor just 18 months after his election for not increasing jobs enough, or over a policy disagreement on spending?
“Everyone in the state knew the party had targeted Walker because he effectively eliminated collective bargaining for public workers. The only way to win the recall was to convince voters Walker not only took the wrong action, but did this in a way that was flagrantly anti-Democratic [sic] and therefore worthy of a recall.
“Instead the party tip-toed around the issue.
“But as Walker noted, Barrett’s suggested course of action — to reverse Act 10 — would simply recharge the same arguments and reopen the same civic wounds. Why do this unless Barrett could suggest a middle ground: some way to compromise that would reform the system or limit bargaining rights in some way?
“There’s no doubt conservatives exaggerated what the average government worker or teacher earns. Most public employees in Wisconsin are not unreasonably compensated. But there have been abuses, which laid the groundwork for an attack on all public workers, and for Walker’s sweeping reforms. And as the months rolled on, and no Democrat came forward with a counter-proposal, voters began to move more toward Walker’s position.”
I encourage you to read the whole piece.
The recall has left Democrats in disarray in Wisconsin and created an opening for Mitt. Obama will probably still carry Wisconsin, but he’ll have to fight harder for it and expend more resources there.