Wisconsin voters go the polls on Tuesday to decide if controversial Gov. Scott Walker (R) gets to keep his job or loses it to his challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D). Most recent polls have Walker — who faces a recall after controversially revoking the collective bargaining rights of public-employee unions last year — up by about 6 percentage points, though Democrats say their private polls show the race much tighter. Assuming Thursday night's "caustic final debate" between Walker and Barrett didn't change any minds in this polarized race, the winner will likely be decided by which side motivates its supporters to vote on Tuesday. Enter Bill Clinton, who just committed to campaigning with Barrett in the race's final days. Can the former president, and his prodigious campaigning skills, tip the balance in the Democrats' favor?
Clinton might just push Barrett over the top: "If there's any justice in the universe, Scott Walker will lose," says Erik Kain at Mother Jones. But since "evidence of justice in the universe remains inconclusive at best," I'll take the Clinton visit. Democrats have a lot to lose if Walker wins, and having "Clinton work his magic and rally voters to the polls" is a huge break. Of course, even with Clinton on the stump for Barrett, "it's going to be a close one," but I like his odds a whole lot better now.
"Will Bill Clinton help oust Scott Walker?"
No way. Walker has all but won already: Clinton's presence should help, "but it may be too late," says David Dayen at Firedoglake. Barrett needed money — Walker is beating him $20 million to $4 million — and the only thing keeping Barrett in the race is Democrats' labor-fueled ground game. But the anti-union law Walker pushed through last year was brutally effective at decimating unions' memberships, meaning "their efforts will be that much less effective. That was the entire point," after all: To give the GOP a leg up in "close races like this."
"Public employee union membership in Wisconsin drops..."
Clinton wouldn't show up if he didn't think Dems could win: "I'm nervous" for Walker, says Allahpundit at Hot Air. And not just because "Clinton's a famously good campaigner." His last-minute fly-in means Clinton "must be sufficiently convinced by Barrett's internal polls showing that this is a winnable race that he's willing to stake a little of his own political capital on it." But even if he can't push Barrett over the top, Democrats need Clinton to make it a close race: If Walker wins in a landslide, Wisconsin could easily turn red in November.
"Bill Clinton headed to Wisconsin to campaign against Scott Walker"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- What is driving the increasingly weird behavior of the polar jet stream?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- Christians have no moral rationale for spanking their children
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Should you hope to die at 75? Absolutely not.
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- Why America should team up with Bashar al-Assad's regime
Subscribe to the Week