On Tuesday, Republican governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker scored a resounding victory in the public union-led effort to recall him. Walker won by an 8 point margin, 53% vs. 46%.
This was the third gubernatorial recall election in the history of the United States and the first in which the incumbent won.
Here are some interesting numbers on how Wisconsins voted, which show the significance of Walker’s win and why it spells trouble for Obama this November (source: Boogai!).
2008 presidential election:
- 1,677,211 (56%) voted for Obama
- 1,262,393 (42%) voted for McCain
2010 election for governor:
- 1,128,941 voted for Walker
- 1,004,303 voted for Barrett
2012 recall election (with 99% of precincts reporting):
- 1,284,935 voted for Walker – more votes than McCain received in the 2008 Presidential election.
- 1,107,012 voted for Barret
Despite the money of public employees unions, and despite union members being bussed in from other states to vote against Walker in Tuesday’s recall election, Scott Walker won the recall by a slightly larger margin (53% to 46%) than the 2010 gubernatorial election (52% to 46%)!
In the 1½ years since Scott Walker became governor (he took office on January 3, 2011), he has achieved the following (Source: Wall St. Journal):
- Stopped the anti-choice policies of the unions, by not allowing dues to be automatically taken from workers paychecks. This resulted in union membership dropping from 62,818 in March of 2011 to 28,745 in February of 2012, which shows just how little love rank-and-file members have for their union leaders.
- Flexibility created by Walker’s union-busting led to school districts being able to avoid teacher layoffs and make ends meet. In the Brown Deer school district, savings created by pension and health-care contributions from employees allowed the school to prevent layoffs and save some $800,000 for taxpayers. In Fond du Lac, school board president Eric Everson says the district saved $4 million as a result of last year’s reforms, including $2 million from the changes in employee contributions to their pensions. Another 52 schools across the state saved an average of $220 per student thanks to the ability to introduce competitive bidding for health insurance, rather than automatically going through WEA Trust, the favored provider of the Wisconsin Education Association Council.
- Property taxes in Wisconsin were down 0.4% in 2011, the first decline since 1998.
- According to Chief Executive magazine, Wisconsin moved up four more places this year to number 20 in an annual CEO survey of the best states to do business, after jumping 17 spots last year.
- Altogether, Governor Walker’s reforms have saved Wisconsin taxpayers more than $1 billion.
All of this is making an impression on Wisconsin voters. According to a Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday, only 12% of Wisconsin voters say “restoring collective bargaining rights” is their priority.
Walker’s reforms were a modest but necessary response to the state’s fiscal problems, and the proof is in the emerging results. The union reaction was so ferocious because the reforms reduced Big Labor’s clout over state and local taxpayers and thus its ability to milk taxpayers year after year without challenge.
In contrast, in the 3½ years since Obama became president:
- U.S. unemployment rate soared above 8% and has stayed there, and is getting worse, according to last month’s jobless statistics.
- U.S. economy grew anemically, by only 2.2% in the first quarter of 2012, which the government last week revised down to 1.9%.
- U.S. national debt has risen by some $5 trillion, more than under any previous president, George W. Bush included. Worse still, the Congressional Budget Office said in its latest analysis Tuesday that, if present trend continues, federal debt will double in 10 years and reach more than twice the size of the entire U.S. economy by 2037.
So, whom would you rather have in the White House — Scott Walker or Barack Obama?