The people of Wisconsin are learning what Virginia residents already know: Conservative governance works. In the wake of the madness in Madison, Badger State Leftists vowed to begin the process of recalling Gov. Scott Walker -- or as many liberals affectionately called him, "Hitler." Since then, Wisconsin Democrats and unions spent millions on an unsuccessful bid to re-capture the State Senate, and a conservative State Supreme Court judge was re-elected. Despite their furious rallies and tough talk, the Left's collective tantrum failed because the policy they opposed so fanatically has been paying early dividends. More on that in a moment, but first, here are Democratic pollster PPP's latest numbers on the Walker recall:
Walker’s still not popular- 47% of voters approve of him, compared to 51% who disapprove. But those numbers represent continuing improvement over the course of the year. Republicans continue to stand pretty uniformly behind Walker, and Democrats pretty uniformly against him. Where the shift is occurring is with independents. In May only 40% approved of him with 56% disapproving. Now those numbers are almost flipped with 52% approving to 44% who disapprove.
48% of voters in the state want to recall him, while 49% are opposed to such a move. But it’s not clear if Democrats will have a candidate strong enough to unseat Walker. The only one who beats him in a hypothetical recall is Russ Feingold. But Feingold’s already said he’s probably not going to run, and his margin over Walker is just 3 points at 49-46. So even with their strongest possible candidate Democrats’ prospects against Walker are slipping…Here’s something to keep in mind though: in all of the State Senate elections we were polling over the summer, public opinion moved against recall in the closing days.
So prospects for a successful recall are dim and dimming, independents are warming towards Walker, and recent history suggests that the Wisconsin electorate loses its appetite for recall as the fateful day approaches. And those are PPP's numbers, which tend to Lean Forward, if you know what I mean. Therefore, I'll repeat what I wrote a few months back when Lefties defiantly promised to move ahead with their effort against Walker: Go for it. They'll spend tons of cash on a futile exercise, and divert millions of dollars away from the Obama campaign and DSCC in the process. Wisconsin radio mainstay Charlie Sykes hears that Team Obama is worried about exactly that, and tried to dissuade the recall crowd from their quixotic mission -- but to no avail. The march goes on. Excellent.
Back to those dividends I teased earlier. Americans for Prosperity and the MacIver Institute teamed up to produce a truly outstanding video that helps taxpayers visualize how Walker's budget fix is helping the state. Spoiler alert -- it's balancing the budget, saving middle class jobs, controlling spiraling costs, and avoiding tax increases, all while maintaining more generous collective bargaining privileges for state workers than their federal counterparts enjoy. This clip is on the long side, but it's worth it:
Now you know why local school districts and even liberal newspapers are learning to love the pension and bargaining reform plan that the Left treated like it would single-handedly usher in the apocalypse. A similar law in Ohio is facing a public referendum in early November, and organized labor has pulled out all the stops to strike it down. Recent polls suggest that Gov. Kasich's important achievement will crumble at the polls, but liberal blogger Greg Sargent isn't getting cocky:
An internal memo from a key labor-backed group in the state is flatly warning that the polls are “flawed” and that a big win for labor is not even “remotely possible.” It adds that the right’s messaging has “worked,” and that there’s good reason to suspect that a “massive amount of voter confusion remains,” suggesting the fight could still go either way.
This could very well be a scare tactic by union leaders to light a fire under their rank-and-file members to goose turnout. Or, public opinion could be tightening. There's an anti-Obamacare measure on the ballot, too, so conservatives and Tea Partiers have ample reason to engage and vote on November 8th.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography