Go Time: Early Voting Starts in Wisconsin With Walker Leading

Katie Pavlich
Posted: May 25, 2012 8:05 AM

The battle for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's seat is officially on as voters cast early ballots in the recall election. Democrats had hoped to replace Walker after he signed a bill limiting collective bargaining rights of unions, but based on the most recent polls, their efforts and millions of dollars in union money, aren't paying off.

Lines spill out of the polling places in Milwaukee. Voters loiter around the front steps. About 90,000 absentee ballots have been requested and sent out.

Milwaukee Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett would like to think the early turnout is an indication voters are eager to unseat his opponent, the embattled Gov. Walker.

But the political winds aren't necessarily blowing in his favor ahead of the official vote June 5.

In all recent polling, the best Barrett has done is trail within the margin of error.

Then came the announcement that the liberal group Progressive Change Campaign Committee is pulling down a $112,000 pro-Barrett ad buy.

Not to mention, this probably won't help very much: 

The DNC responded by dispatching Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz for a Barrett fundraiser at the end of the month.

According to The Hill, top labor union officials are not happy with the way Democrats have handled the entire situation.

Top union officials are lashing out at Washington Democrats, claiming they haven't done enough to help them unseat Gov. Scott Walker (R) in Wisconsin's recall election.

International Association of Fire Fighters President Harold Schaitberger, acknowledged the DNC’s help on the ground but said a major cash investment would have been worth a lot more.

"I'm very disappointed that the DNC has not seen fit to make a dollar investment," Schaitberger said. "When you're facing $25 million or more in super-PAC funds, you need money. The campaign needed funds to get up on the air to fight back. ... I think that would have been a good investment going into November."

"Labor has always been there for the national Democratic Party. The national Democratic Party should be there for labor in this instance. They're not," he said.

The official said that what happened in the recall election would likely bleed over into the presidential election.

"I think they would want their voters energized and motivated for November. To me, it's just short-sighted," the official said.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, whose image was recently placed on a pinata and beaten by South Carolina AFL-CIO President Donna DeWitt, will be campaigning for Walker next week. The official election day is Tuesday, June 5.