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Tightening Race in Wisconsin Could Shape Scott Walker’s Presidential Aspirations
Pajamas Media ^ | 05/23/2014 | Tony Guerra

Posted on 05/23/2014 9:11:50 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker, who survived a 2012 recall effort by groups angered over his successful push to end withholding of dues paid by state employees to their unions, is set to square off against Democratic challenger Mary Burke for Election Day honors this November.

And recent polling shows that the recall victor could face a tough fight to keep his job this time around.

Burke, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s nominee for governor, is a current school board member in Madison. She’s also a former top executive at Wisconsin’s Trek Bicycle Corporation, a company founded by her father in the 1970s that has since become the country’s largest bike maker.

Walker, former Milwaukee County executive, the county’s top leader, is clearly a man with presidential aspirations. He first came to national attention in 2010 after riding a wave of voter dissatisfaction that saw Wisconsin Republicans take control of the state legislature until a summer 2012 recall election loss tossed control of the upper house, the Senate, back to Democrats.

Walker’s Republicans stormed back, though, cementing their grip on state government in November 2012 by keeping the legislature’s lower house and recapturing its upper. The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign says more than $81 million was spent by all sides during that recall.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in a recent editorial also projected high spending by Walker and Burke as well as groups sympathetic to their respective campaigns — most of it “just to air noisy television ads,” the paper observed.

Democratic challenger Burke should present a stiff challenge to Walker. She served as the Badger State’s commerce secretary from 2005 to 2007, a position she was appointed to by Jim Doyle, Walker’s Democratic predecessor.

In an Oct. 7, 2013, campaign video, the Democrat also claims success during her commerce tenure.

“All in all it meant 84,000 more Wisconsin jobs than we have today,” Burke said.

In selecting Burke to carry the fight to Walker, Wisconsin’s Democratic leaders hope the challenger’s business credentials will appeal to centrist voters in both parties as well as an increasingly growing number of independents claiming allegiance to neither major political party.

Burke herself is described by friends and associates as a tireless worker and she spent time in the early 1990s as a consultant in New York and Washington, D.C. Prior to her employment she gained a finance undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School in 1985. Burke is also well-regarded by many for her philanthropic and charitable efforts.

Scott Walker is a relative rarity in high-level state and federal politics, being one of the few leaders of national importance not possessing at least a four-year college degree. He left Wisconsin’s Marquette University in his senior year without finishing studies, though he recently announced an intention to complete his alma mater’s graduation requirements as soon as possible.

Walker deciding to complete his college studies at the age of 46 — he’ll be 47 this coming November — perhaps provides a clue that his eyes are fixed on the ultimate prize, the White House, should he triumph over Burke.

The last U.S. president without a college degree was Harry S. Truman, who left office in 1953, and Walker may believe that gaining a degree would silence criticism from national Democrats who say that he’s unqualified for a run for the presidency despite his tenure as Wisconsin governor.

Polling of the battle between Walker and Burke hasn’t yet fully spooled up and what results are available shows a generally competitive race between the two combatants.

A Marquette University poll this week put Walker ahead by 3 points. An April 14-15 poll of likely voters by Magellan Strategies, a Republican-leaning polling firm, showed a tie between Walker and Burke. In early March, Rasmussen Reports, a national polling organization considered sympathetic to Republicans, released its own survey, with another Walker-Burke dead heat the result.

Walker outperformed his 2014 opponent in a Democrat-leaning polling firm’s survey of Wisconsin registered voters conducted April 17-20. Public Policy Polling gave the Republican a 3-point lead over Democrat Burke, though the margin of error in that poll was an equally tight +/- 2.9 percent.

Walker did enjoy slightly more breathing room against Burke in a late-March nonpartisan Marquette University poll of registered voters, with the governor holding a 48 percent to 41 percent edge over his challenger.

The Real Clear Politics April 14 to May 18 average of polls on the Wisconsin governor’s race gives Walker a 2-point advantage over Burke, making the race a toss-up.

Walker’s lead over Burke was padded somewhat by a March 23 to April 3 survey of likely voters conducted by Wisconsin Public Radio and St. Norbert College, a small private university located in De Pere, Wis.

The WPR/St. Norbert poll gave Walker a 16-point lead over Burke. WPR/St. Norbert’s polling effort is considered by various Badger State pundits and polling experts to be an outlier, however. Pull that particular survey from the mix and a much tighter advantage for Walker results, one well within most polls’ statistical margin of error.

In seeking to define the Democratic challenger before she does gain wide in-state recognition, something she lacks at present, the Walker campaign as well as the Republican National Committee have attempted to paint Burke in less-than-glowing terms.

“Mary Burke’s a weak candidate who has failed to gain traction. She’s waffled on the issues, refuses to tell voters where she stands. She also has problems with her own base. Add those together and it’s not a recipe for success against a strong candidate like Walker,” says RNC spokesman Raffi Williams.

Calls and emails to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin for a response to the RNC’s observations about Burke were not returned.

“Wisconsin voters face a clear choice in this election between two very different approaches,” Burke campaign spokesman Joe Zepecki told the Wisconsin State Journal after the latest poll by Marquette showed her gaining ground. “It is clear that voters recognize that Walker’s top down, trickle down approach that puts big corporations and special interests ahead of hard-working Wisconsinites isn’t working.”

Burke and her campaign have consistently fired back against Walker, including in a February 2014 Journal Sentinel article in which the Democrat called him a “career politician” willing to say anything to shift focus off the actual issues affecting the state.

Discounting a single outlier poll, the Walker-Burke gubernatorial contest is tight and promises to be hard-fought throughout the election season. Should Walker win big over Burke, talk of a 2016 presidential or vice-presidential run is sure to increase as well.

Should Burke successfully wrest the governor’s office from him this coming November, that could be a death blow to Walker’s presidential aspirations. And with national Republicans casting about for a 2016 presidential nominee to go up against presumptive Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton, a Walker defeat — or even a very tight win — might have repercussions far beyond the Badger State’s borders.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Wisconsin
KEYWORDS: elections; scottwalker; wisconsin

1 posted on 05/23/2014 9:11:50 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

*Awaiting the “Walker is a RINO, therefore conservatives should stay home” crowd on FR*


2 posted on 05/23/2014 9:31:42 AM PDT by Lakeshark
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To: Lakeshark

Many FR folks don’t like his soft stance on illegal immigration.

But here’s a question — Whose policy for solving the illegal immigration problems meets FReeper approval?

I haven’t found a name at all.


3 posted on 05/23/2014 9:33:17 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

All this hoopla over a Marquette University poll showing the race even (or within the margin of error). Marquette University polls are notoriously wrong but this sure has given ammo to the left and the pessimists on the right.

Let’s not forget that in this same poll most people asked did not even know who Mary Burke was....


4 posted on 05/23/2014 9:42:04 AM PDT by MissH
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To: SeekAndFind
I understand that, but his position isn't articulated much, isn't really hard and fast in any way, nor thought through, nor put into any kind of deep national policy position.

Whose policy for solving the illegal immigration problems meets FReeper approval?

Very few if any, heck, Romney (not my choice at all) might have had the only genuine anti illegal immigration policy articulated, yet lots of posters here still lie about it telling stories about how he hired a landscaper who used illegals.

Conservatives. "We have met the enemy, and the enemy is us."

5 posted on 05/23/2014 9:42:14 AM PDT by Lakeshark
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To: Lakeshark
*Awaiting the “Walker is a RINO, therefore conservatives should stay home” crowd on FR*

Demoncrat trolls.

6 posted on 05/23/2014 9:56:11 AM PDT by Fido969 (What's sad is most)
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To: SeekAndFind

He deserves to lose.


7 posted on 05/23/2014 10:02:38 AM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: Lakeshark

You read my mind.


8 posted on 05/23/2014 10:03:02 AM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: Lakeshark

see post #7


9 posted on 05/23/2014 10:03:56 AM PDT by 1Old Pro
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To: 1Old Pro
Fascinating.

*rolls eyes*

10 posted on 05/23/2014 10:05:22 AM PDT by Lakeshark
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To: demshateGod

RE: He deserves to lose.

Can you share with us the reasons why?


11 posted on 05/23/2014 10:07:59 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: Lakeshark

So what recourse do we have against RINO’s? Primaries? Yeah, those work real well.


12 posted on 05/23/2014 10:10:17 AM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: SeekAndFind

http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/walker/index?tab=articles

He’s chosen the wrong side in order to save his job.


13 posted on 05/23/2014 10:13:26 AM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: SeekAndFind

He gave us concealed carry and fixed the criminal budget mess left by Doyle and the Demons. His challenger was in Doyle’s cabinet and had no accomplishments. It won’t even be close on Election Day.


14 posted on 05/23/2014 10:19:53 AM PDT by februus
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To: SeekAndFind
If Walker has been as successful at governing as he seems to have been, then the majority will not vote for change.
15 posted on 05/23/2014 10:37:25 AM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: SeekAndFind

The news that Trek Bicycles hasn’t paid a penny in taxes for many years hasn’t had the impact some had hoped. But TGFSW.


16 posted on 05/23/2014 10:51:50 AM PDT by DonkeyBonker (Hard to paddle against the flow of sewage coming out of the White House.)
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To: demshateGod
He’s chosen the wrong side in order to save his job.

Then you post a link to a FR Search for all articles with "Walker" in the title, I guess so we can decide on our own which article makes your point.

You're a funny guy.

17 posted on 05/23/2014 11:05:07 AM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Shamnesty Walker is going nowhere.


18 posted on 05/23/2014 11:08:22 AM PDT by VRWC For Truth (Roberts has perverted the Constitution)
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To: demshateGod

One of the dumbest comments I’ve ever read on FR. Your Governor Brownback shares roughly the same stances on almost all issues with Walker, and both faced fixing failed State Governments that were barely on life support when they took office. Both are disliked intensely by the Unions. Neither is 100% successful, 100% right on the issues, 100% of the time. I would never stoop to saying Brownback deserved to lose to a far left challenger, however. What’s your next step? Vote Democrat? Refuse to vote? Are there more conservative candidates than Sam Brownback? Probably. Who are they? You appear to want to express an opinion, so what exactly is it and what are you basing it on? Walker isn’t running for national office. He’s been more than effective as our Governor, and against rough odds. Palin and Breitbart both came here in support of him and the citizens elected him during the recall by a larger percentage than during his original run. I got CCW and tax relief and the teacher’s union is now the one on life support. I just don’t understand what your gripe is - you don’t even live in Wisconsin.


19 posted on 05/23/2014 11:11:43 AM PDT by februus
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To: februus

The GOP got to where it is because most Republicans share your view.

I lived in Oklahoma when Sam Brownback was elected. I voted for Mary Fallin, but never would again. I’m not voting for my US Rep (Yoder) or my senator (Roberts). RINOs and anyone that stinks of RINO, need to go down.

When Walker scolded the Tea Party for fighting the GOP, that did it for me. The GOP is actively working with the Rats to destroy the Tea Party and he has the nerve.... No thanks. I hope he loses.


20 posted on 05/23/2014 11:24:51 AM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: demshateGod

I see, so he deserves to lose the State to a Democrat over his remarks. How very serious-minded of you. He stated clearly and cogently that the energy at the inception of the T.E.A. Party (grass roots conservatives reacting to Obamacare and a frighteningly real supermajority of progressive dems in control of government)was aimed at electing Republicans and it was a success. Using that same energy now to defeat RINO’s instead of further solidifying their gains is not battling the right way. He may be wrong about that strategy, but your assertion that he deserves to lose for making them is grade school hyperbole. Your State gave us Sebelius after all - so maybe if your energy was consumed preventing that from ever happening again instead of flapping and spraying about GOP this and GOP that, there would be fewer instances like that to contend with in the future. Politicians are rarely effective leaders and managers - managers of resources, managers of budgets - Walker is one of the best of both. He’s no RINO because he sees the outworking of strategy differently than you.


21 posted on 05/23/2014 12:32:53 PM PDT by februus
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To: SeekAndFind

The daughter of Trek Bikes is a Dem? I might have to sell my Trek. I bought it because it is American made, but I didn’t know I am going to help Rats...


22 posted on 05/23/2014 1:30:58 PM PDT by ExCTCitizen (I'm ExCTCitizen and I approve this reply. If it does offend Libs, I'm NOT sorry...)
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To: Fido969

Answer them and they disappear.


23 posted on 05/23/2014 6:53:29 PM PDT by reformedliberal
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To: DonkeyBonker

Trek also moved all their jobs overseas except for the top of the line high tech bikes.


24 posted on 05/23/2014 6:54:45 PM PDT by reformedliberal
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To: SeekAndFind

.......wishful thinking, liberal journalist


25 posted on 05/23/2014 7:15:43 PM PDT by Cen-Tejas (it's the debt bomb stupid!)
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To: SeekAndFind

He caved on queer “marriage” and will not take stand. He’s the top law enforcement official of the state and could tell that Federal judge who overruled the will of the people where to stick it. In otherwords he could be a man. What he’s turned out to be is just another political opportunist more concerned with getting reelected than defending the laws of his state. Is there one Republican governor in this country that still has a backbone? We know it’’s not Walker.


26 posted on 06/14/2014 6:23:26 AM PDT by NKP_Vet ("Truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself")
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To: februus

If Palin was still the governor of Alaska she would have fought tooth and nail if a radical federal judge ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was illegal. Her rationale would have been that in 1998 the people voted and said “marriage was the union of a man and woman”. She would have instructed her state attorney general to do his job and appeal any ruling by an activist judge, straight to the Supreme Court. And while the appeal was in process there would have been no “marriage” license for a couple of clown lesbians or faggots wishing to “get married”.


27 posted on 06/14/2014 6:37:00 AM PDT by NKP_Vet ("Truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself")
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