WAUKESHA CO., Wisc. – I’m about thirty minutes west of Milwaukee in heavily Republican Waukesha County, with about 80 other Young Republicans as part of a deployment of D.C., North Carolina and Virginia Young Republicans to help Get Out the Vote for Republican Governor Scott Walker ahead of his recall election on Tuesday, June 5.
In 2010, Walker garnered nearly 72% of the vote in this Milwaukee suburban county – more than 134,000 votes cast and the most raw votes from any county statewide.
During the May 8 recall primary election, Walker collected the most votes from Waukesha County (79,098), besting Milwaukee by more than 12,000 votes in the essentially uncontested primary.
To put that in perspective, in Waukesha County, the five Democrat challengers in the May 8 recall primary split 35,026 votes between themselves, with nominee and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett receiving 23,621, or about 67%.
The fact is, if Walker is going to ride out this recall election on June 5, he’s going to have to rack up the votes in this reliably Republican community.
From what I’ve seen on the ground today speaking with voters, no one seems undecided, and nearly everyone has a strong opinion on the matter. Overwhelmingly (I’d speculate 9 out of 10 people I spoke with who shared their choice with me), Waukesha voters support Walker.
Voters who voiced their support for Walker feel that labor interests abused the recall process in an effort to throw out a democratically-elected governor simply because they disagree with his agenda.
One resident who didn’t vote for Walker in 2010 saw no reason to throw him out of office. He indicated he was more inclined to cast a vote for Walker in support of the electoral system.
I did run into a few Democrats who admitted they were severely outnumbered. One pro-recall voter, whose home was flanked by “I Stand with Scott Walker” yards signs on each side, speculated she would be the only vote cast for Barrett from her street.
The race will be closer statewide than the sliver of Waukesha County I visited today, but polls show Walker holding a consistent five point lead over Barrett. With just over a week to go until Recall Election Day, both campaigns will be shoring up their respective bases of support and hoping for the best.
Here’s hoping Waukesha doesn’t disappoint.