On Tuesday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker became the first governor in US history to survive a recall election. Republicans in Wisconsin and around the nation are celebrating the victory and are ready to use it against the Democrats and Barack Obama. But are they celebrating too soon?
The recall election was launched after Walker pushed for a state law that limited the bargaining power of state employee labor unions. The bill was passed by both houses of the Wisconsin legislature and Walker proudly signed it into law. The goal of the law was to help reduce a burgeoning state budget deficit.
The unions instantly and in some cases, violently protested the bill and filed several lawsuits until they eventually got it overturned. On March 30, 2012, several of the key parts of the collective bargaining law were struck down by a federal court. By that time, the recall of Walker had already been launched.
But before the GOP start to celebrate too much, they need to stop and realize that this is not over. The unions may have been stung a little by Walker’s victory, but they aren’t going away. They have five months to analyze what they did wrong in the recall campaign and what they need to do to push hard and heavy for the pro-union candidates on the November ballot.
Even though Scott Walker defeated Democrat Tom Barrett by a 53% to 46% margin, that doesn’t mean the GOP has the state locked up. Most polls still indicated that Obama has a substantial lead over Romney statewide and many indicators say that it’s going to be difficult narrow that margin.
So before Republicans celebrate too much and let Walker’s victory go to their heads, they need to start strategizing long and hard right now if they have any hope of standing up against the coming union storm. They need to be prepared to counter new tactics and new anti-GOP claims if they want any hope of victory in November.