We’ll know the outcome soon enough, but for progressives distressed at the steadly lead Scott Walker seems to have built, on a foundation of out-of-state money, for his campaign to survive recall, a last-minute Public Policy Polling survey showing the race tightening is a good tonic.

PPP had Walker up 50-45 three weeks ago, but now shows his lead at 50-47. And that narrow lead is based on a Republican “enthusiasm” edge:

[Tom] Barrett is actually winning independent voters by a 48-46 margin. The reason he continues to trail overall is that Republicans are more excited about voting in Tuesday’s election than Democrats are.

Our projected electorate voted for Barack Obama by only 7 points, even though he took the state by 14 in 2008. If the folks who turn out on Tuesday actually matched the 2008 electorate, Barrett would be ahead of Walker by a 50-49 margin. It’s cliche but this is a
race that really is going to completely come down to turnout.

Since the one purported advantage of the heavily outspent recall forces is its get-out-the-vote effort, that could be an indicator of a possible upset.

I’ll have more to say later today about the money situation in Wisconsin, which is a bit difficult to unravel thanks to the special rules of the recall election and the chaos created by Citizens United. But I’ll leave you with this one graph from a Center for Public Integrity report at Huffpost:

Through April, Walker’s top three donors combined gave more than challenger Barrett’s campaign had raised overall. Four of Walker’s top seven donors are out-of-state billionaires, including AmWay founder and former Michigan gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos, and casino magnate Adelson, who each gave $250,000.


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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.