Even The New York Times has thrown in the towel on the Wisconsin recall.With an Intrade poll citing Walker’s chances of winning the Wisconsin recall at more than 93%, The New York Times is entering into full-blown panic mode over what this election could mean for Obama’s chances this November:
A Republican resurgence here, which has burst into full view as the party determinedly defends its sitting governor in a rare recall election, is spilling into the presidential race. The result is poised to shape the general election fight between Mr. Obama and Mitt Romney, who intends to add Wisconsin to his list of targeted states.
After valiantly trying to shield its readers from Walker’s lead, The New York Times is now doing its best to spare them the full horror of what is occurring in Wisconsin. The progressive left pulled out all the stops: unions, rage, “community organizers,” demonstrations, and name calling were supposed to make Wisconsin the front line for the progressive “fightback.” In a state that hasn’t been carried by a Republican since Reagan in 1984, Democrats thought this strategy couldn’t fail.At Via Meadia, we will wait for the actual votes before we call the election. Polls have been wrong and Intrade has been wrong. Surprises do happen.But going by the polls and the odds on election eve, the Democratic strategy in Wisconsin has been one disaster and misfire after another. Special election after special election, defeat after defeat. The latest polls we’ve seen show that only 12 percent of the voters think that restoring collective bargaining rights to the public sector unions is their top priority.A generation of activists and “progressives” raised on Howard Zinn is having an important life experience in Wisconsin. The “people united” are defeated more often than not in American politics. The silent majority isn’t itching for the “genuinely progressive” candidates and platforms lefties think they want. (That majority also isn’t looking for candidates from the doctrinaire right, either, by the way.)Unless the voters in Wisconsin decide to surprise us all tomorrow, the trouble in the Badger State means trouble ahead for public sector unions across the country. A Scott Walker victory would reshape not just Republican politics but Democratic politics as well; leaders like Andrew Cuomo in New York and Rahm Emmanuel in Chicago will be paying attention. If Walker wins handily, more Democrats will see the writing on the wall: Support for public sector unions simply isn’t the political winner it once was. This could presage a larger post-blue shift in the Democratic party for decades to come.Compared to that shift, the question of whether Wisconsin will go red or blue in November seems like small beer.