A wrapup of the world of politics:
In Wisconsin, voters in six state Senate districts are going to the polls today to decide whether to recall their Republican legislators, each of whom took active roles in passing controversial anti-labor legislation early this year.
If three or more of the seats turn Democratic, the GOP would lose control of the state Senate, Republican Gov. Scott Walker would be rebuked and could face possible recall himself, and Democrats around the country would see the populist-themed campaigns as a template for the 2012 elections.
If not, not.
Polls close at 8 p.m. Central, 9 Eastern, but the races are expected to be tight so we might not know the outcome until early morning.
In Iowa, Republicans are gearing up for the Ames Straw Poll on Saturday, an early test of strength in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. One person not on the ballot is Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who this week has made it as clear as he can — short of a formal declaration — that he intends to run.
According to Politico, “the Texas governor will remove any doubt about his White House intentions during his appearance at a RedState conference in Charleston” Saturday.
According to Gallup, “Perry will start in a strong position relative to other candidates if he decides to enter the presidential race soon. Perry’s Positive Intensity Score is the highest of any Republican tested, and significantly higher than that of presumptive GOP front-runner Mitt Romney.”
Gallup derives its “Positive Intensity Score” by subtracting a candidate’s strongly unfavorable sentiment from strongly favorable.
And finally, in the first poll of its type I’ve seen in the aftermath of the debt ceiling debacle, CNN asked 1,080 Americans how they’re feeling these days about Republicans, Democrats and the Tea Party.
A month ago, the GOP’s numbers in the same poll were 41 percent approval, 55 percent disapproval. For Democrats, they were 45 percent approval, 49 percent disapproval.
And of course, as a variety of polls have reported, the reputation of Congress in general is in the pits. CNN reports that just 41 percent of Americans believe their own congressman deserves re-election, “the first time ever in CNN polling that that figure has dropped below 50 percent.”
“We could very well see a situation where voters just start throwing incumbents out of windows, with those in competitive seats situated closer to the open windows. Only in the 1992 election, just after the twin House Bank and House Post Office scandals, have we seen an election with more than 10 House incumbents of each party losing reelection to the opposite party, and that was after an unusually large number of retirements and primary-election defeats. Worth noting is that was a post-redistricting election, just as 2012 is. But this one could be much worse than 1992, this is far more consequential than personal financial peccadilloes.”
– Jay Bookman