Nate Silver, the political statistician and author of The New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight blog, just tweeted the following:
In an equally telling sign of confidence, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is already into his victory dance, telling Fox News that President Obama didn’t show up to campaign in his state — even though he made appearances last week in Minnesota and Illinois — because Obama knew Democrats were going to lose in their recall campaign:
“My guess is the president and his folks just want to shy away from that,” Walker said.
Marc Thiessen, writing in The Washington Post, concludes that “Barack Obama is afraid of Scott Walker” and even suggests that “a victory tomorrow would make Walker the instant front-runner for the GOP vice presidential nod.”
There’s no doubt that if events play out as expected tomorrow, Walker’s victory will be a major disappointment and setback for Democrats. They’ll have their excuses and explanations — yes, it proved impossible to sustain public outrage in a recall election almost 16 months after passage of the anti-labor laws that inspired it; and yes, outside interests poured huge money into the election, with Walker outraising his Democratic opponent, Tom Barrett, by roughly seven to one. Just three men — Amway founder Dick DeVos, Koch Industries co-owner David Koch and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson — gave more money to Walker than Barrett could collect in total. And while unions ran independent campaigns on Barrett’s behalf, they too were swamped, with pro-Walker groups outspending them by almost three to one.
In the end, however, none of that matters. Nobody cares about excuses or explanations; politics is about winning, and as in other forms of battle, to the winner go the spoils. If Democrats want to win, this is the new terrain on which they must learn to fight.
“Vice President Walker” anyone?
– Jay Bookman