Why Scott Walker Is Holding On

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 4 2012 @ 4:30pm


The hard-right governor is ahead in the polls and is given a 93% of winning by Intrade. Walter Russell Mead blames his opponents:

[T]he Democratic strategy in Wisconsin has been one disaster and misfire after another. Special election after special election, defeat after defeat … 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.)

Josh Eidelson, by contrast, claims "no factor will have been more important than the decades of decline in U.S. union membership:"

While liberals often cite the importance of public sector unions as a counterweight to corporations in election spending, too little gets said about their role in advocating for quality public services and ensuring decent and stable jobs. But as private sector unionization falls, benefits that even non-union companies felt pressure to provide become benefits that even unionized companies seek to shirk. And right-wing criticism of public sector benefits – or of public sector bargaining itself – gains traction.

Will Oremus pushes back against the idea that Wisconsin tells us what will happen in November.

(Photo: Supporters attend a rally for Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker as he campaigns along with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal at the Waukesha Victory Center on May 24, 2012 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. By Darren Hauck/Getty Images.)