And other, less partisan observers agree. That Tom Barrett, who didn't have major backing from labor, so soundly beat Kathleen Falk, who did, shows that labor's backing didn't have a lot of influence on voters. Or, if it did, that influence wasn't positive. "This was a major overreach by unions and, frankly, it makes organized labor as a political force look almost like an empty suit," said UW political scientist Mordecai Lee.
I think this overlooks what has become sort of a theme in this recall cycle -- money and ads don't really matter. For example, a recent Gannett investigation found that 78% of all political ad spending in Wisconsin this season has benefited Republicans, yet all this spending has had zero effect on polling numbers. Walker's numbers haven't budged. One explanation (the one I subscribe to) is that the state is so polarized that changing minds is a lost cause -- and that everyone's mind is made up. There are almost no undecideds. The fact that Walker's ad spending hasn't bumped up the needle suggests he may have reached a very uncomfortable ceiling of less than 50%. Or worse, his numbers seem to be declining...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]