Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has pulled even with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on the eve of the contentious Wisconsin recall election.
Republican Walker leads Democrat Barrett 50 percent to 47 percent, according to a poll released Monday by Public Policy Polling. Turnout will be key; if the electorate that shows up on Tuesday mirrors the 2008 presidential election, Barrett would actually hold a narrow 50-49 lead.
The poll is consistent with other polling in recent weeks, which has shown Barrett closing the gap with Walker despite being outspent by a nearly ten-to-one margin.
The close of the race has been as bitter as can be expected. Walker ran a campaign ad featuring a dead toddler, alleging that Barrett and the city of Milwaukee had ignored the child’s murder. Barrett fired back angrily, noting that the child’s assailant was arrested and prosecuted, and that the only reason it didn’t show up in statistics was a coding error, according to Politico:
“That baby died. The person who killed that baby was arrested by Milwaukee police, was prosecuted by Milwaukee Ö But you know what they did wrong. After the baby died, they didnít change the code. It was a bureaucratic mistake,” Barrett explained in front of a live audience. “And youíre running a commercial attacking my integrity, claiming that I had something to do with this, and you know thatís false. Iíll tell you right now, I had nothing to do with that.”
Walker, meanwhile, had to deal with two swirling rumors. The first, an ultimately discredited story that he had fathered a child while in college, and then refused to care for it. The story’s genesis appeared to be a case of mistaken identity; there was a Scott Walker who fathered a child and walked away from it, but not the Scott Walker who became governor of Wisconsin.
The second report could be more damaging, in that it alleges Scott Walker is the target of a federal investigation, and could soon be indicted. The allegations stem from the ongoing “John Doe” investigation into Walker’s office during his tenure as Milwaukee County Executive. According to Isthmus, Walker has denied he is under investigation, and said the charges were†”just more of the liberal scare tactics out there desperately trying to get the campaign off target.”
Regardless of the outcome of the recall election, politics in Wisconsin look to stay sharply divided. According to a report in Daily Kos, “RecallTomBarrett.com” has already been registered — just in case.
Image Credit: WisPolitics.com