Republican governor Scott Walker has won a recall vote that had brought political activists to the barricades. Some say it's an omen for President Obama, but the real losers in the Wisconsin vote were the labor unions.
Voters in the Midwestern US state of Wisconsin rejected a recall of Governor Scott Walker in an extraordinary election on Tuesday. The Republican won 53 percent, beating Democratic challenger Tom Barrett with 46 percent, with 99 percent of votes counted.
Walker, who enjoys strong support from the arch-conservative Tea Party wing of the party, is the first governor to survive a recall vote. After his election in late 2010, he quickly got on the wrong foot with labor unions by limiting state employees right to collective bargaining. The unions and Democratic Party activists were behind the attempt to have him recalled. They collected a million signatures to forces the new election.
Five months ahead of presidential elections, some say the Wisconsin vote is an auger of things to come for Obama. Political operatives on both sides will be looking to learn lessons from it.
Wisconsin is a swing state, in which voting trends are unpredictable, with the electorate favoring neither party consistently. Swing states are expected to be the battleground where Obama and his presumed Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, will focus their campaign efforts.
The labor movement, however, will be reeling from the vote, which was an indication of their decades-long decline in the US.
ncy/rg (AP, AFP)