Don’t look now but ever since forcing a recall election on Scott Walker things have not been going all that well for the Democrats. According to a story in Politico, the “embattled” governor has raised more than $25 million since January, while his opponent – Tom Barrett – hasn’t even cracked the million dollar mark.
While it is true that Barrett didn’t even win his party’s nomination till May 8th – hence the huge disadvantage – the real story here is the complete lack of support by the DNC for its challenger. Given the stakes, this decision amounts to nothing less than gross negligence. Even worse, when Wisconsin Democrats asked – more like pleaded with – the DNC for $500,000 for its ground game, the response was mind-numbing. President Obama’s campaign deputy manager said she didn’t know if the DNC would “pony up” the cash to help with the recall.
Once more the Democratic Party is pulling defeat from the jaws of victory. An opportunity to unseat a sitting governor doesn’t come along very often. In fact in the last hundred years, only two governors have been successfully recalled: Gray Davis of California in 2003 and Lynn Frazier of North Dakota in 1921. How the DNC could allow the state party to go toe to toe against an avalanche of money from the RNC without so much as an I.O.U. is beyond me.
As I wrote back in January, when the recall was triggered, the Republicans will throw in the proverbial kitchen sink to protect Walker. In the four months that have elapsed, the Democrats have done virtually nothing, while the Republicans have amassed a war chest. The real crime here is that even with a considerable edge in money – not to mention brains, apparently – Walker is only ahead by 6 points according to an RCP poll. Imagine where the polls would be if Barrett had the necessary funds to mount an aggressive campaign.
It’s time for someone in the DNC to wake up and get moving. If Walker survives this recall, the whole state will be up for grabs come November. Obama will have his hands full defending Ohio, Florida, Colorado and the middle-Atlantic states. The last thing he needs is to worry about a state that hasn’t gone red since 1984.