(More) Badger Blues For Democrats

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 13 2012 2:24 PM

(More) Badger Blues For Democrats

Democrats are fretting that the resounding show of support for embattled Republican Gov. Scott Walker in the Wisconsin recall last week means Barack Obama (who won the Badger State easily in 2008) might have some trouble there in November. The latest poll from Rasmussen Reports will only add to their jitters:

Mitt Romney now leads President Obama for the first time in Wisconsin where the president's support has fallen to its lowest level to date. 

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The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Romney with 47% of the vote to Obama’s 44%. Five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided.

Prior to this survey, Obama's support in the state has ranged from 45% to 52%, while Romney has earned 41% to 45%. Last month, the numbers were Obama 49%, Romney 45%. The president led his likely Republican challenger by 11 points in March - 52% to 41%.

A couple of caveats: Rasmussen tends to have a distinct Republican lean in their numbers, and this data may reflect more than anything else that Wisconsin Dems are demoralized. They spent over a year pouring their energy (and money) into a ferocious recall effort after Walker sapped public unions' collective bargaining rights, only to come up well short of victory.

What's more, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (who lost to Walker for the second time last week) was not exactly electric on the stump. And the Obama campaign will have an advantage Barrett lacked: college students -- who may come out even stronger for Obama this time around now that he's taken up their generation's views on gay marriage -- will be on campus in November.

Nonetheless, Democrats' huge win four years ago may have been a bit of an abberation, the Badger State now returning to its traditional battleground status. John Kerry just barely beat George W. Bush there (by half a percentage point) in 2004, and this year is shaping up to be a real fight.

Matt Taylor is a reporter living in Brooklyn. He was the political correspondent for the National Memo and a staff reporter at his hometown newspaper, The East Hampton Star. He's a contributor to Newsweek/The Daily Beast. You can reach him on Twitter @matthewt_ny