Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was projected the winner of Tuesday night's gubernatorial primary by NBC News.
The latest polls showed Walker leading Democratic challenger Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett going into the contest.
The AP relays background on the race:
The first-term Republican was back on the ballot just a year and a half after his election. Enraged Democrats and labor activists gathered more than 900,000 signatures to force the vote after they failed to stop Walker and his GOP allies in the state Legislature from stripping most public employees of their collective bargaining rights.
The recall is a rematch of the 2010 election in which Walker beat Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett by nearly 6 points.
Below, a live blog of the latest developments to unfold.
Tripp Wellde, State Director for OFA-Wisconsin, issued the following statement on the outcome of the contest:
"While tonight’s outcome was not what we had hoped for – no one can dispute the strong message sent to Governor Walker. Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites from all walks of life took a stand against the politics of division and against the flood of secret and corporate money spent on behalf of Scott Walker, which amounted to a massive spending gap of more than million to million. It is a testament to all of those individuals who talked to their friends, neighbors, and colleagues about the stakes in this election of how close this contest was. The power of Wisconsin’s progressive, grassroots tradition was clearly on display throughout the run up to this election and we will continue to work together to ensure a brighter future for Wisconsin’s middle class. This vision was shared by the voters tonight, as exit polling showed President Obama beating Mitt Romney 52-43, a 9-point difference. On the questions of who would do a better job on the economy and who would help the middle class the most, President Obama again held a strong advantage over Romney. These data points clearly demonstrate a very steep pathway for Mitt Romney to recover in the state."
Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued the following statement on the outcome of the recall contest:
"Despite the disappointing outcome of tonight’s election, there is no question that over the past year this recall effort sent a message to Scott Walker that his brand of divisive politics is offensive and wrong. Thousands of Wisconsinites mounted this effort in the face of a flood of out of state, secret and corporate special interest money– amounting to a massive million war chest for Governor Walker to just million on our side.
"I want to thank Mayor Barrett, our other candidates on the ballot tonight and all the passionate, dedicated individuals on the ground who held conversations with their friends, family, neighbors and co-workers about the stakes of this election. The Badger State’s progressive, grassroots tradition was on full display throughout this election, and it will remain front and center as we continue our important work to move Wisconsin forward for working families across the state as we head toward November."
"And as we turn our attention to the fall, we will not cede an inch in Wisconsin to Mitt Romney who has been behind in virtually every single recent poll and who wants to go back to the same failed policies of the past from which Wisconsin is recovering. And while we're not taking anything for granted, if Mitt Romney thinks he's going to be the first Republican to win Wisconsin since Ronald Reagan he's got another thing coming."
|@ ByronTau : Obama campaign on recall: "No one can dispute the strong message sent to Governor Walker"|
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) addressed his supporters after being projected the winner of the gubernatorial recall on Tuesday night.
"I want to thank god for his abundant grace," he said.
Walker told his audience not to boo when he raised Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's name in his remarks.
"Tomorrow we are no longer opponents," he said. "Tomorrow, we are one as Wisconsinites, so we can move Wisconsin forward."
In introducing her husband, the Wisconsin governor's wife joked in introducing her husband as "the only governor elected twice in one term."
|@ AndrewKroll : Tom Barrett says he just congratulated Scott Walker over the phone for #wirecall win.|
AFL-CIO's President Richard Trumka, who is likely to face a host of tough questions about both political strategy and the state of organized labor in the wake of Scott Walker's recall win, released the following statement on Tuesday night.
Tonight working families across the country recognize the courageous journey that nurses, teachers, firefighters, snowplow drivers and other Wisconsinites led for more than a year. Though a seemingly impossible task, they refused to allow their voices be taken away by an overreaching and partisan governor. Whether it was standing in the snow, sleeping in the Capitol, knocking on doors or simply casting a vote, we admire the heart and soul everyone poured into this effort. Adding to this gargantuan challenge of recalling only the third governor in American history was the flood of secret corporate cash distorting our democracy – a dangerous example of a post-Citizens United America.
We wanted a different outcome, but Wisconsin forced the governor to answer for his efforts to divide the state and punish hard-working people. Their resolve has inspired a nation to follow their lead and stand up for the values of hard work, unity, and decency that we believe in. We hope Scott Walker heard Wisconsin: Nobody wants divisive policies. It’s time to work together to forge a new path forward. The challenge to solve a generation of economic policies and create an economy that celebrates hard work over a partisan agenda gained momentum today.
The question for Trumka and other union leaders is how, exactly, to motivate members after coming up short in the highest-profiled contest.
-- Sam Stein
|@ BuzzFeedAndrew : John Avlon on CNN: "Debbie Wasserman Schultz wishes she never said this was going to be a dry run for November."|
Scott Walker's win in Wisconsin's recall election has granted conservatives the chance to gloat about a number of things; none more so than the political demise of organized labor. A top Mitt Romney adviser in Florida did just that over Twitter, in terms that might be a bit strong for the presidential candidate.
Pack it in, Unions. It's over.— Brett Doster (@BrettDoster) June 6, 2012
The popularity of labor unions has diminished over years, and their political influence has waned. But there doesn't seem, on the surface, to be all that much upside to being openly hostile to organized labor. Romney certainly understood that when he was running for governor of Massachusetts in 2002.
-- Sam Stein
|@ howardfineman : Afl-cio's leader says "We hope Scott Walker heard Wisconsin: Nobody wants divisive policies." Let's see what Walker hears. It's not peace.|
|@ MSpicuzzaWSJ : AP calls the race for Rwpublican Jerry Petrowski.|
|@ evanmc_s : American Crossroads on Wisc: "a defeat for the broken politics of Barack Obama and big government unions...On to November!"|
President Obama did all he could to avoid association with what his team clearly saw as a looming disaster. But the Republican National Committee brushed right past Obama's futile attempt moments after the election was called. Said a spokeswoman:
[A]fter Obama surrogates Debbie Wasserman Schultz called the Wisconsin recall election a “dry run” for November and Bill Clinton called the election “America’s battleground,” it’s clear Chicago is nervous about their chances in Wisconsin for the general election. One thing is also clear, President Obama has now been rejected by Wisconsin voters in every single election since he was elected in 2008 and tonight Wisconsin voters made crystal clear they are happy with Republican leadership. The RNC is ready to transition from our efforts to help Scott Walker into beating President Obama in Wisconsin in November.
|@ BuzzFeedAndrew : A protestor crying on CNN says:"Democracy died tonight, then end of the United States as we know it."|
|@ samsteinhp : there is no shortage of Republicans officials waiting to comment on Walker: Palin, Romney, Perry, Jindall, Crossroads, Priebus all out there|
|@ aterkel : Rick Perry @wirecall: Walker win "major triumph for the people of Wisconsin and the leaders with the courage to defy the status quo"|
|@ johnboehner : Congrats to Gov @ScottKWalker on his win – it’s a victory for the taxpayers of WI & supporters of smaller, more accountable govt everywhere|
|@ WISCTV_News3 : MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Senate GOP leader Fitzgerald defeats Democratic challenger Compas in southern Wis. recall. #WIRecall #WIVote #WiUnion|
|@ AlexNBCNews : RT @mpoindc @Reince sharing hugs with Republicans here at the Walker event as he rushes off for a round of TV interviews.|
|@ sbauerAP : Gov. Walker tells the AP he wants to meet with Legislature next week over burgers and brats to talk about bringing people together|
|@ sbauerAP : Gov. Walker tells AP in first post-victory interview: "it's time to put our differences aside." #wirecall|
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin offered congratulations to Scott Walker Tuesday evening, blasting union "thug" leadership for what she depicted as a misguided effort to trick their members into supporting policies of bigger government.
"Perhaps it's those union leaders that need to be recalled and replaced," Palin told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren. "Wisconsin voters are sick and tired of the division that has been called by the radical left."
Palin thanked Walker for "embracing austerity and fiscal responsibility," saying that it stood as a stark contrast to the policies President Barack Obama promotes.
"Fiscal responsibility and austerity measures are the solution," Palin said. Obama "and his message have lost in Wisconsin."
Asked if she felt at all bad for Tom Barrett following his loss, Palin, who herself was defeated on a much grander scale almost four years ago, said no.
"Not an ounce of sympathy or empathy for someone was trying to fool the public into growing government was the solution to our nation's challenges."
-- Nick Wing
|@ howardfineman : Wisconsin means: more Koch, more Karl, more cash, more contention and less reliance on horse race exit polls on election night|
|@ HuffPostPol : MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker tells Associated Press win 'feels good,' wants to bring people together.|
|@ RosieGray : State Dem chair mike Tate: "we are not going to allow the media corporations to decide this election" #wirecall|
|@ BrettDoster : Pack it in, Unions. It's over.|
Tom Barrett isn't conceding yet despite that the networks have called the recall election for Walker. More from the AP:
A Barrett spokesman said the campaign was not conceding, citing ongoing voting in Milwaukee, Madison and Racine.
"We feel very confident when those come in, Tom Barrett is going to win," Phil Walzak said.
|@ samsteinhp : Romney campaign is absolutely right: can't really point to tonight's exit poll data now to discuss Obama-Romney Wisconsin matchup|
The Wisconsin recall always represented fertile ground for the presidential candidate of the party that prevailed, and dangerous terrain for the candidate whose party didn't. That's why President Barack Obama offered nothing more than a tweet and an email in support of Mayor Tom Barrett. And it's why Mitt Romney didn't exactly barnstorm across the state for Gov. Scott Walker before the vote.
It's also why, in the wake of all the networks calling the race for Walker, the Romney campaign was quick out of the gate with a statement, the contents of which are below.
I congratulate Scott Walker on his victory in Wisconsin. Governor Walker has demonstrated over the past year what sound fiscal policies can do to turn an economy around, and I believe that in November voters across the country will demonstrate that they want the same in Washington, D.C. Tonight’s results will echo beyond the borders of Wisconsin. Governor Walker has shown that citizens and taxpayers can fight back -– and prevail -– against the runaway government costs imposed by labor bosses. Tonight voters said ‘no’ to the tired, liberal ideas of yesterday, and ‘yes’ to fiscal responsibility and a new direction. I look forward to working with Governor Walker to help build a better, brighter future for all Americans.
The question now: Will the Obama campaign make a statement?
-- Sam Stein
|@ howardfineman : Dems loss in Wisconsin certainly isn't curtains for PBO, and Dems learned useful GOTV lessons, but it was a risk that backfired in the end.|
|@ Barrett4WI : Here is a special graphic we made as a thank you to all of our supporters who got out the vote today: http://t.co/Eh3EzvZH|
|@ sbauerAP : Gov. Walker is first governor in U.S. history to survive rcall. #wirecall. He can't be recalled for rest of term, through 2014|
|@ jamiedupree : Republicans lead in all four recall elections for state Senate in Wisconsin at this hour|
|@ howardfineman : It IS true, as Dem ad man Doc Sweitzer told me, that perhaps 5 percent of Wisconsin voters didn't like the idea of the recall process itself|
|@ RickSantorum : The nation watched tonight as conservative reform won in Wisconsin. Congrats to @ScottKWalker & @RebeccaforReal!|
|@ aterkel : State Sen. Jon Erpenbach says people in MKE are still voting. Too early to call. People at Barrett party defiant #wirecall|
|@ PeterHambyCNN : Barrett folks put out state sen. Jon Erpenbach to say the race is still not over. "People are still voting."|
|@ AlexNBCNews : Staffers at Barrett HQ not happy outlets calling race for Walker already -- say there are still people in line voting in very D areas|
|@ AlexConant : I'm very proud to be a Badger tonight.|
|@ Reince : Congratulations to my friend and Governor of the great state of Wisconsin, @ScottKWalker!|
|@ mpoindc : Now, the crowd at the Walker event: "Seven more years!"|
|@ FixAaron : Most stunning number tonight: 17 percent of Obama supporters say they backed Walker. Good news for Obama, though.|
|@ howardfineman : Exits were hinting at too-close-to-call late night but in the end it was a quick call for Walker -- bad news for Dems, unions and Obama.|
|@ BuzzFeedAndrew : Lawrence O'Donnell blames the Barrett lose on Citzens United.|
|@ aterkel : State Sen. Lena Taylor (D) says it's still too close too call #wirecall|
|@ aterkel : Mood very upbeat at Tom Barrett party still #wirecall|
|@ PeterHambyCNN : People are still in line to vote in heavily Democratic central Milwaukee, Fitchburg, Dane County|