POLITICS

Morning Examiner: Reality catching up to Wisconsin

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

It was supposed to be a glorious people’s revolution. Disgusted by Gov. Scott Walker’s “attack on the middle class,” Wisconsin voters were supposed to rally to the defense of the state’s government unions. After obtaining a record number of signatures to force a recall election, Democrats were supposed to crush Walker at the polls next week.

Problem is, Walker’s reforms have worked and Wisconsin voters have noticed. Last week, when Walker’s office released numbers showing that job growth in Wisconsin has been strong since he took office, his opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, accused Walker of “cooking the books.” But yesterday, the federal Bureau of Labor and Statistics released their own data backing up Walker’s job claims.

Barrett has also claimed that Walker’s reforms have hurt Wisconsin’s public schools. But when pressed by The Weekly Standard, Barrett could not name a single school district that had been hurt. And a recent Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article even quoted a union official admitting the same thing.

Democrats did breathe a sigh of relief earlier this week when a poll by Democratic pollster Celinda Lake showed Barrett had closed the gap and was tied with Walker at 49 percent. But a non-partisan Marquette Law School poll released yesterday showed Walker up by seven, 52 percent to 45 percent. Contacted by National Journal to defend her partisan poll’s methodology, Lake’s firm said she “said she was traveling out of the country” and could not comment.

Unless something changes drastically between now and next Tuesday, Democrats are going to have their reality bubble busted, big time.

Campaign 2012
Polls: A new NBC/Marist poll shows President Obama is virtually tied with Mitt Romney in three key states Obama won in 2008. The poll shows Obama and Romney tied in Iowa at 44 percent, Obama up in Colorado 46 to 45 percent, and up in Nevada 48 to 46 percent.

Fox News: Fox News executives claimed that a nearly four minute video that ran twice on “Fox and Friends,” was not approved by senior management. The video, which was produced by an associate producer of the shows, contrasts Obama’s 2008 promises with statistics from today’s economy. The video has also been removed from Fox’s website. You can view the video here.

Obama: Obama told a group of Jewish leaders that “he probably knows about Judaism more than any other president, because he read about it.”

Romney: The Washington Post has a front-page article out today accusing Romney of abandoning his promise to “to fix a judicial nominating system he decried as riddled with patronage and backroom deals.”

Around the Bigs
The Wall Street Journal, Car Battery Start-Ups Fizzle: After pouring more than $1 billion into battery companies and promising one million electric cars by 2015, only 50,000 cars have been made so far and the firms are employing less than a third of the people Obama promised they would.

Associated Press, Obama’s health care aid to small firms disappoints: Only 170,300 businesses, out of a pool of as many as 4 million potentially eligible, have claimed a small business tax credit created to ease Obamacare’s health mandate burdens.

The Wall Street Journal, Wisconsin Unions See Ranks Drop Ahead of Recall Vote: Public-employee unions in Wisconsin have experienced a dramatic drop in membership—by more than half for the second-biggest union—since a law championed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker sharply curtailed their ability to bargain over wages and working conditions.

The Wall Street Journal, Europe Woes Ignite Selloff: Fears Spain can’t save its troubled banks sparked a selloff in Spanish government bonds Wednesday and prompted a broad decline in stock markets and the euro.

The New York Times, Europe Fears Bailout of Spain Would Strain Its Resources: Spain is the euro zone’s fourth-largest economy, after Germany, France and Italy, and the cost of a rescue would strain the resources of Europe’s new 700 billion euros ($867 billion) bailout fund that is to become available this summer. That would leave little margin for any additional bailouts.

Righty Playbook
AEI‘s James Pethokoukis crunches the numbers and finds that, according to the CBO’s latest estimates, Obama’s stimulus cost $4.1 million for every job saved or created.

Cato‘s Chris Edwards reports on how Canada cut government spending to just 15.9 percent of gross domestic product.

At The Corner, Jonah Goldberg advises Romney to run against President Bush.

Lefty Playbook
The Obama campaign is circulating a memo attacking Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts.

Salon‘s Steve Kornacki explains the thinking behind Obama’s assault on Romney’s Massachusetts record.

Nate Silver says today’s economy is much stronger than the one that unseated President Carter in 1980.

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