Rating Change: Wisconsin Governor

Republican Scott Walker of Wisconsin isn’t your typical governor running for re-election. He initially won in 2010, then two years later became the first governor to survive a recall attempt. But with nearly a full term under his belt, voters may not be as willing to give him the benefit of the doubt in his bid for a second term. The Badger State is one of the most polarized places in the country. Walker and Democratic nominee Mary Burke are likely battling for just a small percentage of people who are truly persuadable in the race. Republicans are trying to brand Burke, a former executive for Trek bicycle company, as an outsourcer and tie her to unpopular former Gov. Jim Doyle (she was his Commerce secretary). Democrats are going to pound away at Walker’s campaign promise to deliver 250,000 jobs during his first four years. The attack is exemplified in Burke’s latest television ad. www.youtube.com/watch?v=3M1lU2v2Ej8 For the last year and half, we viewed Wisconsin as a polarized place but had difficulty seeing how Burke could get over the top. Now, even though midterm turnout should benefit Walker, the potentially potent attack on his jobs record is enough to erase Walker’s advantage in the race at this point. We’re changing The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating of the race from Leans Republican to Pure Tossup.