Republicans, unsure of who the Democratic nominee will be, have begun assailing both candidates. The Republican Governors Association has launched two television ads attacking both Barrett and Falk.
"It is shocking that despite the downward spiral of Milwaukee's economy that Tom Barrett has presided over that he would ask Wisconsinites to not only stop the progress the state has seen in Governor Walker's first year in office, but completely reverse it by electing him as governor," Walker spokeswoman Ciara Matthews said in a statement responding to Barrett's entrance into the race.
Recent polling shows single digits separating Walker from his Democratic competition and a sharply divided electorate split down the middle with virtually no undecided voters. The mood of Wisconsin voters was almost identical during last summer's state Senate recalls in which Democrats came one pickup short of seizing back control of the upper chamber.
Walker has been preparing for a recall election for months, raising millions and launching television ads portraying his record in a positive light. The general election -- which is slated for June 5 -- is a real tossup, and Walker may go down, less than two years into his first term. But Barrett's entrance into the race means the governor can rest a little easier for now, as the likely Democratic infighting will mean expending resources that won't be there in the general election and a potentially wounded Democratic nominee.