Pundits have debated which traditionally blue state—18 and the District of Columbia have voted Democratic in every presidential election since 1992—might be poised to turn red.
Well, a look at how the White House sizes up the electoral map tips their hand: It's Wisconsin. The Badger State is the only one the Obama campaign classifies as undecided, not other potentially Mitt Romney-friendly places like Michigan or Pennsylvania.
The reason for the shift is obvious. Barring a shock result, Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker will win his recall election on Tuesday, the latest in a cascade of GOP victories there since Walker originally won election in the 2010 midterms alongside Sen. Ron Johnson.
Whether Tuesday's returns foreshadow President Obama's November fate is uncertain: A Marquette Law School poll reported last week that Obama still held a comfortable lead over his GOP foe despite Walker holding a similar edge. Indeed, Obama has hardly waded into the recall fight, save for a tweet on Monday evening.
But a successful repulsion of the Democratic recall effort will no doubt galvanize the state's Republican Party and at least temporarily make Wisconsin a Romney target—a fact the Obama campaign seems ready to concede. Read more
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRESIDENTIAL RACE REPORT
Wisconsin Recall Fight Takes National Spotlight
[ABC News, 6/5/12] The recall election occurring in Wisconsin on Tuesday is considered by many to be the first real fight of the 2012 election season, as it pits two candidates in a close race that has many parallels to the presidential race.
Romney Vows Quick U.S. Exit from GM NEW!
[The Detroit News, 6/5/12] Romney says, if he wins in November, he will quickly sell the government's stake in General Motors. He added that he would review pending rules that will require automakers to nearly double fuel efficiency requirements by 2025.
E-mails Show Romney Pushed Individual Mandate in State Health Bill
[Wall Street Journal, 6/4/12] E-mails show that, as governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney was closely engaged in negotiating details of his state's health care bill that many say was the basis for President Obama’s national overhaul, particularly the controversial individual mandate. Romney and his aides strongly defended the requirement that everyone in the state have or buy health insurance.
Fear Factors: What Worries Romney Backers
[Politico, 6/5/12] Obama’s campaign is threatened most by events he can’t control, like a European financial catastrophe and economic stagnation. But Romney’s campaign is threatened most by Romney himself—and that has some GOP insiders worried.
How Polarization Explains Republicans' and Democrats' Governing Priorities NEW!
[Time, 6/5/12] The headline on Pew's new 25th anniversary American Values survey is: political polarization has risen sharply, not just in Congress but among voters too. Partisanship now predicts voters' priorities better than it predicts race, religion, income and education.
Crossroads Ad Hits Obama on ‘Reckless Spending’
[National Journal, 6/5/12] A new $7 million ad campaign from Crossroads GPS, the issue-advocacy arm of the Karl Rove-founded super PAC American Crossroads, is hitting Obama on “reckless spending.” Meanwhile, FactCheck.org found that Obama’s spending is neither an “inferno,” as Romney claims, nor a binge that “never happened,” as the White House concludes.
Paul Supporters say RNC is Blocking Festival Plans NEW!
[Associated Press, 6/5/12] RNC organizers are not allowing Ron Paul supporters to throw a festival, "PaulFest," honoring him the weekend before the gathering. Supporters are unhappy their event at the Florida State Fairgrounds including music, comedians, and speakers has not been approved.
Bill Clinton: Romney Presidency Would Be ‘Calamitous’
[National Journal, 6/4/12] Former President Clinton lambasted Romney and GOP economic policies on Monday, calling a prospective Romney presidency “calamitous for our country and the world.”
Focus on Massachusetts Jobs in Romney Era
[New York Times, 6/5/12] Team Obama has put $10 million behind a tough new attack ad that hits Romney on his leadership in Massachusetts, claiming that he had “one of the worst economic records in the country.” The ad represents a shift in the president’s efforts to assail his rival’s strongest credential: his economic expertise.
How Diversity Divides White America
[National Journal, 6/4/12] A new Pew survey found that white attitudes toward America’s changing demographic mix can be a powerful predictor of preferences in the presidential race, and the broader issue of Washington’s role in society. National Journal’s Ronald Brownstein weighs in on the latest data.
GOP Attacks Celebrity Support for Obama
[Washington Post, 6/4/12] Obama’s glamorous elbow-rubbing carries significant risk as he struggles to convince voters that he is focused on their economic concerns. Obama’s star power is triggering attacks from his GOP rivals: Romney attempted to portray the president as out of touch on Monday by seizing on an Obama campaign video featuring the well-heeled editor-in-chief of Vogue, Anna Wintour.
Jobs Report Promises November Surprise
[BuzzFeed, 6/5/12] The last debate is often known to be the final factor in a voter’s decision on Election Day, but this year it could be the October jobs report that comes out on Nov. 2. A positive report could give the president momentum in the final days of the campaign, and a poor report could mark a nail in his coffin.
Konarka Could Undercut Romney’s Attacks on Solyndra
[Politico, 6/4/12] A Massachusetts solar company to which Romney as governor had personally delivered a $1.5 million loan announced on Friday that it had filed for bankruptcy. As Romney hits Obama again and again over Solyndra, the announcement by Konarka Technologies leaves Romney vulnerable to similar attacks.
Obama Camp Hits Team Romney: ‘The Hypocrisy Is Breathtaking’
[TPM, 6/5/12] The Obama campaign is out with a new Web video lambasting the Romney campaign for its “double standard” when it comes to the candidate records on job creation. “Romney has undercut his core argument against the president by trying to play by two sets of rules,” deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter says in the video.
Why Are Romney's Favorables Rising?
[Christian Science Monitor, 6/4/12] Voters are viewing Romney in a more positive light at a time when the Obama campaign is doing its best to define him in a negative way. What’s going on? Peter Grier writes that it’s because only the truly plugged-in are paying attention.