Gov. Scott Walker casts his ballot on Election Day.
Multiple news outlets have called the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election for Scott Walker. By winning the election Tuesday night, the Republican became the first U.S. governor to survive a recall attempt that reached the ballot.
The results were not unexpected, as most recent polls showed Walker defeating his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
Estimates indicated turnout was significantly higher than it was in the 2010 gubernatorial race between Walker and Barrett, and similar to what voter participation would be in a presidential election.
The high turnout—in some areas it was estimated at more than 90 percent—should not be surprising given the stakes of the race and its proximity to the general election.
The result is a huge letdown for organized labor, which made the race a top priority since Walker successfully pushed for an end to collective bargaining for state employees early last year.
Unions spent more than $10 million to try and defeat Walker, according to the independent Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which tracked spending on the race. They were also the driving force behind the original push, leading efforts to collect the nearly 1 million signatures gathered in support of his recall. But Walker won by a wider margin than he did in 2010, a wave election for Republicans nationwide.
Total spending on the race exceeded $65 million, and the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign’s Mike McCabe said once all the numbers are totaled that figure could exceed $75 million, doubling the maximum ever spent on any political campaign in the state.