Wisconsin Dems off to a Fast Start

Opposition to labor restrictions has galvanized Wisconsin Democrats over the past year, but they face a tough haul with their recall campaign against Republican Governor Scott Walker. A recall will only be triggered if the campaign manages to collect signatures totaling 25 percent of the ballots cast in the 2010 election. That equals more than 540,000 signatures, though they'll need to gather more than that to guard against any challenges. All the forms must be submitted to the state's election board within 60 days of the first day of the campaign last week.

It's no easy task, but Wisconsin Democrats are already well on their way to gathering the required number less than a week into the campaign. Over the course of the first four days, United Wisconsin (as the recall group is known) secured 105,000 supporters. From a pure logistical viewpoint, that's an impressive haul, yet I'm not so sure it guarantees their success.

They have been organizing this campaign since the summer and used nine state senate recall elections in July and August as trial runs (they would have challenged Walker at that time as well but were prohibited until a year after he was first elected). After prepping their base for months, the diehard supporters were of course going to sign up in the first few days. It will be much harder to gain those final 100,000 signatures, and they're operating under less favorable conditions than when they first considered removing Walker, because his poll numbers have ticked up as the battle over labor rights becomes distant.

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