Walker and Barrett face off in gubernatorial rematch - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Walker and Barrett face off in gubernatorial rematch

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

More than 1.3 million Wisconsin voters made their voices heard in Tuesday's recall primary election. Of those voters, almost half punched their ballots in support of the current republican governor Scott Walker.

Scott Walker versus Tom Barrett -- it's a match-up Wisconsin voters have seen before. One year -- and one collective bargaining law -- later, the two sides prepare for a second political battle.

"This is going to be just as close as everybody says it's going to be," said UW Stevens Point political science professor Dennis Riley. "There's probably hardly anybody that voted in the democratic primary that is going to turn around and vote for Scott Walker. And hardly anybody that voted for Scott Walker is going to turn around and vote for the democratic candidate."

After Tuesday night's election, the governor himself said he was surprised by the turnout. More than 626,000 people saying they want Walker to serve out his term. Newsline 9 contacted the Marathon County Republican Party for comment. Republican State Senate candidate Patrick Snyder spoke for the group, saying he thinks republicans took Tuesday's election seriously.

"I still think when push comes to shove, they're not going to get enough independent people to switch over to Barrett because the property taxes didn't go up, taxes didn't go up," said Snyder.

On Tuesday, democrats split their votes a few different ways. Marathon County's Democratic Party chair Jeff Johnson said now they're all on the same page.

"Regardless of who came out of the primary, we were all going to unite on May 9th," said Johnson. "It's May 9th and we are united behind Tom Barrett."

"Republicans will rally around, democrats will rally around the other side and I don't see more than a percentage point or two of people who still don't know what they're going to do," said Riley.

Regardless of how the ballots are cast next month, political experts said emotions are running high and that won't end on June 5th.

"We're going to be in for a time where whoever is governor is going to be strongly opposed by a substantial number of citizens in the state and angry that person is in office and not willing to follow his leadership," said Riley.

One more historic election for this divided state before the recall process is complete.

Barrett invited the governor to debate four times leading up to next month's election -- all focused on the issue of jobs. Walker said he will take part in just two debates later this month.

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