Which countries are similar to Wisconsin

Barack Obama has to hurry

By Thomas J. Spang

Washington. - The failure in Wisconsin means more than a painful defeat for the Democrats. The hoped-for deselection of Republican governor Scott Walker was a massive failure on Tuesday - the arch-conservative politician was able to prevail against his Democratic challenger Tom Barrett (yesterday's edition). This could be a wake-up call for the Democrats. So far, they had been expecting the Midwestern state to win when President Barack Obama runs for re-election in November.

If the former bastion of liberal America begins to shake, other states will also move into the category of wobbly candidates. First of all Michigan, from which Obama's Republican challenger Mitt Romney comes, but also Pennsylvania and Ohio, which are similar to Wisconsin in many ways. There is no second term for Obama without victories in these states.

The alarm bells are ringing

Together with the chronically ailing labor market and the ongoing crisis in the euro area, all signs point to a storm for Obama. Despite such a pale challenger as the robotic-looking Romney, the polls currently see the chances for a re-election of the president at 50:50.

There are two things that Team Obama should think about the Wisconsin result in particular. First: Although the unions dominated the streets with loud protests for months, there is such a thing as a “silent majority”. This can be mobilized by a highly motivated base of right-wing activists and moved to the polls.

Second, Wisconsin shows the influence that unlimited campaign contributions can be made by wealthy individuals. The right wing's political sugar daddies gave their Wisconsin pupil a financial advantage of 7: 1. With it, Walker could buy the loudest megaphone, which he used to drown out the voice of his Democratic challenger. Obama therefore needs both strong foot troops, who will move from door to door for him in November, as well as enough money to be able to defend himself against the large-scale attack by the plutocrats.

Obama still enjoys a lot of goodwill

Nevertheless, the Wisconsin by-election polls provide a ray of hope for the incumbent. These show that Obama is doing far better than the Democrats, who wanted to force the governor to be voted out of office early. One in five Walker voters said they would support Obama in November. That gives the president a 9-point lead over Romney. This is made possible by the independent swing voters, who give Obama preference by far.

That should give food for thought to the internal party critics of the president, who accuse him of not having moved far enough to the left. Obviously Obama needs a motivated base. But there is demonstrably also on the right. The incumbent can only win in the middle.