La historia nos dice que este estado es capaz de cualquier cosa: en Wisconsin se fundó el Partido Republicano en el Siglo XIX; Wisconsin mandó al demagogo anti-comunista Joseph McCarthy al Senado después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial; pero también en Wisconsin eligieron al primer alcalde socialista de América (Emil Seidel en 1910); hasta los años 60, durante cinco décadas, y de forma casi ininterrumpida, Milwaukee, la principal urbe de Wisconsin, estuvo regida por el Partido Socialista, algo único en una gran ciudad estadounidense.
The strength of President Barack Obama's bid for a second term faces a key test Tuesday in a Wisconsin election to decide whether the Republican governor of the Midwestern state, a hero of the deeply conservative tea-party movement, should be ousted more than 2 years early.
The recall election marks just the third time in U.S. history that a state governor has been challenged midterm. What's more, Wisconsin is a key swing state in the November presidential election. It is seen as leaning toward Obama, but Tuesday's vote could show an inclination to flip toward Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Beyond that, the political divisions gripping the Wisconsin electorate virtually mirror sentiments nationwide.
The effort to unseat Gov. Scott Walker is rooted in Wisconsin's labor union movement and the Democratic rank-and-file, both profoundly angered over his budget-cutting policies. If Walker successfully defends his leadership, it would be a major boost for already highly motivated tea party voters, who want smaller government, lower deficits and tax cuts.
With the economy the top issue in the presidential election, a victory for Wisconsin conservatives would underscore Romney's strength nationwide. He has endorsed budget-slashing, tax-cutting tea party fiscal plans at the national level.
(...) The recall election has been unlike anything seen before in Wisconsin, with at least $62 million spent by the candidates and outside groups so far. Walker was the top spender at $29 million, with Barrett's campaign spending about $4 million. Outside groups have spent $21 million and issue ad groups that don't have to disclose their spending have put in at least $7.5 million.
(...) The only other two governors to have faced a recall vote lost, most recently California Gov. Gray Davis in 2003.
A defeat for Walker would badly damage a political career that until now had looked on course to national prominence. A victory would cement his place as a national tea party hero with a rosy future in a Republican party that is evolving more and more toward the hard right on the American political spectrum.