governor Scott Walker's (R-WI) battle against collective bargaining for state
employees may have given added ammunition to opponents, but it's also
generating tons of gossip on social media.
According to OhMyGov Analytics, mentions referencing the governor on Twitter peaked at 2,669
around May 9, for an overall total of 8,056 for the week. meanwhile, news coverage soared, increasing 8.1 percent in a sign that the
recall campaign against him is heating up quickly.
Walker were mixed on Twitter.
momentum going!" A Walker opponent wrote. "Recall Scott Walker
because he's #badforWI!"
on the Republican incumbent.
going backward, we're going forward!" a supporter tweeted, referencing the
acceptance speech the governor made to a crowd of hundreds in Waukesha, WI
Tom Barrett, the Democratic challenger, has
garnered a modest following of Twitter followers since his @BarrettforWi
account officially launched.
Barrett's 4,692 followers are pale in comparison to Walker's 37,252.
nomination, Barrett has been busy firing up the crowd on Twitter, tweeting 988
times in an effort to catch up with the Wisconsin governor, who has logged
If polling is
any indication, Wisconsinites are just as evenly split in real-life as they are
on the web. Surveys by Marquette University and Public Policy Polling both
found the candidates neck-and-neck, with Marquette giving Walker a one percent
lead in April while a PPP poll in January gave the race to Barrett by three
polarization of the race has taken a real toll on civility in the state. According to Marquette, nearly 30
percent of Wisconsin residents have stopped speaking to someone they know
because of political disagreements.
no center," Wisconsin state senator Tim Cullen told the LA
Times' David Lauter.
been growing, too. Conservative
groups helped raise $23 million for Walker ahead of the recall, with an
estimated total of $80 million raised by the election's end.
Even as the
rhetoric becomes more heated, politicians--both on the right and the left--are
worried that the polarization could make bipartisan bills less formidable than
in the 1980s, when Cullen took his seat in the state senate.
isn't going to stop with one election," said Senator Dale Schultz, one of the
few Republican legislators who voted against Walker's bill taking away
collective bargaining rights from state employees. "What we're
discovering is what happens when people don't get along. The hatred doesn't go