Political expert believes Falk needs enormous turnout to win primary

CREATED May 8, 2012

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  • Kathleen Falk. | Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MILWAUKEE- Voters are casting their ballots in Wisconsin's 2012 recall primary Tuesday and one political expert believes the gubernatorial race is Barrett's to lose at this point.

WisPolitics.com's president Jeff Mayers told Wisconsin's Afternoon News, "It would take an enormous turnout effort in a lot of the undecided (voters) to go and vote for (Falk)."

Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk is facing Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, two other candidates and a protest candidate for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Barrett has a commanding lead in recent polls over Falk, Secretary of State Doug La Follette, state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout and protest candidate Gladys Huber.

"The general election in many ways has already begun on the airwaves," said Mayers to Wisconsin's Afternoon News.

The winner of Tuesday's recall primary will most likely Governor Walker in the recall general election on June 5.  Walker is facing Arthur Kohl-Riggs on the Republican side in Tuesday's recall primary.  Kohl-Riggs is running as a protest candidate.

Mayers noted that Democrats played nice during this primary, with neither Falk or Barrett launching negative ads against each other.  He said this clean campaign message sent a good tone with Democrats, because whoever emerges from the recall primary will have less than a month to campaign in the general recall election on June 5.

Mayers believes if Barrett wins the primary -- he will be in good shape for the general election because he didn't resort to attack ads against fellow Democrats, didn't need to rely on union support to win and will project "an aura of independence."

According to Mayers, the Walker campaign would have preferred to face Falk because Barrett and Walker are polling about even in the general election and the Walker campaign could attack Falk for her big union backers.

There will be plenty of numbers to break down later tonight, said Mayers.  He believes the results in Dane County -- Falk's home county, Waukesha County and the Green Bay area could be interesting areas to see how ballots were cast in the Democratic recall primary.  

Tuesday's recall primary features the gubernatorial race, Lt. governor race and four state Senate seats.

Click here to follow the latest primary election results.