Big Names Heading to State Ahead of Recall Election

Big Names Heading to State Ahead of Recall Election

By Mike Conroy. CREATED Jun 1, 2012

Madison, Wis. - Former President Bill Clinton will visit Wisconsin on Friday, supporting Democrat Tom Barrett as the recall race for governor wraps up its final week.

The two-term Democratic commander-in-chief joins Barrett in a rally that begins about 10 a.m. at Pere Marquette Park in downtown Milwaukee as the city's mayor campaigns to oust Republican Gov. Scott Walker in Tuesday's recall election.

"I'm proud that President Clinton is adding his voice to this important fight," said Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who visited the state earlier this week.

But President Barack Obama, who also will be in the region, has no plans to make a pro-Barrett appearance despite being scheduled to spend Friday in neighboring Minnesota.

Also Friday, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will campaign with Walker at Quad/Graphics in Sussex. Haley has been mentioned as a potential 2012 vice presidential candidate and joins a list of high-profile Republican governors supporting Walker. New Jersey's Chris Christie and Louisiana's Bobby Jindal also have visited the state for Walker.

Haley drew attention last week when she said on the Greta Van Susteren show on Fox News that her state was prospering economically by taking on unions.

"We're going to keep fighting the unions. I'm going to keep being a union buster," Haley told Van Susteren. "There's a reason South Carolina is the new 'it' state."

Barrett pulled in a governor of his own Thursday when the head of the Democratic Governors' Association, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, spoke to Democratic field workers at a Madison office. O'Malley called the Wisconsin recall an "important chapter in our ongoing story as a country" and said the governors association had put more money and resources into Wisconsin for the recall race than it did in 2010.

He called on the fieldworkers to deliver a voter turnout that could pull Barrett from behind in the polls to victory.

"I think Scott Walker has been a poster child for ideology over effectiveness," O'Malley said.

The Friday rallies mark the end of the final week of campaigning before the election, a week marked by dueling polls - one independent, the other released by the Barrett campaign.

Like three other recently released Democratic-backed polls, Thursday's Barrett campaign poll puts the candidates neck-and-neck, with Walker ahead 50% to 48% and a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The poll came one day after the release of a nonpartisan Marquette University Law School poll that showed Barrett down 45% to 52%.

Daniel Bice of the Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report.

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