Barrett 'optimistic' on day of Wisconsin recall primaries
MILWAUKEE - After voting in Tuesday's historic Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial recall primary, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett gave a positive picture of his chances to win both the primary and a rematch against incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker.
"We feel very optimistic," said Barrett after he voted at the French Immersion School in Milwaukee just after 7:00 a.m.
"I understand the historic nature of this election. This is basically a referendum on Scott Walker."
TODAY'S TMJ4 raw video shows Barrett going to the ballot box, then being asked to return to the poll workers' table after being told he forgot to sign the poll book.
Barrett leads in most polls by double digits over former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk.
Secretary of State Doug La Follette and Alma state Senator Kathleen Vinehout have garnered single-digit percentages in polling. Gladys Huber, who is involved in Republican politics in Ozaukee County, is also on the Democratic ballot.
The general recall election happens June 5th.
Barrett also felt optimism about what a 30-35% turnout predicted by the Government Accountability Board would mean for him on Tuesday.
"I think it will help benefit me, and I think it's very much along the line of the models we have forecasted," claimed Barrett to TODAY'S TMJ4's Melissa McCrady.
"We think it's going to be a very solid turnout today. Our entire preparation for this campaign has been built around a very good turnout. We're pleased with the numbers we've seen thus far, and we think this will be replicated across the entire state."
When it comes to the general election, Barrett admitted he expects a tough battle similar to the one he faced in 2010 when he lost the governor's race to Walker.
"We know it's going to be very much of a dogfight. It's a 50-50 state. Quite honestly, if you look at how much money he's raised, he's raised $25 million to my $1 million. With that 25-1 ratio, he should be crushing me, but the polls are saying this is a very, very close race."
Barrett also discussed what he considered to be the historic nature of this Wisconsin recall election.
"I think every citizen is part of this. That's what makes this so unusual, so special. When you have 1 million sign a petition, that says the citizens want to see something happen," said Barrett.
"I hope everybody gets out to vote today."
Barrett spent part of Tuesday at the UW-Madison campus before returning to Milwaukee.
Once the polls close, Barrett will be at the Hyatt Regency downtown, where he hopes to make a victory speech Tuesday night.