By Teresa Welsh |
The only intelligent answer to this question is "it all depends." For Mitt Romney to carry Wisconsin and other critical Midwestern states such as Iowa and Ohio in November, Republicans will have to repeat the enthusiasm and huge fundraising advantage that lifted Scott Walker to victory on Tuesday. But that depends on the answers to three critical questions: What will be the public's view of the economy in that region (as well as the nation at large)? Will Romney be able to excite his base and woo independents who voted for President Obama in 2008? Will the president manage to convince skeptical voters as well as his liberal base that he is willing to fight for the programs and ideas he believes in? We do not and cannot know the answers five months from election day.
What Scott Walker's win does confirm, however, is the continuing power of the conservative movement. It has managed to galvanize those Americans who are hostile to unions, progressive governance, and secular elites and gain lavish funding from major corporations and individual billionaires. And, in all but name, it controls the Republican Party. Neither liberal activists nor the Democratic Party can match either its passions or its resources. The problem is that conservatives have no viable solutions to any of the major problems which plague our nation and the world—from the economic crisis to entitlement reform to global warming to promoting democracy in the Arab world. So any opportunity to make progress on these vital issues depends on re-electing Barack Obama this fall.
About Michael Kazin Author of 'American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation'
John M. O'Hara Author of 'A New American Tea Party'
James Sherk Senior Policy Analyst at the Heritage Foundation
Ron Bonjean Former Chief of Staff for the Senate Republican Conference
Douglas Schoen Democratic Campaign Consultant
Jamie Chandler Political Scientist at Hunter College
Karlyn Bowman Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute
Krystal Ball MSNBC Contributor and Former Democratic Nominee for Congress