If the Wisconsin recall effort fails against Gov. Scott Walker, Obama will be seen as one of the losers. The GOP will be energized to wrench Wisconsin from the Democrats, but November is five months away.
The national news media are riveted by the contest, and that will magnify the result. A loss for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the Democratic challenger, will be seen as a blow to Mr. Obama and his prospects for November. After all, Wisconsin is a battleground state. A win for Mayor Barrett, the underdog, will be seen as a significant boost to Obama, on the heels of bad economic news.
But the impact will fade fast, political observers say.
“It’s June,” says Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. “Yes, a victory by Walker will give Republicans a burst of energy, but will it last five months? No way.”
IN PICTURES: Showdown in Wisconsin
Still, there will be one lasting implication: A Walker victory will force the Obama campaign to expend resources – time, money, volunteer effort – that it might otherwise not have had to. And those are resources that will be taken from campaign efforts in other states.