Okay, I've had a few days to process that insanity in Wisconsin, and here's my calm and collected analysis... without all that much calm and very little collectedness. Here's your Moment of Clarity #147.
The passions that fueled a fight lasting more than a year over union rights and Wisconsin's cash-strapped budget brought voters out in strong numbers Tuesday to decide whether to recall Gov. Scott Walker.
"People in Wisconsin aren't just going to stand by and let a governor take over the state and cut social services," said Switzer, 48, an occupational therapist and single mother on BadgerCare, the state's health insurance program for the working poor.
Preliminary exit poll results conducted Tuesday for The Associated Press suggest the public's views on the changes made to collective bargaining laws are deeply entrenched. About three quarters either strongly approve or strongly disapprove of the changes to collective bargaining for government workers. Overall voters were about evenly divided on the question, with about half approving and half disapproving of those changes.
And most voters made up their mind about whom to support before the final ballots were even set. About 9 in 10 in early exit polling said they decided who to vote for before May.
In the canon of political cliches, "it all comes down to turnout" is among the most tired.
But in the case of the polarizing and closely watched Wisconsin recall election, the maxim happens to ring true.
Public polling, internal polling and campaign strategists all tell the same story: Republican Gov. Scott Walker is clinging to a tiny lead over his Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, heading into Tuesday's vote.
And the number of undecided voters has dwindled to almost zero, strategists in both parties say, meaning that the only mission left for both sides is to get their rabid supporters to the polls.
Scott Walker was prank-called by a journalist pretending to be the billionaire David Koch. In a phone call that lasts 20 minutes, the Wisconsin governor speaks candidly about his strategy. The call proves that the whole event is motivated and funded by pro-corporate forces.
The Kissers perform "Scotty, We're Coming For You" at a rally in support of workers' rights at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Wis. on Mar. 19, 2011. Iraq Veterans Against the War marched to the Capitol, accompanied by firefighters and members of AFL-CIO to rally against Gov. Scott Walker, whose budget repair bill would strip public workers of their collective bargaining rights.