Jay Carney: Don't draw too many conclusions about November from a Scott Walker victory; Update: Exit poll shows Walker by five?

In case you’re wondering whether the White House is still expecting Wisconsin to go red tonight, the answer appears to be yes.

“A race where one side is outspending the other by a ratio of at least 8 to 1 probably won’t tell us much about a future race,” press secretary Jay Carney said.

“I know the president is aware of the election. I think he’s got some other responsibilities,” Carney said. “I know that he’s not following it minute by minute … You know that he tweeted about it earlier. He stands with the Democratic candidate, Mayor Barrett, in this race.”

And so it came to be that on the day of one of the most momentous elections in modern American history, which may well shape the future of public employee unions across the United States, the White House press secretary described the president’s involvement by saying, “You know that he tweeted about it earlier.” Perfection. You really came through for your side on this one, champ.

Don’t pop the champagne yet, though. Via dKos, a local reporter claims that the city clerk in Madison is now predicting turnout of — no typo — 119 percent, meaning that a huge chunk of people are showing up at the polls to register for the first time and then vote. If that’s true, it’s a testament to labor’s organization: Madison is a liberal stronghold so they’re going to try to bank as many votes there as they can. Elsewhere, National Review’s Robert Costa tweets, “A top Wis. GOPer tells me that if Dane [County] gets historic, 80/90% turnout, this thing could go either way…” The clerk in Dane County told the Weekly Standard’s John McCormack a few hours ago that they’re looking at turnout of … 75 percent. Dude, I’m nervous.

Three and a half hours until the polls close. While we wait, enjoy this contentious Frank Luntz focus group of Wisconsin via Guy Benson.

Update: Even I can’t go full eeyore on you at a moment like this. According to another report, early turnout in heavily Republican Waukesha County was even higher than it was for the 2008 presidential election.

Update: Early exit poll info is starting to trickle out from CBS. A bright spot: 50 percent say they approve of the changes to the collective bargaining law versus 48 percent who disapprove.

Update: If you were reading blogs in November 2004 you know just how wrong early exit polls can be, but for what it’s worth, Drudge says a source tells him that Walker is on track for a five-point win. That would be right in line with the polls over the last few weeks, but if Democratic turnout really is as sky high as those reports out of Madison suggest, it’s hard to believe Walker’s margin will be that comfortable.

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David Strom 9:21 PM on February 02, 2023