If the 2010 midterms are, in fact, the wave they seem to be, it will have crested in the Midwest. The numbers in Wisconsin are huge – much bigger than pre-election polls suggested. One of the big winners is Scott Walker, the Republican candidate for governor. With 44 percent reporting, Walker holds an 11-point lead over Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett – and if historical trends hold, that number could rise as upstate votes come in.
I spoke to Walker tonight. He told me he had received a gracious phone call from current Governor Jim Doyle, who noted that his predecessor, Republican Scott McCallum, had been very helpful in the transition. Doyle promised to work hard to make the transition easy.
I asked Walker what his victory meant and he answered quickly. "Wisconsin is open again for business." Walker said his emphasis on shrinking state government and reducing deficits "was clearly the message that resonated across the state."
The good bipartisan feeling is not likely to last, however, as Democrats in Wisconsin quietly moved to force through contracts to fund a stimulus-funded "high-speed" train that Walker has promised to block. So the fighting will resume – and soon.