By Justin Sink
President Barack Obama tweeted support for Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett Monday night, the day before Badger State voters weighed the recall of incumbent Gov. Scott Walker.
It's Election Day in Wisconsin tomorrow, and I'm standing by Tom Barrett. He'd make an outstanding governor. -bo— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 4, 2012
Obama had thus far avoided the Wisconsin race, where Walker has held a small but steady lead throughout the recall effort. Democrats in the state have been urging the president to lend his support, and Walker even chided Obama for shying away from the election in an interview Monday.
Union groups and local Democrats have expressed disappointment with Obama's failure to campaign in the state on behalf of Barrett, the Milwaukee mayor. Last Wednesday, Obama's campaign team, however, argued the president's presence would do little to tip the scales in the close recall fight.
"If you think that the secret weapon here is sending President Obama, then, you know, I'm pleased that you believe that. But I think that actually having people organizing and volunteering and turning out the vote and doing everything they can that actually affect an election is actually more powerful," said Obama campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said.
It's unlikely Obama's last-hour tweeted endorsement would do anything to tip the scales, but the president's reelection team is likely leery of too closely associating with what could be a losing effort shortly before his reelection battle. On Monday, the president's reelection team conceded in a web video that they viewed Wisconsin as a "toss-up" in November. Still, it may give the president cover with union activists that have donated substantially to the effort to recall Walker.
A RealClearPolitics average of recent polls in the state show the incumbent with a 6.7 percent advantage headed into Election Day.