Voter turnout seen as key in recall election - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Voter turnout seen as key in recall election

MADISON (WKOW) -- There is one thing both campaigns agree on for Tuesday's gubernatorial recall election: it will all come down to which side does a better job of getting its voters to the polls.

In 2010, less than 50 percent of voting age adults went to the polls statewide, but in several Republican strongholds, the turnout was over 60 percent.

Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) will likely get that type of support again and Tom Barrett supporters know they need to match or surpass it where their voters live.

Former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D) spent his Monday criss-crossing the state, trying to get as many people to the polls as he can for Barrett.

"There was a low turnout in 2010, a high turnout in 2008.  We get anywhere near 2008 or even halfway there, we're gonna win," said Feingold at the AFSCME offices in Madison.

2008 saw a record turnout of 69 percent statewide, mostly due to Barack Obama's successful presidential bid.

But in 2010, that Democratic tidal wave sudbsided and Republicans took advantage in counties like Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington.

All three counties had turnouts at or above 60 percent and those people overwhelmingly voted for Scott Walker.

"I got to make sure I get out and reach as many of those voters as possible, we're not conceding any vote in the State of Wisconsin, we think we've got a powerful message to sell," said Gov. Walker at a campaign stop in Fitchburg Monday morning.

The Democrats will need to sell an equally powerful message in the counties where they are strongest.

While Dane County's turnout was close to 60 percent in 2010, Milwaukee and Racine counties had just a 47 percent turnout and in Kenosha County it was only 39 percent.

That low turnout caused Barrett to lose both Racine and Kenosha, which President Obama had won handily just two years earlier.

"And I'm heading to Kenosha in a couple of hours to introduce Tom Barrett at the very last event of the campaign in Kenosha, a town that symbolized the working people of this state," said Feingold.  "The turnout will be very good there."

Gov. Walker is making no predictions, but he is promising an all-out effort until the polls close Tuesday at 8:00 p.m.

"We want to make sure we get our voters out, we want to make sure we get as many last minute appeals to undecided voters that, if they want to move on, if they want to move forward, we're the candidate," said Gov. Walker.

The Government Accountability Board is predicting a 60 to 65 percent turnout statewide on Tuesday.

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