Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker beat back a recall challenge Tuesday, winning the right to finish his term with nearly 80% of precincts reporting, Walker had 55% of the vote, compared with 44% for Barrett.
The rising Republican star is the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall attempt. He defeated Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and the union leaders who rallied for months against his agenda.
The opinion polls over recent weeks show Walker with a narrow but consistent lead over Barrett.
As for Walker’s recall, an army of volunteers gathered 900,000 verified signatures to initiate the process. Unions spent $4 million on its failed contender in the Democratic primary, Kathleen Falk, and then millions more on the general election.
For his part, Walker has pulled in tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions from wealthy out-of-state donors to finance his campaign. And fought back, arguing that he had made the “tough choices” needed to balance the state’s budget and free school districts from excessive costs.