Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, will face recall election


Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker stands on the North Lawn of the White House before making remarks to the news media after a meeting of the National Governors Association with President Barack Obama February 27, 2012 in Washington, DC.


Chip Somodevilla

Governor Scott Walker, Republican of Wisconsin, will face a recall election, according to the Associated Press. The governor ignited a firestorm when he and Republican legislators passed a law that "effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most state workers," and modified pension and health care plans.

The recall election will likely be held on June 5.

Protests ensued, at times numbering 100,000 people, and Democratic legislators fled Wisconsin to Illinois to prevent a quorum. The bill was passed after weeks of protests. Democrats accused Walker of trying to reduce the power of labor unions.

The campaign to recall the governor collected nearly one million signatures, far more than the 540,208 required to trigger the recall election, according to the AP. The recall "has been expected for weeks" since so many signatures had been gathered.

More from GlobalPost: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declines to challenge recall election signatures (VIDEO)

The AP wrote that there have "been only two successful gubernatorial recalls in U.S. history, against California Gov. Gray Davis in 2003 and North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier in 1921.

MSNBC wrote that Wisconsin voters are divided over the recall, with a narrow advantage for those who say they would vote against him in a recall election at 48 percent to 46 percent.

Indeed, opinions of Walker's performance as governor is also sharply divided, with 48 percent approving and 48 percent disapproving of his job, according to a NBC/Marist poll conducted March 26 to 27. State republicans say they are paying closer attention to the recall efforts than to the state's GOP presidential primary by 51 percent to 37. 

The two candidates are "embracing" Governor Walker, according to Politico, who is in the state's political limelight. "It’s the only state in the union, I can guarantee you, where presidential politics isn’t as important as something else. The recall’s all people are talking about politically,” Ted Kanavas, the co-chair of Rommey’s Wisconsin campaign, told POLITICO.

In that same poll, Romney is predicted to take 40 percent of the vote, and Santorum 33. Wisconsin's Republican presidential primary will be held on April 3.