Wisconsin Democrats have made a huge announcement in their effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker. They say that in the first 12 days of the petition effort, up through this past Saturday night, they now claim to have collected over 300,000 signatures –Â more than halfway to the goal that they have 60 days total to meet.
In order to trigger a recall against Walker, the Dems must meet a high bar: Signatures of at least 25 percent of the number of voters in the previous gubernatorial election must be collected in a 60-day window. That means the Dems must get over 540,000 signatures — over 9,000 per day, statewide — plus some significant buffer that campaigns routinely collect in order to protect against signatures being disqualified over one imperfection or another.
But even against that lofty requirement, the Dems are claiming that in the 12 days since the recall launched, they have collected over 1,000 signatures per hour. Put another way, when measured against just the 9,000-per-day requirement, they claim to have taken only 12 days to reach where they had to be at about Day 33.“Scott Walker has taken to the airwaves, supported by millions in corporate cash, to defend his record of job loss and full-scale assault on Wisconsin’s institutions and values,” said a statement from Meagan Mahaffey, executive director of the recall umbrella group United Wisconsin. “But all over Wisconsin, the people are seeing through Walker’s deceptions and are moving to take our state back.”
The Dems have been searching everywhere for signatures, including a canvass near shopping centers on Black Friday.
Accepting these numbers at face value, this would mean that the Dems are overcoming a key caveat that has had to accompany their earlier signature announcements: That after months of build-up to the recall campaign, there would be an initial rush of people to sign at the first sound of the starting whistle, after which signature collection might significantly slow down. However, these numbers indicate almost no slowdown yet.
Last week, the Dems had announced that in their first four days of the collection effort, they had taken in 105,000 signatures — which would calculate to 26,250 signatures per day. This new announcement implies roughly 195,000 signatures in the next eight days — which calculates to 24,375 signatures per day, a slowdown of only just over 7% from the first four days.
Can they keep up the pace? If so, they would trigger only the third gubernatorial recall election in the nation’s history, following North Dakota in 1921 and California in 2003 — both of which were lost by the incumbents.