In a Friday email to supporters, Barrett, who has twice run unsuccessfully for governor, announced that he will be making a third bid for the state's highest office as part of the recall election of Gov. Scott Walker.Polling (including recent surveys from PPP and Marquette) have consistently shown Barrett putting up the best numbers against Walker among all possible Democratic candidates. However, Barrett likely won't have the primary to himself. Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk has been running since January, and a lot of labor unions favor her candidacy, so I would expect her to stay in the race.
Walker defeated Barrett by 52%-47% in 2010.
"We need to bring our state back." Barrett wrote in the note. "Wisconsin needs a governor who is focused on jobs, not ideology; a leader committed to bringing our state together and healing political wounds, not pitting people against each other and catering to the special interests.
But primary polls have also shown Barrett in the driver's seat: Marquette had him up 36-29 over Falk, while PPP saw a much wider 45-18 edge for Barrett. Regardless, unless some sort of deal is brokered (would Falk drop down to the Lt. Gov. spot? I doubt it), Democrats will likely face a hard-fought primary. And that makes this race a real challenge, because primary day is little over a month away (May 8), and the general is very soon thereafter (June 5). Still, Barrett's entry is welcome news and if he wins the nomination, he gives us our best shot of defeating Walker.