“The Power of the Petition; How the effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker could swing the 2012 presidential election.”

Sasha Issenberg at Slate: “But there’s a consolation for Republicans: They’re thrilled to get their hands on the petition documents, and the 900,039 names they believe will help them make sense of the state’s political geography on behalf of Mitt Romney this fall. Indeed, the boom in large-scale signature-gathering efforts—most visible in 16 different recall campaigns filed in Wisconsin over the past year, and similar efforts elsewhere in the Midwest—has fixed attention on a largely unmined source of political data that can help clarify fault lines in a difficult to gauge electorate. ‘They’ve just handed us the names of 900,000 people who are known, or are likely to be, anti-conservative voters. It’s a huge favor they’ve done.’ says Rick Wiley, the political director of the Republican National Committee, which has 22 offices open in Wisconsin coordinating anti-recall efforts. “Without it you were stuck with somehow IDing these voters.”

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