Wisconsin Voters Polarize Ahead of Gov. Scott Walker’s Recall Election

May 9, 2012 Updated: May 10, 2012

Just a day after Wisconsin’s Democratic primary and a month before a June 5 recall election for its Republican Gov. Scott Walker, voters and elected officials alike have become deeply polarized over the future of the politically active state.  

According to a Marquette University Law School poll released last week, Walker and his new Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who won the primary on Tuesday, face voters who are only 4 percent undecided.

The poll shows that half of the voters said they had tried to persuade other voters of their views, one-fifth have contributed money to a candidate, and 18 percent said they had attended a rally or demonstration over the past 16 months.

The polarization became much of a family affair for 36-year-old Jeffrey A. Radle and 30-year-old Amanda M. Radle, a married couple living In the Western Wisconsin city of Chippewa Falls, when an argument over Wisconsin’s Democratic primaries landed the husband in hospital on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

When proponent of the recall motion, Amanda Radle, got into her car to drive to the polls for voting in the recall elections, her husband, a supporter of Walker, stood in front of the sport utility vehicle, and at one point climbed onto the hood, according to Chippewa Falls Police Chief Wendy L. Stelter, as quoted in the Sentinel.

When she attempted to drive around her estranged husband, he jumped in front of the vehicle and was hit, with head, neck, and back injuries.

The recall election is only the third of such contests in American history. Gov. Scott Walker became the target of mass protests last year when he proposed stripping collective bargaining rights for most public sector employees in the state.