Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's victory in a fierce recall battle is a costly blow to labor that will likely have major repercussions across the nation, notes the Wall Street Journal. Inspired by Walker's ability to withstand a challenge to his labor changes cutting collective bargaining rights for most public workers, other legislators may now be emboldened to press for anti-union measures such as "right to work" laws, further decreasing the number of dues-paying union members and diluting labor's political clout. And what's bad for labor is generally regarded as bad for Democrats.
Public sector union PACS have donated $4.7 million to congressional candidates so far this year, with about 90% of that going to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Republicans control legislatures and governorships in 24 states, and that's where further changes in worker rights will most likely occur, notes the Journal. But the Wisconsin vote didn't necessarily reveal crystal clear support for Walker's anti-union policies—or Republicans. Exit polls revealed that 18% of Walker supporters favored President Obama, reports the New York Times, and a majority of voters said they believe recalls are only appropriate for incumbents accused of misconduct, not simply because their policies are unpopular.