This chart from Laura Conaway over at the Rachel Maddow Show blog makes very clear what Scott Walker’s biggest liability is heading into the recall election this spring. It’s not Walkergate, necessarily, or the attack on public employee unions, or he transfer of funds from the foreclosure fraud settlement to fill a budget hole. I find all of those things important, but they won’t make or break the recall. What will make or break the recall is the simple fact that Walker has been a terrible governor on the most important issue voters cite: jobs.
Walker’s headline promise to Wisconsin was that he would create 250,000 jobs in his first term. We’re over a year into it, over 25% of the way there. To stay on track, Wisconsin would have needed a net 60-65,000 jobs created in this period. It turns out that the state has barely gained any, per Badgerstat. The total jobs created in the first year of the Walker governorship? 4,500.
The amazing thing about these stats? Walker was on pace, right up until his programs were given time to take effect. The pace started to go slack in July 2011, after the imposition of Walker’s budget. Since then, Wisconsin has lost jobs for six straight months, including 1,700 in the most recent report available in December 2011. It wasn’t until Walker’s vision was fully realized that Wisconsin started to lose jobs.
Walker is presiding over one of the worst jobs records in the entire country since the beginning of 2011. And while the downturn in July coincides with the downtown in the economy from the debt limit deal and trouble in Europe, unlike the rest of the country, Wisconsin under Walker has yet to recover.
More on the Walker jobs record here. The next few months of numbers, given the timing of the recall election, becomes incredibly important.