Shortly after MSNBC called Republican Governor Scott Walker as the winner of Tuesday's recall election in Wisconsin a bit past 9:50 p.m. during the Rachel Maddow Show, a subdued Ed Schultz gave his initial reaction.
Conceding that the "disappointing" results signal that "it's going to be a tough one" for Democrats in November, he went on to blame Walker's fundraising advantage for the Republican victory. Schultz:
But this is also an opportunity for the Republicans to gain a great deal of confidence that, when they outfund the opponent, it can make a difference. We are looking at almost a $27 million advantage that Walker had over Tom Barrett, and this sets the template for the Republicans and certainly tells the right wing in this country that, if they can outfund their opponent, they've got a real good shot at winning.
He then contended:
Scott Walker could very well be indicted in the coming days, I mean, he is definitely a challenged candidate. And this state does not have a surplus, and they were able to get that message across to a lot of people to the point where you had national media figures who were saying that the state has a surplus, so a lot of fudging going on, so to speak. And it's really surprising. But when you've got the money, and you can buy the message, you can convince a lot of people that you're on the right side of the issues, so it's going to be really a fight for the Democrats here in November. No question about it.
Schultz had begun his analysis by holding out hope that it might still take the counting of absentee votes to decide the election:
Well, in many respects, it's to be expected considering how much money was thrown at this race. You know, MSNBC is calling it for Walker. I think it's awful close, and there's a lot of absentee ballots that are still out, and it's going to be very, very close, down to the wire.
-- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center