On Tuesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC host O'Donnell teased his show by asserting that President Obama is "the really big winner" in Wisconsin because of exit polls showing that, in spite of Republican Governor Scott Walker's win, a majority of those who voted preferred President Obama over GOP candidate Mitt Romney in the presidential race. O'Donnell: "Tonight, the really big winner in the Wisconsin recall election is President Obama."
Without noting the caveat that a significant number of voters typically do not make up their minds which candidate they will vote for until the days leading up to an election - in this case a presidential election that is still five months away - O'Donnell a bit later brought up the poll numbers in Obama's favor with guest Jon Heilemann of New York magazine. O'Donnell:
I said at the top of the show that President Obama was the big winner tonight because, in the exit polls, we saw today that they were asked "who would you vote for for President today?" Fifty-three percent in Wisconsin, 53 percent say "President Obama." Only 42 percent say Mitt Romney. That is, if not the recall outcome, that outcome for President Obama has to be very encouraging.
In the same segment, guest and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow also notably portrayed Republican Governor Scott Walker's conservative agenda as "radical" as she fretted that he would press ahead as Wisconsin governor emboldened by the recall and favorable reaction from other Republicans. Maddow: "That's every incentive for him to continue to be as radical as he's been and more."
-- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center