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As Democrats begin gathering signatures Tuesday in hopes of holding a recall election for Gov. Scott Walker, both parties can anticipate a taxing battle to rally constituents in their favor.

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin and United Wisconsin, a political action committee, will have 60 days to collect more than 540,000 signatures, which, if obtained, would prompt a recall election of Walker.

According to UW-Madison Professor Dietram Scheufele, turn-out will be critical for both parties.

"If you can't mobilize large numbers of people ... you just aren't going to go anywhere," Scheufele said.

Walker supporters will rely on reminding the public of the "successes" he has had while in office.

"The Republican strategy has been a very smart one," Scheufele said. "The groups that support [Walker] rely much more on the idea that there is an incumbent governor that may actually be doing well."

But Democrats will need to rely on rekindling their party's fervor from the collective bargaining protests through social media and grassroots campaigning by "making sure that the people who were really angry translate that anger" into participation in the recall effort, Scheufele said.

But reminding the public of their anger will be the hardest part, he added.

"I don't really think that it's going to be as easy as people thought when the demonstrations were taking place," he said. "We're far away from that kind of mobilizing sentiment."

For this reason, Scheufele said it will be an "uphill battle."

-Jenna Bushnell

 

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