After Wisconsin recall, both President Obama and Mitt Romney claim momentum

The Obama and Romney campaigns have drawn conflicting conclusions from Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s recall election victory Tuesday, with both sides claiming momentum.

In an e-mail to reporters Wednesday morning, Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg called the 11-point win by Walker, a Republican, “just one more example of how people across the country are continuing to reject the Obama agenda.”

Henneberg went on to note that Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said last week that the Wisconsin recall election had “given the Obama for America operation an opportunity to do the dry run we need of our massive, significant dynamic grassroots presidential campaign.”

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The failure of Tuesday’s “dry run” means that Wisconsin is “a state that the Obama campaign is now forced to defend,” Henneberg argued, even though no GOP presidential candidate has won the state since Ronald Reagan in 1984.

The Obama campaign countered by praising the grassroots efforts of Wisconsin Democrats forced to contend with massive outside spending.

“It is a testament to all of those individuals who talked to their friends, neighbors, and colleagues about the stakes in this election of how close this contest was,” Obama campaign spokesman Tripp Wellde said. “The power of Wisconsin’s progressive, grassroots tradition was clearly on display throughout the run up to this election, and we will continue to work together to ensure a brighter future for Wisconsin’s middle class.”

An exit poll conducted by MSNBC showed President Obama leading Mitt Romney in Wisconsin, 51 percent to 44 percent.

Thirty-six percent of voters said their personal financial situations have gotten worse in the last two years, almost twice as many as said their finances have improved. But Romney, running as the elixir for an ailing economy, trailed the president, 42-38, on a question about who would do a better job improving the economy.