But other voters at a Milwaukee polling station on Lake Michigan said Walker deserved praise -- not scorn -- for his bold actions. Walker's decision to address Wisconsin's $3.6 billion budget deficit by slashing spending on government workers has helped improve the state's shortfall. Walker's office now projects a balance of $154 million by the end of the 2013 fiscal year. The state's unemployment rate dropped from 7.7 percent in January 2011 to 6.7 percent in April 2012.
"Change is what we need," said Paul Sohn, a salesman. "Taxes are going in the right direction. My property taxes in this neighborhood are out of control: 12 grand a year for a pretty limited property. He's changing things so we need that around here."
"It's tough," he added. "I mean, my income is down, my income is down 30 to 40 percent. I work in the private sector. It's tough for everybody. Everybody's dealing with it. You're working in the government, you're working in the private sector. Incomes are down. We're all dealing with it."
Sean McCormack was another voter who supported Walker and argued that the governor deserved the chance to see out his full first term in office.
"He hasn't been given a chance. I approve of all his measures he's put into place as far as fixing things. You know, his track record to this point has been great. I see nothing but good things for Wisconsin in the future," McCormack said. "I'm a little disappointed with, you know, with the blow back he's received ... from the other side of the political spectrum. I think he needs a longer chance."
"There were different ways to, you know, balance the budget. He inherited a difficult situation," McCormack said.
Despite the perceived ramifications for November, neither Obama nor Romney campaigned in Wisconsin for Walker and Barrett. Instead, high-profile Republican Govs. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Chris Christie of New Jersey and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana stumped for Walker, while former President Clinton appeared at a rally for Barrett last Friday in Milwaukee. On Election Day, Obama sent a blast email to supporters praising the mayor.
"Tom has spent his career fighting for economic security and fairness for middle-class families," Obama wrote. "He's been a dedicated congressman and a great mayor, and he would make an outstanding governor for Wisconsin."
However, the White House repeatedly faced questions about its decision not to help Barrett in the recall battle. On Tuesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that the race could not be seen as a barometer of what is to come this fall, noting Walker's hefty fundraising advantage: Total spending topped $62 million, and Walker accounted for almost half of that.
"A race where one side is outspending the other by a ratio of at least eight to one probably won't tell us about a future race," Carney said.