Walker, Barrett Debate in Wisconsin

Mark Halperin says the upcoming Scott Walker recall victory will be a blow to Democrats, who put it all on the line but haven't all stepped up for the fight.

The Republicans and conservatives around the country have been all in on this... Democrats have been more divided... It really will be a huge psychological boost for Republicans...

The two candidates met in the recall debate Friday night.

Polls show Mr. Walker, who beat Mr. Barrett in 2010, has taken a five-point lead in recent weeks as both campaigns have smothered the airwaves with negative advertising in an effort to suppress their opponents support on Election Day.

The debate Friday night echoed that bitterness with Mr. Barrett connecting nearly every question—from gay marriage to school performance to jobs—to the division that has fractured the state under Mr. Walker's tenure.

Mr. Walker defended getting rid of collective bargaining last winter as the necessary steps of a courageous politician hungry to make his state as competitive as possible. The results, he said, are lower taxes and a state budget surplus.

If he had it to do over again Mr. Walker said he would have made his case more thoroughly before taking the action that was necessary. "My problem was, I fixed it, then I talked about it," he said. "In the future, we're going to both talk about it and fix it."