UPDATE No. 2: Scott Walker just gave his victory speech to a cheering crowd, in what felt like a little more than the average victory speech.
“Voters really do want leaders who stand up and make the tough decisions,” Walker said of the recall election’s implications.
He added: “Now it is time to move forward in Wisconsin.”
Walker said he spoke with challenger Tom Barrett. The crowd booed. He told them, “No, the election is over,” and said he was committed to working with Barrett starting on Wednesday.
“I believe there is more that unites us than divides us,” Walker said.
FIRST UPDATE: Tom Barrett has conceded.
“Please, please, please, remain engaged and remain involved,” Barrett told supporters in a speech in Milwaukee. “We will continue to fight.”
“As I traveled the state over the past couple months, I was simply amazed at the excitement.”
Republican Gov. Scott Walker has prevailed in the recall election to unseat him in Wisconsin, multiple outlets are projecting. He defeated challenger Tom Barrett.
Rebecca Kleefisch, Wisconsin’s lieutenant governor, has also beaten her challenger in that recall election.
In doing so, Walker becomes the first governor in U.S. history to prevail over a recall challenge. Two other governors — California’s grey Davis in 2003 and North Dakota’s Lynn Frazier in 1921 — were unseated.
Democrats can take one positive sign away from the recall race. According to CNN exit polls, President Barack Obama still holds a commanding lead in the presidential race in Wisconsin. He beat Mitt Romney 54 per cent to 42 per cent.
Romney, though, issued a statement saying that “tonight’s results will echo beyond the borders of Wisconsin.”
“Tonight voters said ‘no’ to the tired, liberal ideas of yesterday, and ‘yes’ to fiscal responsibility and a new direction. I look forward to working with Governor Walker to help build a better, brighter future for all Americans,” Romney said.
Reince Priebus, the chair of the Republican National Committee and a Wisconsin native, offered a congratulations to Walker on Twitter.
“Liberty and freedom won tonight,” a gleeful Priebus added on Fox News later tonight. “… Liberty and freedom overpower big union money.”
Later, when host Greta van Susteren asked him if it could be a referendum for Obama in the presidential election, Priebus said, “You bet it’s a sign for November.”
Amy Kremer, Chairman of the Tea Party Express, said in a statement that Walker’s win “truly speaks to the strength of the tea party moment.”
“The victories just keep rolling in, and the victory tonight over these frivolous recalls emphasise the tea party tidal wave that is sweeping across our nation,” Kremer said. “Governor Walker’s and Lieutenant Governor Kleefisch’s policies embody the foundational principles of the tea party.”
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.