NewsNation | March 30, 2012
>> of wisconsin as the president is in vermont, it seem the republican presidential contest is taking a back seat to the recall election of scott walker , the governor of that state. look at this new nbc news marrist poll. more than half the voters are more interested in the recall election . only 37% are more closely watching the gop race. let me bring in our "news nation" panel. we mentioned the president is at the university of vermont there. we heard him give the laundry list of the accomplishments of his administration there. as we continue to keep an eye on that event, i wanted to show you this new marrist poll pole. it shows the president defeating romney 52-35. what do you make of these numbers?
>> wisconsin has been democratically leaning so it is not surprising it might start out this time. there has been at love partisan politics . it it is interesting to see the president would have a lead there. look, romney and santorum will both get a chance to own the state over the next couple days. i think that has been both good and bad for republicans in a lot of these swing states when they've campaigned. they've been in ohio and michigan. and it gives votearies chance to see them. they get to run the field when that primary happens. whether those messages that they're debating will resonate or not, look at those numbers. you have to ask. we'll find out for sure in a few more months.
>> it is interesting. this poll shows that in wisconsin , more republicans are interested in the recall of scott walker than they are with the primary where mitt romney has a nice little lead over santorum right now. what do you make of that?
>> i think there's been so much attention paid to governor walker and i mean, think about it. last year was not exactly his best year despite getting elected.
>> i think he would agree with you.
>> absolutely. but his number, he is at 48-48 for re-elect. i think there is a bigger number here. if you dive into the nbc marist poll. 52% think the worst is behind us i.e. the economy. unemployment is below 7% in the state. it is really good, or at least most of the country. the other thing that is very important is the gender gap . that's a 25% differential between romney and the president. if women are out there in force voting. these women are teachers, they're nurses, et cetera , et cetera . that is going to be in my opinion, very, very bad for republicans in the fall. that's seven months away. a lot can change. and don't forget that barack obama almost won with 60% in that state.
>> but we know again, the dynamics of the state, certainly, and this heated rhetoric. there was a reference to scott walker being the most polarizing or divisive governor someone said, ever. another person said in recent memory. we can go back and forth on that. nevertheless, a lot of eyes outside of wisconsin are looking in to see what that. even scott walker when he's made the rounds on fox news and other conservative outlets, he has pointed out that all of these outside voices have come in, he says, to get him.
>> well, sure. there is been a lot of outside attention. you can say he brought it on himself, perhaps. there is been a lot of outside attention that has come into the state. it will come in in the next couple days. in another circumstance, the governor, that could be something they would want. in this case you've seen both bases nationwide. both the republican base that opposes what he's been doing and the labor unions on the other side, really mobilized by this. i think we've seen a pretty big change dynamic cynic 2010 when it all first began.
>> and jimmy, two endorsements we've been about for mitt romney . he will be with paul ryan today. we know what happened with the former president, georgia h.w. bush. he references one of my favorite country singers of all time, kenny rogers , the gambler. let me play the former president.
>> i do think a party to get behind governor romney and she was reminding me, kenny rogers singing, time when to hold them, time when to fold them. i think it is time for people to all get behind this good man.
>> as in people, he means rick santorum . because gingrich is pretty much done.
>> i think we are seeing a major coalescing. i'm not sure that's a word, around team romney and the candidate. if romney limps out of wisconsin with only a four or five-point lead, and that poll only has him up by seven or eight, right? so if he only limps out of wisconsin with another win, a win is a win but not a solid 10-point, 11-point win, is he going to be the nominee? yes. will there be more endorsements like the paul ryans of the world, that ones that actually matter? yes. i think the conservative base is not fired up about the guy. i think jimmy is great and he's a visionary. we can all see that. there is nothing new here. that the conservative base in that party is not, quote, crazy about mitt romney . whether he limps in. he scoots in order gets it by a nose. his goal is to get that nomination. and it appears after tuesday.
>> he appears to be on track. they've been talking about math the last couple weeks. how exciting is that? isn't just wisconsin . it is also d.c. and maryland. and i expect when you add the three of them up, you're going to see he has won the night pretty handily. then you look to the next set of races on the 24th and they are also in the northeast. this is a region that romney is expected to do very well in. his kinds of republicans. i think you have to look to may that santorum is expected to do well in or win outright, you will have a lot of people saying it is romney 's and that will be tough to overcome.
>> have a great weekend.