Will Wisconsin Recall Its Union-Bashing Governor Tonight?

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Governor Scott Walker.Photo: Justin Sullivan/2011 Getty Images

Tonight, Wisconsin decides whether or not to cut down its big cheese. Governor Scott Walker could become the third governor in U.S. history to be recalled from office if he's defeated.

Galvanized by Walker's success in stripping most rights from public-employee unions last year, Big Labor and Democrats got more than 1 million signatures calling for a special election to recall Walker.

The exit polls are too close to tell if Walker is ahead or behind Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat, who he beat in 2010 for governor.

The election is bigger than Wisconsin, however. If organized labor fails to defeat its greatest enemy in years, more Republican governors might feel emboldened to take on the unions. In addition, a Walker win may help tilt the state into Mitt Romney's hands come November. However, early exit polls say voters would reelect Obama in a state that hasn't voted for a Republican president since Ronald Reagan's 1984 landslide.

Walker has the higher poll numbers. Barrett has the highest union turnout in eight years.

Wisconsin has everyone's attention.