Pivotal recall election could foreshadow November's presidential vote

POSTED: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 - 5:00pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 - 5:04pm

They lined up to vote in Wisconsin Tuesday in a recall election that's polarizing even families.

"It's difficult. My father was a teacher and we're divided," admitted voter Valerie Richter.

The recall election was sparked when teachers and other public employees were stripped of their collective bargaining rights and forced to pay more for benefits by Republican Governor Scott Walker, who said the state was going broke.

Now he's hoping to save his job.

Both parties are watching Wisconsin.

"Nationally it's going to tell us whether or not Wisconsin is part of a rebound for Republicans in the industrial Midwest," says CNBC Chief Washington Correspondent John Harwood.

Still, President Obama never came to help the Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

The president needs Wisconsin votes too badly in November to take sides this week.

He was with Bill Clinton instead, raising money in New York City.

Mitt Romney, meanwhile, was in Texas.

Both will look to Wisconsin later this evening to get a feel for how their battle is going.

Some are calling it the second most important election of 2012.

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