He took office facing a $3 billion budget shortfall left by his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle. Since then, Walker has claimed some successes: His office projects that the state will soon show a budget surplus, after climbing out of the red.
But he has not lived up to some promises, including that his policies would create 250,000 jobs over four years. The Associated Press reported that Walker is far off that pace.
Since 2010, the GOP’s push to control government spending has lifted some of its backers to national success. Both New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.) have championed such efforts and have been mentioned as potential running mates for Romney.
But the same strategy has backfired at times. In Ohio last fall, voters rejected a proposal by Gov. John Kasich (R) to curb union bargaining rights. And in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott (R), who has tried similar ideas, has seen his popularity slip.