As Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker enjoys a more confident position with the release of new jobs and poll numbers, some on the left are backing away from the import of the outcome of his recall race.

Two new polls released Thursday reveal that Governor Walker (R) leads Mayor Barrett (D) by margins of 5 and 8 percentage points:

St. Norbert College/Wisconsin Public Radio (5/17-22)
Scott Walker (R) 50%
Tom Barrett (D) 45%
Not sure 5%

Reason-Rupe poll by ORC International (5/14-18)
Scott Walker (R) 50%
Tom Barrett (D) 42%
Don’t Know 6%
Refused 3%

The Progressive, “an American monthly magazine of politics, culture, and progressivism,” proclaimed Thursday that what really matters isn’t the Walker race, but, as they term it, “the other big Wisconsin recall race”: senate Republican leader Scott Fitzgerald vs. his challenger Lori Compas. Fitzgerald is one of four state senators facing recall in Wisconsin:

More than the Walker-Barrett election, Compas’s bid to unseat Fitzgerald, whom conventional political wisdom deemed “untouchable,” will be the true measure of whether or not the power of people’s organization can defeat the power of money in politics on a post-Citizens United playing field.

So, according to The Progressive, whose editor Ruth Conniff won an award for their from Madison Magazine for her coverage of the Walker recall, the true bellwether for the union v. citizen matchup will be the (heretofore nationally obscure) Fitzgerald v. Compas race.

Wednesday, The Cap Times (“Your Progressive Voice”) published an editorial endorsing Lori Compas, who is busy boasting about her fundraising skills as her cause is taken up by the progressive left and the hashtag #loriVfitz makes its way to twitter. Is the left, dismayed by recent poll numbers, taking out an insurance policy by playing up the Fitzgerald v. Compas race? (Learn more about State Senator Scott Fitzgerald here.)

The New York Times‘s Nate Silver, reporting on Thursday’s poll numbers, exhausts possible scenarios regarding Walker’s impact on the Wisconsin economy. Ultimately he concludes that Walker is “likely to survive a recall election on June 5” but finds a silver lining in what that might mean for Obama:

Such a result will undoubtedly be disheartening to Democrats, although they should remember that an embattled incumbent of their own, President Obama, will be running for re-election in a similarly divided electorate with similarly mixed economic data.

Gloom and doom….and dissembling on the left as the unseating of Walker moves to shakier ground.