DINESH RAMDEMADISON, Wis. (AP) â¿¿ When Wisconsin Democrats launched their recall drive against Republican Gov. Scott Walker last year, it was all about unions. They wanted Walker to pay with his job for pushing legislation that stripped almost all public workers of nearly all their collective bargaining rights. More recently, Democrats, buoyed by fresh federal statistics that show Wisconsin's economy is still sputtering badly, have tried to transform the election into a referendum on the governor's failure to put people back to work. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and a group supporting Kathleen Falk, the two front-runners for the Democratic nomination, launched new television ads over the last three days ripping Walker for not creating jobs. "Gov. Walker has counted you out," the Falk ad proclaims. "He destroyed workers' rights, then Wisconsin's jobs." Walker has tried to meet the new attacks head-on. He is quick to tout that the state's unemployment rate stands at its lowest levels in four years and has been trumpeting even the tiniest positive job creation news. He has also asked that people be patient. "Vince Lombardi, when he took over the Green Bay Packers, the Packers were 1-10-1," said Walker, who took office in January 2011. "He didn't take them to the world championship the next year. It took a couple of years. But eventually once they got there they were one of the premiere teams in the NFL. And we can be a premiere state." Democrats began their push to boot Walker out of office in November, about eight months after he and Republicans who control the state Legislature passed a contentious law requiring public workers to contribute more to their health care and pensions and stripping nearly all of them of most union rights. Walker said the changes were needed to help balance the state budget and help local governments deal with deep cuts in state aid. Democrats saw the measure as a full-scale assault on organized labor, one of their key constituencies.