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Will Wisconsin's Finances Crush Walker's Presidential Dreams?

Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, speaks at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa, Florida, U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012.

Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, speaks at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa, Florida, U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has his eye on the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, and as he tries to boost his national poll numbers, there are numbers at home that also bear watching -- his state’s finances.

Tax cuts and Medicaid spending are contributing to a projected budget deficit that may reach $2.2 billion in the two-year period starting in July 2015, according to his administration’s analysts. While Walker aides call the projections premature, Democrats say the figures prove the governor’s policies -- especially income and property-tax reductions -- turned a $517 million surplus at the end of June into a shortfall.