(CNN) – The bar is set high for Wisconsin Democrats seeking the recall of first-term Republican Governor Scott Walker. But while successful recalls on the state level are exceedingly rare, Democratic officials are optimistic.
The recall effort, which was announced Monday on the Wisconsin Democratic Party's website by party chair Mike Tate, will officially begin on November 15th, with the circulation of a recall petition.
Once that petition is filed, the party will have only 60 days to gather the necessary signatures, at least 540,208 of them according to Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board. This number is equal to one quarter of the number of votes cast for governor in the previous election.
Despite the challenge that this effort will pose to Democratic activists, Tate seemed confident about the petitions prospects on Monday night, telling MSNBC's Ed Schultz that his party is aiming to significantly exceed the required number and collect over 600,000 signatures.
Said Tate: "we are putting together the resources, the team, the staff, the volunteers that we need to collect signatures from every single corner of Wisconsin."
Tate further remarked that Walker is "universally unpopular" and that he represents a "radical agenda."
Walker's administration gained national attention earlier this year when he, along with Republican legislators, pushed forward a bill to cut state workers' collective bargaining rights. That bill was signed into law in March, following weeks of protests at the state capitol building in Madison.
There has been a wave of attempted recalls in the Wisconsin legislature over the past year, but this would be the first time in Wisconsin's history that a governor has faced recall.
In fact, there have only been two successful gubernatorial recalls in United States history, that of California Governor Gray Davis in 2003 and that of North Dakota Governor Lynn Frazier in 1921.
While recalls at the state level are rare, a July poll by the University Wisconsin Survey Center noted a 59 percent disapproval rating for the Governor. Democrats therefore believe that they can gather the required number of petition signatures.
According to Kenneth Goldstein, president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, a successful ouster of the governor would rely on many unpredictable factors, but it's "less hard to predict that they'll get the numbers."
The more difficult battle will begin once those signatures are approved, and the state holds a recall election, which could be as early as next spring. According to Goldstein, both sides will be well financed in that election.
The Republican Party of Wisconsin's executive director, Stephan Thompson, welcomed the recall in a written statement saying: "We welcome and encourage a comparison between the positive results we're seeing around the state and the failed policies of the past favored by those seeking a recall."
CNN affiliate WKBT quoted Governor Walker Tuesday as saying: "From our standpoint, our only campaign we're focused on is helping the private sector in the state create 250,000 jobs. What others are working about, whether cynics might be involved, really is not as much of a factor as what we're doing to help people in La Crosse and all across the state create more jobs."