First WI poll shows Walker losing ground, but …

posted at 8:48 am on February 22, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, while discussing the results of Rasmussen’s national poll on the controversy in Wisconsin, I wondered why we had yet to see any statewide polling on it, and predicted that at least one pollster was already in the field with a survey by now.  Today, Politico publishes what appears to be the first poll of Wisconsin voters taken since the protests started in Madison, and the news isn’t good for Republican Governor  Scott Walker.  However, this poll has a couple of serious issues.  Let’s see if readers can’t figure what they may be by the introduction to the results from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research:

Voters in Wisconsin strongly agree with the working families at the state capitol [sic] and oppose Governor Scott Walker’s anti-worker agenda.  Moreover, since the protests began, Governor Walker has seen real erosion in his standing, with a majority expressing disapproval of his job performance and disagreement with his agenda.  Strong majorities disagree with eliminating collective bargaining for public employees and believe that if workers agree to concessions on pensions and healthcare benefits that the Governor should drop his plan to eliminate collective bargaining.

“Working families at the state capital”; “anti-worker.”  Any guess who funded this particular survey?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?  From Politico’s e-mail bulletin:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker appears to be paying a price for his confrontation with public employees, according to a new poll taken by the Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and sponsored by the AFL-CIO, Change to Win and the NEA.

How surprising to see a poll sponsored by two big unions and a progressive political action group that shows Republicans as unpopular!

That’s not the only problem with this survey, which actually appears to be an amalgam of two surveys of likely voters.  The first took place between 2/16 to 2/20 and had a sample of 604 voters, and the second took place on 2/19 and 2/20 with a sample of 402 voters.  Why did GQR do a second survey over the weekend?  Did they not get the numbers they wanted from the first survey?  The first sample of 602 voters would be sufficient for a statewide poll, so why conduct another and incur the extra cost?  Notably, weekend surveys get less cooperation than those conducted on weekdays as a rule.  The survey doesn’t split the results by sample, either, so there is no way to determine how the overall results changed by conducting a second pass.

For that matter, the GQR survey doesn’t give any data on sample composition, either.  What ratio of Democrats, Republicans, and independents exists in the combined sample?  In the separate samples?  How many union households responded as opposed to non-union households?  Since there are around 300,000 public-sector union members in Wisconsin in a population of 5.5 million, anything over 6% union response would seem suspicious. GQR didn’t bother to report that data.

The results are unreliable, but here they are for the record:

Overall, a majority (51 percent) of Wisconsin voters disapprove of Walker’s job performance and give him net negative favorability ratings (39 percent favorable, 49 percent unfavorable).  In contrast, 62 percent of voters offer a favorable view of public employees (only 11 percent unfavorable) and 53 percent of voters rate labor unions favorably (31 percent unfavorable).  When asked if they agree or disagree with the position different groups and individuals are taking in the current situation, voters side with the public employees (67 percent agree), the protesters (62 percent agree), the unions (59 percent agree), and the Democrats in the state legislature (56 percent agree).  In contrast, 53 percent disagree with Walker and 46 percent disagree with the Republicans in the legislature.

Walker doesn’t appear fazed at all by the union poll.  Indeed, he’s standing his ground, and expects to win:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker continued to stand his ground Monday night, challenging the 14 Democratic senators who have fled to Illinois to return to “where they belong” so Republicans can move forward with his budget-cutting plan.

Over the chants of “Resign! Resign!” heard through the marble walls of the governor’s conference room from protesters in the rotunda mere yards away, Walker calmly delivered a defense of his controversial plan to eliminate the collective bargaining rights of many of Wisconsin’s public workers. He reiterated the need to balance the budget, weighed down by a deficit of more than $3 billion.

And he accused his state’s Democrats of shirking their responsibilities and being opaque in the process.

“For those 14 Senate Democrats, you had your time, now it’s time to come home,” Walker said at a news conference, adding that he knew his political foes would be watching. “Clearly I don’t think you could find a single person, at least in the state of Wisconsin, who couldn’t tell you they’re aware of what’s going on with this bill, or what the debate’s all about. The time is up. It’s time to come back to our state’s capitol – that’s where they belong.

We’re still waiting for a reliable statewide poll from an independent view.


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Comment pages: 1 2

bifidis on February 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Maybe you can explain why it’s all so important that the Workers are forced to join the Union.

Shouldn’t they be allowed the Liberty of choosing whether to join or not?

Chip on February 22, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Maybe you can explain why it’s all so important that the Workers are forced to join the Union.

Shouldn’t they be allowed the Liberty of choosing whether to join or not?

Chip on February 22, 2011 at 11:26 AM

I’ll do that after you explain how Mr. Scotty is going to create a single decent job.

bifidis on February 22, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Stay strong, Walker!! Turn up the heat by passing the bills you couldn’t before — Voter ID at the polls for starters. Call it the “Local Voter Rights Act” to ensure there’s no fraud that destroys your vote. How about a Right to Work Act that makes it a choice, not a mandate, to be part of a public employee Union? Lots more ideas, pass ‘em, make ‘em squirm and ALSO make them understand that what they are doing is destructive to democracy.

EasyEight on February 22, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Maybe you can explain why it’s all so important that the Workers are forced to join the Union.

Shouldn’t they be allowed the Liberty of choosing whether to join or not?

Chip on February 22, 2011 at 11:26 AM

I’ll do that after you explain how Mr. Scotty is going to create a single decent job.

bifidis on February 22, 2011 at 11:30 AM

That isn’t his job, so now why don’t you explain to all of us why you so-called ‘liberals’ are now anti-choice.

Chip on February 22, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Would it help if I put that all in Bold:

Explain to all of us why you so-called ‘liberals’ are now anti-choice.

Chip on February 22, 2011 at 11:39 AM

I’ll do that after you explain how Mr. Scotty is going to create a single decent job.

bifidis on February 22, 2011 at 11:30 AM

He’s trying to keep the jobs of the unions. If the bill isn’t passed up to 12,000 public sector employees will be layed off or let go.

It’s the democrats who apparently don’t care about jobs. They’re willing to see 12,000 lose their jobs just so the union can retain total control.

darwin on February 22, 2011 at 11:40 AM

The poll results above suggests the opposite.

bifidis on February 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Which Education College did you graduate from?

MNHawk on February 22, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research

As in Mr. Rosa DeLauro? As the say on Mythbusters, “well, there’s your problem”.

jnelchef on February 22, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Bifidis, it is NOT the job of elected officials in government to “create jobs”. It is THEIR job to ensure that the governing environment is not HOSTILE to a business environment so entrepreneurs can create REAL JOBS. If WI had a hostile and expensive environment to attract or retain businesses jobs in the state, then the governor had to change that environment. It sounds like he did, since the public unions are whining about his corporate tax restructuring.

Frankly, I think he should abolish all public eduction, issue vouchers for all students to select their own schools. Allow the private sector to create the schools that will foster a better learning environment than the monopolistic, poorly run public schools. This is a win win for the taxpayer and the students. The good teachers will get the better paying jobs, the bad teachers won’t keep a lifetime job, and the taxpayer is free of lifetime legacy costs since the teachers will now be in the private sector, with the equivalent benefits and pensions of the private sector.

karenhasfreedom on February 22, 2011 at 12:00 PM

I’ll do that after you explain how Mr. Scotty is going to create a single decent job.

bifidis on February 22, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Gov’t doesn’t create jobs. All gov’t can do is get in the way.

Monkeytoe on February 22, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Senator Martha Coakley’s election was predicted by “polls” such as this.

wraithby on February 22, 2011 at 12:18 PM

there’s one “poll” that is seldom talked about. The Herbert Kohl (D-WI) poll. He’s up for re-elect in 12. His time to shine? and express solidarity with the “Workers”…his “Voters”….hmmmm, not so much. One small statement on his website hoping that this can be resolved respectfully.

r keller on February 22, 2011 at 12:52 PM

OT: rahmie being coronated today…

yippee

/

cmsinaz on February 22, 2011 at 1:10 PM

OT: rahmie being coronated today…

cmsinaz on February 22, 2011 at 1:10 PM

A Chicago radio station called the race last week.

Fallon on February 22, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Tony Manero (‘Saturday Night Fever-speaking to his boss at the hardware store) .”F–k the future.”
“No Tony, you don’t f–k the. The future f–ks you…”

Unfortunately, in the Wisconsin standoff, the Democrats are carrying a couple of trump cards. They have NOW (that’s the “present” (not some women’s group) )whereas the Republicans are the caretakers of the FUTURE. With impatient, hedonistic people (as Americans are known to be) NOW often trumps the FUTURE But the Democrats have a second trump card- the Democrats historically are as tenacious as bulldogs whereas the more cowardly Republicans duck their heads and quit (or “compromise”) under pressure.

Let’s hope, that in Wisconsin’s case, that, for once, the Republicans triumph or else the future really will f–k us-and not just in Wisconsin.

MaiDee on February 22, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Walker doesn’t appear fazed at all by the union poll. Indeed, he’s standing his ground, and expects to win:

An oak tree is a nut which stood its ground.

Schadenfreude on February 22, 2011 at 1:52 PM

The poll results above suggests suggest the opposite.

bifidis on February 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM

bifidis on February 22, 2011 at 11:23 AM

You suggest prove again, how gnat-light your brain cells are.

Schadenfreude on February 22, 2011 at 1:55 PM

I’ll do that after you explain how Mr. Scotty is going to create a single decent job.

bifidis on February 22, 2011 at 11:30 AM

I thought the bar was at saved or created theses days!

Axeman on February 22, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Public Service Unions should not be tolerated.

SC.Charlie on February 22, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Poll smoll!

MCGIRV on February 22, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Video linked: ‘Sights and Sounds in Madison’.

Donald Douglas on February 22, 2011 at 3:54 PM

Comment pages: 1 2