A grim follow-up to yesterday’s grim poll on opposition to his collective bargaining bill. Even more painful than the raw numbers is the fact that it’s soft support among Republicans that’s killing him.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Wisconsin Voters finds that just 34% Strongly Approve of the job he is doing, while 48% Strongly Disapprove. Overall, including those who somewhat approve or disapprove, the new Republican governor earns positive reviews from 43% and negative reviews from 57% of voters statewide…
Seventy-three percent (73%) of Wisconsin Republicans approve of the job Walker is doing. Eighty-nine percent (89%) of the state’s Democrats and 56% of voters not affiliated with either of the major parties disapprove.
Among those who voted for Walker last November, 77% approve of his performance, with 67% who Strongly Approve. As for those who voted for his Democratic opponent, Tom Barrett, 93% disapprove of how Walker is governing, including 88% who Strongly Disapprove.
He won in November with 52 percent of the vote. Per the blockquote, a majority of indies now disapprove of him, but never mind that: If Walker’s approval among Republicans was the same as his disapproval among Democrats, he’d be up near 50 percent. As it is, his rating among likely voters in Wisconsin is lower than the Unicorn Prince’s job approval among adults nationwide. Gulp.
From what I’ve seen of him, this won’t shake him a bit. Will it shake Senate Republicans? Stephen Moore has a reminder at the Journal this afternoon that all it would take to kill the bill is for three of them to go wobbly. One, Dale Schultz, has been pushing to make the bill a temporary two-year fix and pointedly didn’t attend the GOP “unity” rally a few days ago, so he’s already a lost cause. But the other 18 senators did attend, which makes me think we’re well past the point of no return here. Besides, what would they gain by caving? It would enrage Republicans, energize Democrats, and encourage unions. Maybe the recall petitions against them would be dropped, but even that’s not guaranteed: When asked about it a few days ago, the head of the Wisconsin Democratic Party refused to promise that they’d end the recall effort in exchange for killing the bill.
Worst of all, to cave now would be to appease the obstructionist fleebagging Democrats for delaying the vote. There’s no doubt the bill would have passed weeks ago had they not skipped town; to switch now would be to reward them for doing so. Come to think of it, the most painful thing about this poll isn’t the GOP data, it’s the fact that the fugitive Dems probably did do some damage to Walker politically by buying time for protesters to sway public opinion with their “drum circle for freedom” shtick in the Capitol. Republican caucuses in other states with quirky quorum rules like Wisconsin’s must, must retaliate for that the next time they have an opportunity. If the Democrats want to mainstream this tactic, that’s fine. From now on, whenever a blue state pushes a bill to raise spending — or better yet, to give away more goodies to their crooked PEU cronies and the union shills cheering them on in the White House — just skip town. Scram. Say you’re doing it to protect taxpayers and point to the original fleebaggers in Madison as inspiration. Quid pro quo.
Update: I’m skeptical, but lefty Greg Sargent points to this local news report claiming that no fewer than four Republican senators are wavering on the collective bargaining bill. Hey, guys? If you’re worried about the liberal recall efforts against you, wait until you see the conservative efforts if you end up caving.
Sargent also cites the Moore story I linked above, but there’s actually no hard evidence in that piece of anyone rethinking his or her position. It simply says that conservatives in the state are nervous, which may just be an artifact of the recent polling. Frankly, the piece reads more like a signal aimed at grassroots righties to rally behind Senate Republicans than a genuine alarm bell.