Rasmussen polled likely voters across the nation to determine whether public-sector unions have persuaded the country that Scott Walker is the love child of Hosni Mubarak and Adolf Hitler, or whether voters have sided with Walker’s attempt to break union dominance in state government. So far, it looks as though the unions have lost the public-relations battle:
A sizable number of voters are following new Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s showdown with unionized public employees in his state, and nearly half side with the governor.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters agree more with the Republican governor in his dispute with union workers. Thirty-eight percent (38%) agree more with the unionized public employees, while 14% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.) …
Thirty-eight percent (38%) of voters think teachers, firemen and policemen should be allowed to go on strike, but 49% disagree and believe they should not have that right. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.
There’s strong partisan disagreement on both questions and a wide gap between the Political Class and Mainstream voters.
Thirty-six percent (36%) of all voters say that in their state the average public employee earns more than the average private sector worker. Twenty-one percent (21%) say the government employee earns less, while 20% think their pay is about the same. Twenty-three percent (23%) are not sure.
As of Friday and Saturday, two-thirds of likely voters nationwide have followed the controversy in Wisconsin. Men were more likely to follow it (79%) than women (58%), while younger voters were the only age demographic to not have a majority following it closely (47%). Only that age demographic was more likely to agree with the unions than Governor Scott Walker (36/52), while every other age demographic had a plurality or majority siding with the governor.
No one will be shocked to find Democrats opposed to Walker’s plan, 21/68, although the opposition seems a little weak, under the circumstances. Also, no one will be surprised to see almost the mirror image among Republicans, 68/15. Independents across the nation give a strong endorsement to Walker, 56/31. Among income demographics, only those earning under $20K per year support the unions (30/54), while Walker gains a plurality or majority in every other income demographic, including a 62/27 among the $60-75K demo. Interestingly, unions only barely edge Walker among government employees, 44/46.
Nationally, then, the unions are losing the battle. It would be interesting to see a Wisconsin-only poll at this point, and I suspect one or more pollsters may already be assessing that at the moment.