I think we can call this a consensus, at least on a national basis:
Half of America’s voters favor public sector unions for government workers, but they strongly oppose the tactic by Wisconsin state senators to flee their state to prevent a vote that would limit the rights of such unions.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that only 25% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of this tactic, while 67% disapprove. State legislators in Indiana have used the same approach to avoid a vote in their state. …
Sizable majorities of Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major party reject such a strategy. Democrats are fairly evenly divided, with 48% approving and 44% disapproving.
I’ll note for the record again that Ramussen polled nationally on this question, not just in Wisconsin. It’s possible, although unlikely, that the Wisconsin fleebaggers have better support for their unprecedented tactic of leaving the state rather than debate the bill. So far, we have not seen a reliable, independent poll of Wisconsin voters, and it’s starting to get a little curious as to why that is. For instance, Survey USA does polls mainly for local and regional media outlets, but their last poll was two days ago for WABC in New York City on … Facebook usage. Their second-most recent poll was from eight days ago, in Los Angeles, on … book reading. Wisconsin media outlets should note that Survey USA is very, very available these days, and so are most other independent pollsters.
The national basis matters, though, as it appeared that Democrats might use fleebagging as a national strategy. They tried it briefly in Indiana, and seemed to be leaning that way in Ohio as well. The Rasmussen results should sober them up quickly. Despite the overall sympathy for PEUs in general, almost every demographic in this survey deeply opposed the fleebagging tactic:
- Men: 22/72
- Women: 28/62 (while supporting PEUs 57/38)
- 18-24 YO: 16/84 (!)
- Black voters: 29/50
- Independents: 27/70
- Moderates: 31/60
- Liberals: 37/58
- Under $20K income: 21/68
Even the government employees in the survey opposed the tactic by almost 2-1, 36/61. Only the “political class” (55/45) and Democrats (48/44) supported the tactic. If Democrats adopt this as a strategy throughout 2011, then 2012 will look a lot like 2010.
Update: The first independent state poll conducted in Wisconsin shows that the public is evenly split on the budget-repair bill:
The poll of 500 likely voters, which was conducted on Monday, Feb.21, showed 50 percent had a “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” opinion of Walker’s bill, while the same percentage had a “somewhat favorable” or “very unfavorable” opinion.
Similarly, 49 percent of those polled had a “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” opinion of the protesters, with 48 percent ”somewhat unfavorable” or “very unfavorable,” and 3 percent undecided.
Forty-seven percent say they will support the recall of Fleebaggers, and more than two-thirds think Barack Obama should focus on his own budget issues rather than Wisconsin’s. The poll does not give any sample data, but Walker voters only had a single-point lead over those who voted for his opponent; Walker won by six points. That seems to indicate that Democrats were oversampled, but the overall outcome looks pretty good for Walker. He got more credit than “lawmakers in Washington” for tackling budget issues, 46/33. Looks like the Fleebaggers miscalculated.