Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Wisconsin isn't liking Presidential Candidate Walker

Well these numbers are quite intriguing, aren't they?
PPP's newest Wisconsin poll finds that Scott Walker's recent actions have significantly increased enthusiasm among Republicans in the state for his White House bid- but also left him well behind Hillary Clinton in a potential general election match up.

Overall only 35% of voters in Wisconsin want Walker to run for President, compared to 58% who don't think he should run. Those findings are pretty much par for the course for a Presidential candidate in their own state- voters are rarely enthusiastic about their native sons aiming for the White House.

Walker's approval numbers have also significantly dipped over the last few months though. Right before the election last fall we found him with a 49/47 approval spread. That's now dropped to 43/52. His numbers with both Democrats and Republicans are pretty much where they were four months ago. But he's seen a large decline with independents- where he was on narrowly positive ground with them before the election at a 48/45 spread, he's now dropped down to 36/57. The new right to work law is likely part of what's causing Walker problems- only 42% of voters support it, pretty much mirroring his approval rating.
The same poll asked respondents who they'd vote for in a presidential election between Walker and Hillary Clinton, and Clinton leads 52/43 in a hypothetical contest. Walker also trails Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, albeit by only 3 points each (48-45 against both).

The more interesting part about the Walker-Clinton matchup is that it's the only matchup that PPP tested which had Hillary over the crucial 50% figure.
Clinton is strong against the entire Republican field in Wisconsin. There's not much evidence from anything in this poll that she's facing any real backlash over the controversy related to her e-mails. The GOP hopeful who comes closest to Clinton in the state is Rand Paul who's still 6 points behind at 48/42. Mike Huckabee trails by 7 at 47/40, Rick Perry and Marco Rubio lag by 8 at 48/40, Chris Christie joins Walker in being down by 9 at 48/39, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz have a 10 point deficit at 49/39, and Ben Carson's 11 point gap is the greatest at 49/38.
What this tells you is that more voters asked in the poll weren't sure about what to think of a matchup with Clinton among other potential GOP candidates, but many more DO know Scott Walker, and they don't want to vote for him.

And lest you think this is an overly slanted poll for Dems, given that many primary-level voters were asked, meaning that there were more liberals and conservatives compared to moderates than what you would find in a presidential election, check out this cross-tab, which is on Page 8 of PPP's report.

Walker approval-disapproval rating, PPP poll March 2015
Very liberal 12-86
Somewhat liberal 8-87
moderate 26-67
somewhat conservative 74-22
very conservative 85-12

That's right, 2/3 of moderates disapprove of Walker's performance these days. That same group would also vote 64-26 for Hillary Clinton over Walker, and disapproved of right-to- work-for-less legislation by a 2-1 margin. And moderates typically make up around 40% or more of the presidential electorate in Wisconsin, which would reduce both liberals and conservatives in PPP's sample. Given that Walker's 26% approval rating among moderates is less than his 43% approval overall, it is reasonable to think Walker's approval with the general electorate would be even lower.

What we're finding is that as more low-info and moderate voters realize Scott Walker played them for suckers in the November 2014 election, and is using the people of Wisconsin as lab rats while he passes extreme legislation he did not run on, they don't appreciate it. And they'll probably hate it even more as the state's lagging job growth, questionable policies on health care, and cruel, arbitrary budget cuts cause even more damage to the state. Hmmm, maybe the Wisconsin Dems should have based their campaign on "Scott Walker doesn't give a shit about you or Wisconsin and is hurting this state", instead of....whatever central message they based their 2014 campaign on.

In fact, it seems that the more that he acts like GOP presidential candidate Scott Walker and less like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, more people in Wisconsin come to the realization that he is bad news, and dislike him (to which I say "WELCOME TO THE PARTY PAL!")

So let me offer some free advice to the Walker 2016 campaign. It seems that you're ticking off Wisconsinites by the day, as you pass legislation geared toward impressing the bubble-worlders and bigots that make up the GOP primary crowd. In fact, you won't be able to win Wisconsin if you continue on this path, and Dems winning the state by 10 points would likely flip the State Senate and put the gerrymandered State Assembly in play. If you want to be the GOP's presidential candidate in 2016 and have any chance of winning your home state, while keeping the Wisconsin GOP in power in the Legislature, there seems to be one clear option.

RESIGN AS GOVERNOR. It's not like you're actually doing your taxpayer-funded job these days to begin with.


  1. Yup, Clinton v. Walker is the only matchup where virtually everyone has an opinion about both of them.

    Warren and Biden's narrower 3 point leads over Walker are partly due to not sewing up the Dem vote as tightly and losing a few Republicans compared to Clinton, but also that more Dems are withholding judgement. So while Clinton is undoubtedly the strongest candidate right now, the other two Dems tested aren't really as far behind as the contrast with Clinton's 9 point lead suggests.

    Also note that the "how did you vote in 2012?" question gave Obama+6 in this sample while the result was Obama+7; also this is a D+2 sample while 2012 was D+4 and 2008 was D+6. So it's actually a touch more Republican-leaning than 2012.

  2. Will he or won't he . . . Pull a Palin?

    1. More money in pulling a Palin, that's for sure.

      Geoff- Biden and Warren aren't assumed to be running, so many people haven't tuned into thinking about them too much. I usually think matchup polls in general don't have a lot of use UNLESS both candidates are known quantities. This is the case here with Walker-Clinton, and is the case with the Feingold-Johnson poll that came out today which showed Russ up 9 points (in a poll taken before (mo)Ron was revealed as one of the 47 traitorous GOP Senators).

  3. I think the only way Walker can win Wisconsin is if he gets the legislature to change the way the electoral college votes are awarded. They will change the system from winner takes all to simply winning the congressional district.

    An added bonus to gerrymandering.

    1. Can't see that scenario playing out- mostly because it would be an admission by the WisGOP Legislature that they can't win the state straight-out. And if they even try it, it would lead to recalls and lawsuits for being such a blatantly one-sided and BS move.

    2. I think that you are assuming that they will behave like rational adults.

      Have they ever done that since they have been in power?

      They don't admit any guilt or failure. They would do this because they are only trying to give the people a voice; they are following Maine and Nebraska... BS is what they do. They don't care about lawsuits, they only care about winning. The money to pay for the lawsuits is not coming out of their pockets, paid for by the taxpayers. They don't act responsibly with public money.

    3. I'm saying that they won't try this BECAUSE they're arrogant and irrational. They think they can win (or steal) presidential elections in Wisconsin, just like how Romney thought he was going to be elected President all the way to Election Night.

      The stealing and vote-suppression is what we need to look out for, although that poll shows none of it will matter if Walker is the GOP candidate-he'd get his ass kicked regardless