Wisconsin voters already have buyers remorse about electing Gov. Scott Walker (R).
In a PPP poll released Monday, a majority of registered Wisconsin voters say that in a hypothetical re-do of last year’s gubernatorial election, they would vote for Democrat Tom Barrett, whom Walker defeated in November. That finding comes as Walker continues to stand firm on his budget proposals that would strip most state public employees of long-held collective bargaining rights.
Fifty-two percent of respondents said they would vote for Barrett if the election were held today, while 45% said they would vote for Walker. That’s almost exactly the opposite of what happened in the election, when Walker won the governorship with 52% of the vote to Barrett’s 47%.
The huge shift comes, not surprisingly, from union members. In releasing the findings, Tom Jensen at PPP wrote:
The difference between how folks would vote now and how they voted in November can almost all be attributed to shifts within union households. Voters who are not part of union households have barely shifted at all - they report having voted for Walker by 7 points last fall and they still say they would vote for Walker by a 4 point margin. But in households where there is a union member voters now say they’d go for Barrett by a 31 point margin, up quite a bit from the 14 point advantage they report having given him in November.
The results are the latest findings to show Walker losing support as the stalemate wears on. Last week, an AFL-CIO commissioned poll showed Walker’s approval rating slipping recently. While the obvious partisan interest cast some skepticism on those results, the latest finding from PPP seems to affirm that finding, with pro-union voters quickly souring of their new governor.
Several polls over the past two weeks have also shown Americans in general, and Wisconsin residents in particular, opposing Walker’s proposed anti-union policies. A Gallup poll last week found that six in ten Americans would oppose similar proposals in their own states — and that the only the wealthiest demographic of respondents favored gutting collective bargaining rights.
Even Republican-leaning pollsters have shown Walker clearly on the wrong side of public opinion in his effort to roll back collective bargaining. A poll released by conservative Dick Morris that showed 54% of Wisconsinites opposed to the proposed changes.
The PPP poll was conducted February 24-27 among 768 registered Wisconsin voters.