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1219, 17 Apr 15

Walker’s Support Slipping Among Wisconsin Conservatives

That’s how I read this poll.

Walker’s job approval has fallen to 41%, with 56% disapproving, according to the latestMarquette Law School poll, which has been Wisconsin’s leading survey. That’s the lowest approval figure for Walker in several years of Marquette’s surveys.

The approval numbers for Walker have been very consistent since 2011. He has had rock-solid support among conservatives and a high percentage of Republicans. H has also had rock-solid opposition from the liberals and most Democrats. The middle ground has only been about 7 or 8 percent of the population. Given that nothing has happened that indicates that Walker has pulled any additional support from the liberal factions of Wisconsin’s electorate, the fact that his support has fallen to 41% indicates that there is erosion in the heretofore “rock solid” conservative factions of the electorate.


As one of those conservatives, it is apparent to me. Walker’s wrong-headed decision on the Kenosha casino; his support for a big borrowing plan for the Bucks arena; his inattentiveness to advocating for the conservative elements of his budget proposal; his MIA status on the UW tuition increase; etc… I still strongly support Walker, but not as strongly as I did a year ago. I suspect that a lot of conservatives are of the same mindset. Those former Walker supporters who aren’t as conservative as me are the ones falling into the disapproval category of this poll.

I suspect that Walker’s support in Wisconsin will erode further the longer he spends outside of Wisconsin running for president and the more, whether perceived or real, Wisconsin conservatives think that their agenda is being subjugated or watered down by Walker’s presidential policy stances.


1219, 17 April 2015


  1. Northern Pike

    Another source of slippage: hunters and outdoorsmen. I was at a WCC meeting Monday, and guys weren’t too happy about budget provisions to change the DNR board and withdraw public funds for state parks and forests. These weren’t teachers and unionized janitors mad at Walker, these were guys with beards who owned guns.

    And then there’s Senior Care. Elderly folks (Republicans) aren’t happy about Walker gutting trying to gut Senior Care, and my Republicans reps in the state legislature were in mood to take a bullet for Walker on that one.

  2. dad29

    Remember that Walker also suppressed an anti-abortion measure through his Senate-Fitzgerald (who, by the way, intends to become Governor soon.)

    Same thing happened to RoJo, by the way. It’s the Conservatives that are disappointed with his tap-dancing in the Senate vis-a-vis ObozoCare.

  3. Dave

    Probably has nothing to do with another part of that poll that finds people think the state is heading in the wrong direction 53.4%/43.1%; or that they oppose right to work 50.5%/44.4%. Or that a majority believe: the state budget is in worse shape than it was a few years ago; public education cuts should not occur; or that the 300 million cut to UW should not take place. And don’t forget that 75% of the public either are very satisfied or satisfied with their public schools.

    I don’t think a failure to be conservative enough or hit anti abortion hard enough is the reason the good governor’s popularity is sinking like a rock. There are a number of policy areas where his will does not match the will of a majority of the electorate.

    As far a RoJo goes let’s hope that bozo is a one term wonder.

  4. Mark Maley

    The casino
    The K-12 cuts
    The Bucks arena
    The UW cuts

    He’s not losing many conservatives , (most are like Owen , Walker has done too many things they like ) he’s losing the independents that bought in to teacher resentment or a sense of unfairness over the recall.

    So hammering teachers is how he won and education is how he won and that’s how he’ll lose .

    Cutting education at all levels won’t play nationally. Nor will never discussing the cuts in a campaign .

    ” so Governor Walker , what have you got planned for America that you’ve never discussed before in your campaign ?”

    Not mentioned in the poll was Ro Jo losing to Feingold by 20. No way Johnson wins in this presidential election cycle .

  5. old baldy

    A couple other reasons from north of Highway 8:

    * Voucher schools. There are none up here so all we get are funds moving from struggling rural school districts to metro areas.

    * Deer management. Relying on “Dr. Deer” to maker deer management decisions is a loser for all that understand the subject. For those in the south the lack of effort on CWD is a big mistake.

    * Loss of local control. Taking local units of government out of the discussion on a number of regulatory issues will hurt the party of “small government” in a numbers of ways.


    It would be an interesting project to see if enough Democrats, Independents, and disgruntled Republicans could be persuaded to vote against Walker to deny him a victory in the 2016 Wisconsin Republican Primary.

  7. Recess Supervisor

    Gov. Walker had a lovely honeymoon, just as he did as Milwaukee County Executive. And I’ll acknowledge that his first two budgets as governor were pretty responsible.

    However, as was the case once Walker started eyeing the governor’s office, his ability to budget intelligently proves inversely proportional to the time he spends pining for higher office. This budget is something that would make Jim Doyle blush. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Rather than raising revenue honestly to accommodate growth in spending, he bonds like there’s no tomorrow. The whole UW System issue was approached with a tin ear and his denials of trying to change the mission language were quickly exposed as tall tales by the press. The Bucks stadium plan was never going to come close to generating the revenue he was anticipating. And then there’s the stuff that others have mentioned.

    In a state where the presidential electorate is about 20% larger than the off-year electorate and where nearly all of those missing voters have Democratic tendencies, I’d have real doubts as to whether Scott Walker could win Wisconsin if he were the nominee. Guys like Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush come into Wisconsin with a clean slate and an opportunity to reach out to voters in the middle. Everyone in Wisconsin already has an opinion of Scott Walker. And if the guy can’t reliably move the needle in his own state, he’s just a suboptimal John Kasich – no more conservative, a lot less intelligent, and way more inflammatory.

  8. Mojo

    Owen, you said that Walker is running for president, but clearly that isn’t so. You can ask the man, himself. If he were running, then I believe that you and I would not being paying for his trips to Europe and New York and California and Iowa and South Carolina. He would have to use campaign funds for those trips, not WI taxpayer dollars. Do I have that right?

  9. Jadedly Unbiased

    Who cares about poll numbers when only 36.4 % of the voting eligible population turn out to vote. A true representation of the electorate and their wishes will never be represented by politicians who pay more attention to special interests and big money donors. There are a couple of reasons to applaud Governor Walker. Signing the bill mandating independent investigations into the deaths of people in police custody and spending large amounts of time outside Wisconsin are turning out to be his major accomplishments. Governor Walker from the beginning has ignored the will of the people in his pursuit of personal goals. Greasing the path with the agendas of the industry, religious groups, political party and big money donors is the only way to the White House in today’s political environment. If I was Walker I would continue to ignore the poll numbers, announce his bid for office and leave it up to the voters to decide. For me it’s a win-win. He would be out of WI office and doesn’t stand a chance of winning nationally. Let me just add, there are many more qualified candidates from both parties that should be considered before ever considering Walker. Lets get our state back on track with or without Walker.

  10. Jadedly Unbiased

    Maybe it’s time to give serious consideration to an independent. Bernie Sanders?

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