Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker won his job last November with 52 percent of the vote, but his popularity has slipped since then.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Wisconsin voters finds that just 34 percent strongly approve of the job he is doing, while 48 percent strongly disapprove. Overall, including those who somewhat approve or disapprove, the new Republican governor earns positive reviews from 43 percent and negative reviews from 57 percent of voters statewide.
In addition to the usual partisan and demographic breakdowns, it’s interesting to note that Walker, now engaged in a budget battle with unionized state workers, receives a total approval rating of 46 percent from households with private sector union members. However, among households with a public sector union member, only 19 percent offer their approval. Among all other households in the state, opinion is nearly evenly divided — 49 percent favorable and 51 percent unfavorable.
It’s also interesting to note that among households with children in the public school system, only 32 percent approve of the governor’s performance. Sixty-seven percent disapprove, including 54 percent who strongly disapprove.
This may be partly due to the fact that 77 percent of Wisconsin voters have a favorable opinion of the state’s public school teachers. However, only 50 percent have a favorable opinion of the teachers’ union.
Seventy-three percent of Wisconsin Republicans approve of the job Walker is doing. Eighty-nine percent of the state's Democrats and 56 percent of voters not affiliated with either of the major parties disapprove.
Among those who voted for Walker last November, 77 percent approve of his performance, with 67 percent who strongly approve. As for those who voted for his Democratic opponent, Tom Barrett, 93 percent disapprove of how Walker is governing, including 88 percent who strongly disapprove.
Polling released earlier shows that the governor is struggling in the court of public opinion in his dispute with the state’s public employee unions. Other polling shows that voters in the state prefer spending cuts over tax hikes when it comes to reducing the state’s budget deficit.
President Barack Obama is viewed favorably by 55 percent of voters statewide. Typically, a president’s reelection vote total is similar to his job approval rating. Therefore, if the election were held today in Wisconsin, Obama would be heavily favored to win the state’s Electoral College votes.
The survey of 800 likely voters in Wisconsin was conducted on March 2, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research LLC.
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