Scott Walker: The GOP’s Best Presidential Hope?

 

What a couple of months it’s been for Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker. The massive protests targeting Walker and his controversial “budget repair bill,” the measure signed into law last week that slashed collective bargaining rights for most public-sector unions in Wisconsin, launched Walker into the national spotlight, making him the face of the GOP’s nationwide assault on unions and attempt to defund the Democratic Party. Today, a Public Policy Polling survey finds that Walker’s popularity among Republicans tops that of 2012 presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and Mitt Romney.

PPP found that Walker’s favorability spread is plus-44, with 55 percent of those polled saying they like him and 11 percent saying they don’t. By comparison, Huckabee’s spread is plus-42, Gingrich’s plus-19, Palin’s plus-40, and Romney’s plus-21. “None of the folks most seriously considering this race have been able to get any momentum yet, leaving a lot of room for a fresher face to enter and get a lot of traction,” writes PPP’s Tom Jensen. “Walker’s crusade against the unions has put him in a position where he could be that guy.”

Among all Americans, however, Walker’s popularity plummets. Thirty-nine percent of those polled dislike him, while 34 percent take a favorable of him. Here’s more from PPP’s results:

Forty-six percent generally have a favorable opinion of labor unions to 40% who rate them negatively. And 45% say they side with the unions in the Wisconsin dispute to 41% who go with Walker. These findings all closely mirror what we found in the state itself- voters are extremely polarized but do side narrowly with the workers.

Even for the general election Walker’s favorability numbers, though under water, stack up well to the rest of the Republican field. His -5 spread is better than Huckabee’s -7 (35/42), Romney’s -12 (32/44), Palin’s -22 (35/57), and Gingrich’s -31 (26/57). The primary flaw with the top GOP hopefuls is that Americans already know them well and dislike them. That might prove to be the case ultimately with Walker as well but a candidacy from him is an intriguing possibility. We’ll throw him on some of our polls over the next few weeks for both primary and general elections and see how he does.

 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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