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Poll: Wisconsin majority favors recall of Gov. Walker

Take this with plenty of salt, but a Wisconsin Public Radio poll suggests that 58 percent of respondents believe Gov. Scott Walker should be recalled from office. That’s up from 47 percent said that in April, the last previous poll by WPR.

Just 34 percent said they thought Walker should remain in office. Four percent weren’t sure.

Key finding:

“The growth in support for a recall came, surprisingly, from Republicans. In the spring, only 7 percent of Republicans supported recalling Walker but that grew to 24 percent in the fall. Support among Democrats held mainly steady at 88 percent in the spring and 92 percent in the fall.”

The Dems seeking to oust Walker have just begun collecting petition signatures to try to force a vote. Only two governors have ever been successfully recalled in U.S. history. Recall votes have so many unusual features that I suspect it’s very hard to figure out likely voters or other necessary issues for polling. Still…

This telephone survey of 482 Wisconsin residents, a collaboration of Public Radio and St. Norbert College, claims a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.A full (pdf) table of the poll results is here.

Correction: An earlier version of this post wrongly identified the college that participated in the poll. St. Norbert College is correct. The mistake was entirely mine. (Hat tip: Jim Foti.)

Comments (21)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 11/15/2011 - 09:28 pm.

    Yeah, they said Prosser was going to lose, too. Grain of salt taken.

  2. Submitted by Joseph Skar on 11/16/2011 - 06:51 am.

    I didn’t know Larry Jacobs worked for WPR too.

  3. Submitted by Eric Paul Jacobsen on 11/16/2011 - 08:08 am.

    “The growth in support for a recall came, surprisingly, from Republicans. In the spring, only 7 percent of Republicans supported recalling Walker but that grew to 24 percent in the fall.”

    Here’s my explanation.

    Governor Scott Walker is damaged goods, like George W. Bush. The Republicans are disenchanted with him because he failed to make their ideology work.

    As with George W. Bush, disenchantment with one model does not mean disenchantment with the ideology. The Republicans will look for a replacement for Scott Walker who is equally doctrinaire, but who they assume will make the doctrine work, just because he or she is not Scott Walker.

    This behavior is much in line with Republicans’ own self-understanding, I think. They do not see themselves as ideological. They believe in character. Therefore, they never blame their ideology for its own failure. They always assume that it fails because of a character flaw of the individual who’s trying to implement the ideology.

    That’s the salt that I taste in this poll.

  4. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 11/16/2011 - 09:39 am.

    I suspect that we’ve reached the tipping point whereby the 99% have awakened to how badly they’ve allowed themselves to be had. Gov. Walker and those like him, who worship at the feet of the Koch Bros., have been revealed to be serving ONLY the 1% and will be swept away.

    For the next few elections cycles, all their facile, pretty promises will ring as false to the average voter as they always were to those of us who paid attention to the fine print. Like the snake oil pedlars who promised health, wealth and prosperity but left nothing behind but empty wallets and hangovers, they will not soon be welcome again in our communities.

    Gov. Walker’s demise was spelled out in the resounding defeat of the anti-union law in Ohio, as well as the OWS movement.

    Both have caused average citizens to wake up from the cheaper-labor-without-benefits-is-the-solution-to-everything that was the principle ingredient in the toxic, intoxicating snake oil that “conservatives” have been peddling since the days of Ronnie Raygun under the name of “free market capitalism”…

    the intoxicant being that we’ll get cheaper and cheaper products as time goes by (but we’ll just have to ignore the fact that eventually we won’t have enough income to buy those products, no matter how cheap).

    The people of Wisconsin are, in the main, the 99%. They’re waking up to the fact that Gov. Walker has no interest in them or how their lives are going (just as is the case with the current MN GOP).

    His ONLY interest is keeping the 1% happy by clearing out every obstacle that currently stands in the way of the their successfully stealing from the 99% the remainder of their income, their assets, their property, their access to health care, any hope they ever had of a comfortable retirement,

    not to mention working assiduously to enable the 1% to maximize their profits and their shareholder value by destroying the planet upon which all of us depend for life.

  5. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 11/16/2011 - 09:57 am.

    Of course I don’t speak for all conservatives, or Republicans, but I don’t think many would disagree that it’s always great fun when leftists explain our understandings to others for us!

    Any consensus on what our favorite toothpaste should be?

  6. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/16/2011 - 11:08 am.

    I don’t know what your favorite TP is, but you certainly passed your Crest.

  7. Submitted by Steve Sundberg on 11/16/2011 - 11:27 am.

    >> Any consensus on what our favorite toothpaste should be?

    How about “20 Mule Team Borax,” Tom? Wasn’t that what Ron pitched on TV when he did those imaginary Westerns?


  8. Submitted by Lance Groth on 11/16/2011 - 12:10 pm.

    Re #5 – It’s only fair. You guys are always proclaiming how liberals hate America and conspire to take away everyone’s freedoms.

    Toothpaste? I don’t know, probably something harsh with a sour taste.

  9. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 11/16/2011 - 12:34 pm.

    Either way, if Walker stays or goes, the left loses. Either the union will have to start living in the real world, free of their gravy train existence that is known as public employment, or thousands of them will simply lose their jobs because the taxpayers can’t afford them any more.

    It really doesn’t matter to most normal people which scenario plays out.

  10. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 11/16/2011 - 02:08 pm.

    Well that’s true Lance, no denying it. However those proclaimations reflect our observations of leftist actions.

    We don’t claim to understand the leftist mind.

  11. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 11/16/2011 - 02:38 pm.

    “It really doesn’t matter to most normal people which scenario plays out.”

    Do “normal” people rejoice when people lose their jobs? Isn’t ten percent unemployment high enough for you, Dennis?

  12. Submitted by Davis Hal on 11/16/2011 - 03:00 pm.

    Thomas Swift:

    “Any consensus on what our favorite toothpaste should be?”

    It probably won’t have fluoride.

  13. Submitted by Swanson Painter on 11/16/2011 - 03:01 pm.

    This recall does matter. I know of many MN’s that are planning to go and help collect signatures.
    Unions are NOT on any gravy train.
    They are comprised of police, firefighters, teachers and EMT’S/First responders.
    These people deserve a living wage and the right to bargain collectively.
    I find it absurd that after 9/11 the entire country was praising and thankful for the firefighters and first responders, but now, they have fallen out of favor because they want a living wage and the right to be in a union to represent them.
    Scott Walker misrepresented himself. He is a tool for the Koch Brothers, and is insisting that unions, especially unions for government workers are somehow unfair.
    The unions ALL made huge concessions regarding payments into health care and pension funding. Yet, Mr. Walker is still trying to portray them as the enemy of all working people.
    Unions gave us a 40 hour work week and ended child labor. We, as all working people owe the unions for all the battles they have fought.

  14. Submitted by Arito Moerair on 11/16/2011 - 03:55 pm.

    WPR couldn’t account for thousands of Prosser votes “found” in Brookfield.

  15. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 11/16/2011 - 07:44 pm.

    I’d be at least a little skeptical of any Public Radio poll – several grains of salt necessary. Public radio has its own biases, just as more corporate media, including more commercial radio, have theirs. The only poll that *really* counts is the one on election day, and it seems a little early to be drawing conclusions already.

    In that context, I have relatives in WI that will be out collecting signatures. All have professional college degrees and more, all are gainfully employed, none are teachers.

    I’d like to see some support from Mr. Tester for his assertion that public employment is a “gravy train.” Facts, please. And while we’re collecting those, maybe a definition of what constitutes “normal people” at the Tester household would be helpful. If thousands of WI state employees lose their jobs, I think it will matter to most of the people in the state, and not necessarily because they’re sympathetic. Those state employee dollars go to restaurants, car dealers, and other local retailers just like everyone else’s. If I’m one of those local business owners, I want as many paying customers as I can get.

    And while I often find Mr. Swift’s disdainful tone off-putting, I’m inclined to agree with his #5. Just because Messrs. Swift and Tester often feature right wing boilerplate arguments doesn’t mean they’re always in agreement, with each other or with fellow “conservatives.” Of course, what’s good for the goose ought to be good for the gander as well, so I look forward to reading comments from Mr. Swift, especially, that no longer lump all “liberals” together as if everyone who disagrees with him is of one mind.

  16. Submitted by Solly Johnson on 11/16/2011 - 08:10 pm.

    “It really doesn’t matter to most normal people…” Union workers are more normal than the GOP presidential candidates, most of whom preach fiscal conservatism, but lap at the public trough.

  17. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/17/2011 - 10:28 am.

    Go cheese heads!

  18. Submitted by Sarah Magnuson on 11/17/2011 - 04:40 pm.

    A grain of salt is needed when looking at this poll…although, I read the questions and they were not “leading”. This sample is quite small though, and would need less “salt” if the number of respondents was larger.

    However, from a conservative who has “skin in the game” with a spouse who teaches in Wisconsin, I can personally attest to the staunchest supports of recalling Walker being republican. The decrease in salaries across the state are anywhere from $2400 to $8300 a year. There was no fairness in how the reduction was distributed. If you were in a district who had negotiated a lower salary for higher benefits, the loss was greater. If you were in a district that had negotiated a higher salary for reduced benefits, your loss of take home pay was less. The irony is that two brother-in-laws who teach in another district across the state are paid over $10,000 more a year and yet their take home pay was reduced by only $3800, verses my husband’s take home pay being reduced by $6,300. Personally, we don’t see this as “modest” at all.

    When Governor Walker spoke of the top 10 Reasons to Support his bill, three stand out as not just stretching the truth, but totally dishonest.
    2. Wisconsin public school teachers get paid nearly double private sector workers.
    (Compared to ?…check-out worker at Walmart? Starting salary in our district is $34,000, minus $5000 for insurance/pension contribution for take home pay of $29,000)
    4. Governor Scott Walker’s proposal is very modest. (Our take-home pay reduction is 12%. Would perhaps 5% be modest? This is totally subjective.)
    8. While a step in the right direction, Governor Walker’s proposal does not even go far enough.

    In order to “sell” this plan, Governor Walker used outliers (or as above, allowed the conservative sites and bloggers to use outliers) to “prove” his point of how public workers were not only over-paid but had lavish benefits.

    The vitriol spewed by our fellow conservatives is stunning. This conservative has made it a personal quest to have conversations with conservative friends and family (who live in Wisconsin) who when given first-hand, accurate information about what the real salary and “lavish benefits” are for a public worker.

  19. Submitted by Dave Eischens on 11/17/2011 - 11:06 pm.

    Sarah #18

    Your words as a conservative are a breath of fresh air and I appreciate you speaking up about right-wing vitriol as well as your rational analysis of the above survey.

    If conservatives such as yourself speak up more, we can actually have a dialogue in this country again. Not just a regurgitation of talking points and focus-group gotchas. So for now the term “conservative” appears to have been hijacked by extremists but I believe firmly that reasonable people from all sides can discuss difficult issues.

    I look forward to more of your comments.

  20. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/18/2011 - 09:05 am.

    The problem is that most of those labeled as ‘conservative’ these days are really reactionaries.
    A conservative wants to keep thinks the way they are lacking a clear reason to change (‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’) while a reactionary wants to reverse history to the way s/he thinks things were a century or two ago.

    Progressives need real conservatives to keep them honest, and visa versa. It’s called dialog.

  21. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/18/2011 - 09:07 am.

    And the giant sucking sound you hear is money being pulled out of Wisconsin’s economy.
    Public workers don’t buy cheese if they’re not paid. Bad for business!

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