Thursday, March 17, 2011

Walker could be a serious contender

No one outside of Wisconsin had ever heard of him two months ago but our newest national poll suggests Scott Walker could be a serious contender for the Republican Presidential nomination.

Walker's favorability with Republicans is a +44 spread at 55/11. That makes him already more popular with the party base than Mike Huckabee (+42 at 58/16), Sarah Palin (+40 at 63/23), Mitt Romney (+21 at 47/26), and Newt Gingrich (+19 at 49/30).

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. Walker's crusade against the unions has put him in a position where he could be that guy.

Walker's in good standing with the GOP base but overall Americans have a negative opinion of him and side with the unions in the current conflict, although it would be hard to describe the country as anything other than closely divided. 34% of voters have a favorable opinion of Walker to 39% who rate him negatively. 46% 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.

Full results here


Jonny V said...

Man, Republicans make me sick. That so many of them like this jackass says something really bad about them. They are just ... not good people (to put it mildly.)

I'd love to see Walker run for President and then get recalled in Wisconsin.

Pavonis said...

Well, Walker will be out of a job once he gets recalled in 2012.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that your ideological question (Liberal vs Conservative) wound up with 25% Liberals. This is a bit higher than some other pollsters, so I was wondering if this was a roughly what you get on most of your other polls, or if that suggests this sample might be a bit more Liberal than the other ones you test. If it is, than is suggests Walker is doing even better relative to the Front-line Republicans if he posts better favorable even in a more liberal sample.

Dustin Ingalls said...

This is only the second month since we switched to asking very/somewhat liberal and conservative versus just liberal/mod/con. Last month it was 26% very and somewhat liberal, so very similar. Breaking it down has caused more moderates to admit they're at least somewhat liberal than would admit they were just "liberal."

Anonymous said...

I live in Wisconsin and follow the politics pretty closely. I can only see that he has 2 options at this point:

1. Run for president or vice president.

2. Lose re-election and pick a cushy well paying job in the private sector.

He has very little chance of being re-elected in Wisconsin. The GOP field is wide open and he has tangible results (whether you agree with it or not) that appeal to Tea Party side of the GOP as well as the Business Executive side of the GOP. Kind of Palin meets Romney. Oh and his ego is big enough to go for it.

Anonymous said...

What do people love most about him: that he's acting like a fascist dictator, or that he's good at spinning awful things into something that the Republican sheep will swallow?

Anonymous said...

That Gauleiter Walker does so well among Republicans tells how pathological the GOP has become.

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