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.

 

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up to $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate