Scott Walker was elected governor with 10,000 fewer votes in 2010 out of a narrowly larger electorate than Doyle received in 2006. Given that you would think that a governor would not mistake his election for a mandate and pay attention to the mood of the electorate rather than going off on an ideological tangent. Because that would be, you know, arrogant.
But according to a poll shortly after the election by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, a nonpartisan free-market think tank, this is not the case. Scott Walker is acting against the wishes of the electorate!
The Brawler has already covered how WPRI says Scott Walker isn't popular, a finding confirmed by Public Policy Polling. The Brawler also gave voice to the WPRI's seldom mentioned finding that 63% of Wisconsinites, including a fair number of Republicans, favor raising taxes on the rich to fix the deficit.
It's not clear why the nonpartisan WPRI isn't promoting these findings when it somehow found the ability to promote their findings about support for a rail line connecting Madison-MKE and Chicago (though granted it was never phrased like this). Perhaps this cash-strapped operation lacked resources? Never mind. The important thing is WPRI has found other ways Walker is too extreme for Wisconsin.
- K-12 education, Medicaid, higher education and aid to local governments are the four top budget items that Wisconsinites want protected. Walker is going to slash all of them while pushing taxes that benefit the rich. (Q 21)
- Only 0.2% of respondents say "reducing government" should be Madison's top priority -- yet that's all Walker talks about (Q. 5)! And a mere 1% say the priority should be reducing taxes. And tort reform appeared not at all!
- Nearly 54% of Wisconsinites -- including 18% of Republicans, not a bad number at all -- hold favorable attitudes toward Obama. Maybe that's why Walker gave him such a nice reception in Green Bay after saying mean things about him during the campaign! (Q 8)
- Scott Walker should tell Charlie Sykes to stop badmouthing Herb Kohl, because 55% of Wisconsinites, including 49% of Republicans, are favorably disposed toward him (Q 12)
- More than 74% of Wisconsinites have favorable attitudes toward teachers -- yet Scott Walker is gearing up to screw school districts over in his budget. Meanwhile, nearly 47% of Wisconsinites have a favorable attitude toward teachers unions -- which makes them more popular than Scott Walker! (Q 13a-13b) Also, teacher unions are far more popular than the tea party! (Q14)
- A narrow majority of Wisconsinites believe state government is either the right size or too small and should operate with the same money or more; a minority believe it's too big and should be slashed. (Q 17)
- A healthy majority of Wisconsinites say the public employee pensions are somewhat or not much of a problem; a minority say they are a big problem. (Q23)
- A narrow majority of Wisconsinites oppose expanding vouchers; Walker favors it (Q 31)
The nonpartisan WPRI, for whatever reason, has been unable to share the news that Scott Walker is dangerously out of step with the state of Wisconsin. One hopes the media will rise to that challenge as he delivers his state of the state address.