If they had it all to do over again, 50% of Union voters in Wisconsin who cast their votes for Scott Walker in November would now vote for Democrat Tom Barrett according to a new poll from Public Policy Polling.
We’ll have our full poll on the Wisconsin conflict out tomorrow but here’s the most interesting finding: if voters in the state could do it over today they’d support defeated Democratic nominee Tom Barrett over Scott Walker by a a 52-45 margin.
The difference between how folks would vote now and how they voted in November can almost all be attributed to shifts within union households. Voters who are not part of union households have barely shifted at all- they report having voted for Walker by 7 points last fall and they still say they would vote for Walker by a 4 point margin. But in households where there is a union member voters now say they’d go for Barrett by a 31 point margin, up quite a bit from the 14 point advantage they report having given him in November.
It’s actually Republicans, more so than Democrats or independents, whose shifting away from Walker would allow Barrett to win a rematch if there was one today. Only 3% of the Republicans we surveyed said they voted for Barrett last fall but now 10% say they would if they could do it over again. That’s an instance of Republican union voters who might have voted for the GOP based on social issues or something else last fall trending back toward Democrats because they’re putting pocketbook concerns back at the forefront and see their party as at odds with them on those because of what’s happened in the last month.
A big part of Scott Walker’s victory in November- and Ron Johnson’s as well- was Democratic voters sitting at home. Our final pre election poll in Wisconsin found that likely voters had supported Barack Obama by only 3 points in 2008, in contrast to his actual 14 point victory in the state. Those sleeping dogs aren’t lying any more though and when you combine the reinvigoration of the base with GOP union households trending back toward the Democrats, Walker seems to have severely hurt his party’s chances of building on their gains from 2010 next year.
The real question is will this same sentiment be repeated across the U.S. and will it have any effect on the current state of affairs possibly preventing further movement by Republicans to take out public sector unions?