Poll also shows erosion in governor’s state standing
Compiled by MCJ Staff
A majority of voters in Wisconsin strongly oppose Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-worker agenda and support those protesting on behalf of working families according to a new Wisconsin poll.
The poll, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (GQR) Research, also revealed that as the public becomes more informed about the details of Walker’s so-called “budget repair bill” which would take away the ability of state employee unions to bargain collectively on its contracts and current revelations that workers have agreed to concessions on wages and benefits, support for Walker’s ideas plummet precipitously.
Since the protests began last week, Walker has seen an erosion in his standing also, according to the poll results.
A majority of those polled (51 percent) disapproved of the Wisconsin governor’s job performance and disagreed with his agenda.
In contrast, 62 percent of voters offer a favorable view of public employees (only 11 percent unfavorable) and 53 percent of voters rate labor unions favorably (31 percent unfavorable).
According to a recent national poll conducted by Gallup and USA Today, 61 percent of Americans oppose laws like the proposed law in Wisconsin that takes away the collective bargaining power of public employee unions.
When asked if they agree or disagree with the position different groups and individuals are taking in the current situation, voters in the GQR poll side with the public employees (67 percent agree), the pro-union protesters (62 percent agree), the unions (59 percent agree), and the Democrats in the state legislature (56 percent agree).
In contrast, 53 percent disagree with Walker and 46 percent disagree with the Republicans in the legislature.
When voters are presented with Walker’s specific agenda, including cutting benefits, freezing wages and eliminating collective bargaining, 52 percent oppose.
When asked more specifically, 58 percent oppose eliminating collective bargaining, 57 percent oppose reducing wages for public employees and 50 percent oppose reducing pension benefits for public employees.
Not surprisingly, 78 percent of Democrats oppose eliminating collective bargaining rights, but 59 percent of independents and even a third of Republicans oppose it as well.
Voters are convinced that if public employees accept concessions and pay more for retirement and healthcare that Walker should drop his attempt to eliminate collective bargaining. Three quarters say that public employees should not have their collective bargaining rights eliminated including nearly half of Republicans.
The poll findings are based on two surveys of Wisconsin likely voters. The first survey was conducted among 604 likely voters in Wisconsin between February 16-20, 2011, and is subject to a margin error of +/-4.0 percentage points.
The second survey was conducted among 402 likely voters in Wisconsin between February 19-20, 2011 and is subject to a margin of error of +/-4.9 percentage points.
Founded in 1980, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner specializes in political polling and campaign strategy.
The company also has extensive experience working with issue advocacy organizations through the U.S. and the world, including non-profits, NGOs and labor groups.