Monday, March 28, 2011

With Weak Walker Polling Data, Conservatives Question GOP Strategies

Posted on Tucker Carlon's conservative news and commentary website The Daily Caller by Heather Huggins, President and CEO of Independent Women's Voice.

Key paragraphs:

"Independent Women’s Voice retained The Polling Company to conduct a statewide survey of 400 frequent voters in Wisconsin on March 13-14, followed by an in-depth focus group on March 16 to assess if the traditional red-state messaging being used was backfiring with critical independents in traditionally blue-state Wisconsin, as well as if other messaging approaches had more resonance.

"Gov. Walker and others have assured colleagues that support will grow for their efforts as the immediate controversy fades from memory. As Pat Caddell pointed out, that’s eerily reminiscent of predictions made by President Obama and the Democrats about health care reform a year ago. Walker may be right, but the current facts point otherwise for the near term.

"An astonishing 95% of the survey respondents described themselves as paying close attention to the issue, 71% saying “very” closely. Respondents strongly identified with one or the other side of the budget conflict, and this identification fell along ideological lines. Independents now largely lock arms with the union members and protestors.

"As a result, Gov. Walker is now viewed unfavorably by a 53% majority, and with vehemence: only 3% say “somewhat” unfavorable while 50% say “very.” In contrast, the “Gang of 14,” the 14 Democratic state senators who fled to Illinois, were viewed favorably by a majority of respondents, 51% to 47%, even though a majority thought it was wrong of them to run away. The real winner? Government employee unions in Wisconsin, scoring 55% favorable and only 40% unfavorable."
In a separate posting, Higgins writes:
"What did Wisconsinites react to? First, while those who sided with the governor cited as primary reasons fiscal responsibility (32%) and disagreeing with the present benefits system (24%), those who sided with the unions and protestors by a large margin first and foremost (38%) opposed Gov. Walker himself. (“Protect collective bargaining for government worker unions” trailed at a mere 18%.) Walker’s approach was described by this cohort as “dictatorial” and “radical.” Indeed the entire issue has become intensely polarized and politically charged, which has worked to the advantage of the unions.
"We tested whether three pro-Walker/anti-union ads that ran in Wisconsinreinforced this polarization. These ads focused more on personalities and political sides than on facts and issues. None of the clips were seen as particularly influential and drew mostly critical or dismissive comments, mainly because they included the controversial “players” in this unfolding drama. These ads may have appealed to donors and supporters, but in Wisconsin they added to the unfortunate effect of moving this from a right-wrong fight to a right-left fight...
"The current instinct in Republican and conservative circles is to use partisan, sledgehammer ads and talk to the converted. This is a limited strategy overall, but in an until-recently blue state like Wisconsin, it’s no way to win. There is still a chance to turn this debate around — the question is: Will Republican supporters be willing to use a new playbook?"

1 comment:

rewinn said...

I wonder how the voters would poll if asked whether a judge must recuse himself from a case involving a party who's contributed to his election campaign.

Walker's boy on the Supreme Court says it's no problem to rule on a case where one of the people involved gave him money:

That seems pretty corrupt to me, but do the voters know about this?