Front Runner?

Scott Walker.

He’s conservative.

He’s got a killer track record.

He’s got killer approval ratings, and has them in a state perhaps even more purple than Minnesota, notwithstanding (or – ahem – because of) his tough, conservative stances on vital issues. 

He’s withstood four years of the most scabrous liberal and media (ptr) campaigns in the history of American politics (not directed at a woman or minority conservative, anyway), and come out stronger than ever

Revealingly, Walker fares well in an electorate that does not seem particularly conservative and that, if anything, appears to be slightly to the left of American voters in general. Among those surveyed in the WPR/St. Norbert’s poll, 48 percent had a favorable view of President Obama; 50 percent had an unfavorable view. Obama generally fares worse than that in national polling. In addition, Wisconsin’s liberal Senator Tammy Baldwin had a positive rating — 44 percent approve; 33 percent disapprove.

In this context, Walker’s popularity is particularly striking. 59 percent approve of his performance, while only 39 percent disapprove.

And despite the left and media’s (ptr) attempt to sand-bag his accomplishments (for instance, the left’s meme claiming Minnesota is “doing better” than Wisconsin, which depends entirely on ignoring the structural differences between manufacturing-heavy Wisconsin and service-heavy Minnesota, or Wisconsin’s commanding lead over MN in climate for new businesses), he’s got his own constituents basically on board – especially amazing considering the manufactured rancor of his first 18 months in office:

 Walker’s approval numbers basically track the right direction/wrong direction numbers for his State. 57 percent said that Wisconsin is moving in the right direction, while 38 percent said its moving in the wrong direction. By contrast only 32 percent believe the United States is moving in the right direction. 63 percent think we’re moving the other way.

If the GOP has a brain…

…well, Jeb who?

40 thoughts on “Front Runner?

  1. Nice guy but wishy washy Tommy Thompson was easily defeated by left wing militant Madison lesbian Tammy Baldwin for the US Senate. But principled conservative Scott Walker will win his third election in 4 years this fall in that same purple-to-blue state. And both houses in the state capital are controled by Republicans who are more conservative than me.
    How does this happen in a state that always votes Democrat for President? Maybe people like leaders who have backbones. But are also nice guys/ladies. They don’t want a firebreather. They will look at the leaders actual stances, and results. And Walker has signed bills that are not typical hard right legislation. He looks at each situation and decides what is best for the state.
    And look at the personalities. Walker’s low key quiet demeaner vs the ranting lunitics on the left.
    Minnesota may be paying for years because of the marriage amendment vote (which energized the left to take over the state). Wisconsin will benefit for years because of the anti-Walker protestors in Madison were so over-the-top.

  2. Walker is paying attention to the business of government: making it smaller, more efficient, and cost effective. What he’s not doing is driving socially divisive issues down people’s throats.

    Remember when another conservative Republican upended decades of national Democratic political dominance by doing something similar? I think his last name started with an R.

    I like my guv. I like him even better after seeing your guv on TV.

  3. Chuck is right. I, too, think the nice gal/guy factor is quite powerful and can really swing an election. Wellstone was clearly one. So was President Carter (not what he became) and even Governor Dayton. Sincerity compliments it, too. Any of those people seem like they’d not turn you away on a rainy night if your car broke down in front of their house.

    They tried pushing the nice guy agenda with Obama, even to the extent that Romney would preface some of his lightweight criticism of him with it. Lacking the sincerity component though, I think that its falsehood is now showing through and is responsible to some degree for his decline in popularity.

    On the other hand, some, like Kerry, Emmer, and Gingrich, lacked it; they looked like they’d set the hounds on anyone who knocked after dark. That’s likely not true (entirely), but like it or not, I believe that aspect is important and is difficult to fake.

    Looks help too, probably for the same visceral reasons. It is this (these two things, actually) that comfort me when I think about a Hillary candidacy …

  4. nerd, and to show that Walker is a good manager. Things that have to be done, are, those that really aren’t the necesary or will be a distraction to the work at hand, are left on the table.

    Gov’r Walker said Right-to-Work legislation is not a priority for Wisconsin. Smart move. His job was to get runaway gov’t under control. Not give something for private sector unions to get worked up about.

  5. His performance numbers SUCK. He’s been a lousy governor, and a corrupt one, if the emails from the two investigations are anything to go by — he will not be a serious right wing nut candidate.

    The notion that Walker is doing so well by one poll are contradicted by a poll just a few weeks ago, so the latest polling might be an outlier – in other words, wrong.
    Posted Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — 1:25 p.m.

    MILWAUKEE (AP) — Less than half of registered Wisconsin voters approve of the job Gov. Scott Walker is doing.

    That’s according to poll numbers released Wednesday by Marquette University’s law school. The poll says 47 percent of voters approve of how the Republican governor is handling his job. The same portion disapprove, and 6 percent are unsure.

    Pollster Charles Franklin says the numbers show “a little bit of a tick downward” in Walker’s approval rating. A January poll found 51 approved of Walker’s job performance.

    The poll also asks how voters see Walker as a person. Forty-nine percent see him favorably and 47 percent unfavorably, about the same as in January.

    Walker has lousy job numbers, high unemployment, and significant opposition.

  6. Notice that Doggone’s “source” does not contain information about the people polled, and has also ignored the fact that the same poll finds that Walker will handily beat his opponent this fall. Hmmm…..selective reporting, eh?

  7. WPR is no friend of Walker so I’m sure the numbers are deeply depressing for the progressives – not to mention that the “significant opposition” DG mentions is a wealthy 1%er who doesn’t want to self-fund her run and is very disappointed that all the national money she was expecting is not materializing. Apparently the big unions see it as a losing battle and have no interest throwing money down a rat hole. Meanwhile the number of “Thank You Gov Walker” bumper stickers and lawn signs are proliferating.
    Take a drive through WI sometime DG things have been steadily improving for the people who actually work for a living.

  8. Gosh DG I almost forgot, according to CNN Scott Walker doesn’t have a college degree – you should really hammer that point, it’ll make you look superior.

  9. Walker has lousy job numbers, high unemployment, and significant opposition.

    0bumbler’s numbers are 10% worse in every direction and yet he is G*d to DogWhereIsPinalCountyNabbit. Libturd lack of logic and rank hypocrisy on display… time after time after time…

  10. Look where Harvard law grad Obama has got us. Persistent high unemployment, racial division, disasters abroad . . . He seems intent on rebuilding the old Soviet Bloc. Well, as Obama himself has admitted, he was someone “who has undoubtedly benefited from affirmative action programs during my academic career”

  11. But does he have a sense of humor? Can he laugh at himself? SO important for conservatives (since we generally take ourselves way too seriously because we know we know we’re in a life and death civilizational struggle!)

  12. DG,

    I was about to say “I’m not sure why I bother…”, but I think the real question is “I’m not sure why you bother”.

    Your poll reinforces my point; barring something unforeseen, Walker is going to skate to victory over the bored dilettante 1%er, according to both polls

    The unions are consolidating and cutting their losses.

    We dispensed with Walker’s “job numbers” yesterday; they are a function of the structure of Wisconsin’s economy (heavy manufacturing), not Walker policy.

    The “Scandals” have all, every one of them, fallen flat. The only reason you all are still chanting “scandal-plagued” is to try to fool those who aren’t paying attention (which is pretty much the entire MPP audience).

    Sorry, DG. Swing and a catastrophic miss.

    As always.

  13. Ford was conservative fiscally and didn’t make a big deal out of social issues. Reagan constructed a coalition by stressing social issues, which attracted lower middle class whites. It became the conventional wisdom that ‘Reagan Democrats’ would vote Republican if social issues dominated, and Democratic if economic issues dominated. But the group that voted primarily on social issues is growing old and dying off. I think you’re right, but a whole generation of Republican politicians are going to have to unlearn old lessons. Young Republicans like Mr. Walker are, I think, prepared to stop talking about social issues again. But it may be a while before they truly switch to libertarian views.

  14. JAM – Very true. President Reagan (God rest his soul) was a master at that. He, as per my last post, appeared to be a sincerely nice guy. He probably wasn’t the smartest or most savvy leader we’ve had, but never tried to hide the fact. But, he had the ability project a very welcoming persona, behind which was an obvious sense of “don’t test me.”

    It is possible to be nice and tough at the same time. It’s a rare combination though. We could sure use another one of those right now.

  15. Emery, Reagan pressed economic issues more than social issues. His slogan in 1980 was “are you better off than you were four years ago?”. Reagan was not a particularly religious person. Nevertheless he appealed to evangelicals and Catholics who had been told to “sit down and shut up” by the Democrats in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It cannot be emphasized enough that the political battles of the 1960s were not fought between Republicans and Democrats, but between New Deal Democrats and the New Left. The New left won.

  16. Reagan used his bully pulpit to approach social issues, but spent almost no political capital on them.

    His campaign focused on the economy and communism. And that’s what he stuck to.

  17. Although Reagan was no genius, his politics were informed by the work of able libertarian philosophers and economists. Similarly, Gingrich, a history professor of able intellect, was no anti-intellectual, able to base his proposals on firm philosophical ground.

    The Democrats are a party of intellectual conservatives, trying to hold on to the old ideas and policies of a generation ago, while open to new cultural norms. Republicans have become a party of cultural conservatives only, with no openness to new intellectual ideas. I could tolerate the cultural conservatism when there were new political ideas that came with it.

    Americans always want change, reform, and optimism. They want to be building that shining new Jerusalem on a hill. The Republicans must restock with new ideas for governance. How does a government provide a measure of security, both foreign and domestic (health care, crime, education) while minimizing government power over the individual, and maximizing freedom? There are good answers to this question, but the Republican party has forgotten how to ask questions and search for answers.

  18. “So it became easy for some to dismiss Reagan, as the late Democratic presidential adviser Clark Clifford did in calling him “an amiable dunce.” But having a front-row seat to the Reagan presidency certainly changed how I viewed this nation’s Great Communicator, and I came to believe Clifford was only half right. Amiable, yes; dunce, most certainly not.
    Perhaps, above all, it was his great optimism about America and Americans and the way he carried himself through his eight years that mark his greatness. When Reagan walked into a room, he was unfailingly polite and friendly without any good ol’ boy posturing. You knew you were in the presence of the president of the United States.

    Sam Donaldson about Ronald Reagan – 1.24.2011

  19. “Perhaps, above all, it was his great optimism about America and Americans and the way he carried himself through his eight years that mark his greatness.”
    Both Bush’s lacked this, the first more so than the second. Obama has the completely opposite attitude. Can you think of a positive thing Obama has said about the US? Not the US of his imagined future or past, but America as it is? To Obama, we weren’t the nation that supplied three hundred million of its citizens with high quality health care, we were the nation that denied healthcare to forty million people. We aren’t the most welcoming nation towards immigrants in the world (one million or more legal immigrants annually), we are the country that denies justice to the 11 million or so illegal immigrants.

  20. Unlike Obama, Reagan treated his office with respect, and he viewed being allowed to be in it as a privilege, not something ordained. He always wore a suit in the Oval Office and he was very careful to distinguish his personal remarks, which were casual and humorous, from his official remarks. You knew almost instantly when he was acting as President, and when he was acting as a private citizen. That distinction was critical when enemies listened, as was the resolve he showed when in Presidential mode.

    I met him once, very briefly, in a small group and came away incredibly impressed. Bush II in his better moments had a little of that presence, but our present leader has all the presence of a bowl of pudding.

  21. The only politicians I respect in this country are Republican. 21st century government must be streamlined, efficient, and directed at providing a minimal safety net for citizens, a sturdy infrastructure for commerce, and no more. I do not know how long I will have to wait for the Republicans to come around, but amongst all of the voices of Republican stupidity, I hear some good ideas from amongst the younger Republicans, particularly in state government. I’ve yet to hear any from the Democratic party.

  22. Joe: Looks help too, probably for the same visceral reasons. It is this (these two things, actually) that comfort me when I think about a Hillary candidacy …

    Given the track record of the Stupid party, they’ll probably put someone like Lyle Lovett up to run against Shrillary!, if anyone.

  23. Loren – I think it’s “UnVarnished BS”.

    Less than charitable, but more than a little on-target…

  24. To be fair to Dog Gone, she’ll always tell you what she wants to believe.

    It is when she actually convinces herself that she becomes both honest and tragic. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

  25. Poor, demented Doggie. She sits in her little hovel, surrounded by yapping dogs and the smell of their excrement, reading Slate, DailyKos and Huffpo to get her rants. She doesn’t know what’s going on in the real world. I have some friends that live in commie controlled Madison. They tell me that even die hard unionistas are starting to like him. In addition, the many school districts that benefitted from his policies, are happier than a pig in the mud, because they are flush with cash. This cash is being used to upgrade facilities, invest in technology and get this…prevent the layoffs of teachers! Fiscal responsibility! What a concept!

  26. Loren, that’s correct.

    The Democrats are a coalition of blacks, immigrants, government employees, liberal youth, and single and professional women. When you’re a coalition of interest groups, you need to be able to hand out something to everyone. With the decline of unions (due to automation and globalization, not any political movement), the Democrats have nothing to offer the white working class. And when you’re not part of a coalition, you tend to vote against it. The Republicans, who offer a more consistent message to all groups, rather than a different one to each coalition member, benefit as old solid cultural groupings fall apart as times change.

  27. “Ford was conservative fiscally and didn’t make a big deal out of social issues. Reagan constructed a coalition by stressing social issues, which attracted lower middle class whites. It became the conventional wisdom that ‘Reagan Democrats’ would vote Republican if social issues dominated, and Democratic if economic issues dominated. But the group that voted primarily on social issues is growing old and dying off. I think you’re right, but a whole generation of Republican politicians are going to have to unlearn old lessons. ”

    Emery incognito is just as witless as the original. Is there a nest of these jag-off’s somewhere?

  28. You’d think that someone who scours the internets as widely as AsshatEmery does for quotes to plagiarize would eventually get enough intake to stitch an original thought together, however tiny….but no.

  29. The Captain Nemo image is nice, though, Swiftee. And why paraphrase when you can plagiarize, its the sentiment that counts, not who felt it first.

  30. Joe, DG is demonstrably incapable of keeping a coherent thought in her empty head long enough to get it down in writing, but that in and of itself doesn’t prove she never has one. All we can conclude for sure is that she isn’t very bright.

    AssHatEmery on the other hand, has provided enough evidence to conclude he is incapable of constructing a coherent observation until someone else has done it for him. That, in addition to not being very bright.

  31. That being said, was anyone interested, in the least, in falling for AssHatEmery’s transparent (pitifully so) attempt to drag readers to his little corner of deluded raving?

    I’m expecting a report on what IP addresses did, any minute now.

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