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Survey: Most Wisconsinites don’t want Walker to run for president

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

By Patty Murray

Wisconsin Public Radio

The latest Wisconsin Survey shows most residents -- 59 percent -- don't want Gov. Scott Walker to run for president. 

The governor is widely thought to be planning on entering the race for the Republican nomination.

The statewide survey shows Walker with just a 41 percent approval rating. 

David Littig, a retired political scientist with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, said that is surprising since Republicans swept state government in the last election.

If Walker runs for president, Littig said his stance on budget and tax issues plays well with Republicans.

"Also, what people like about Gov. Walker is he's decisive, he's courageous, he seems to have integrity," he said. "But, at the same time, he's polarizing, he's inflexible."

It's those last qualities that Littig said he thinks won't play to national voters who aren't conservative.

"We're likely to have Walker back as the governor.  And it's going to be tough sailing for a time," he said.

Littig said that is because some of Walker's budget-cutting and education proposals aren't polling well even among Republicans.

In identifying Walker's political views, 48 percent said the governor was "very conservative" and 37 percent identified him as "somewhat conservative." Five percent said he was "somewhat liberal" while another 5 percent said he was "liberal." Five percent said they were unsure of his political views while less than one percent said he was "moderate."

The survey also found concern among many about how Walker's anticipated run with effect the state. Forty-three percent of respondents said that they thought Walker's campaign trips were detrimental to Wisconsin. Thirty-six percent said that they thought the campaigning had no effect, 18 percent through they were beneficial to Wisconsin while 4 percent said they were unsure.

A majority of survey respondents also took a dim view of Walker's prospects if he was elected president. About 44 percent said that they thought he would make a poor president and 16 percent said he would be "not so good." Twenty-eight percent thought we would be a good president while 11 percent thought he would be an excellent chief executive. Only 1 percent were unsure, according to the survey.

Thirty-five percent of respondents identified as Republicans, 34 percent as Democrats and 26 percent said they were independents. About 57 percent said they consider themselves somewhat or very conservative while 37 percent said they are somewhat or very liberal.

The Wisconsin Survey is a random telephone sample of 600 adult Wisconsin residents that asks their opinions on national and state government, economic and policy issues. The survey's margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The survey was conducted by Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television and the Strategic Research Institute at St. Norbert College.

The latest Marquette University poll, released last week, showed Walker's job approval rating had dropped to 41 percent. It was at 49 percent in October.

More WPR news is available on KUWS-FM 91.3 or online at www.wpr.org.

The full survey can be found online at http://www.wpr.org/sites/default/files/15%20Spring%20WI%20Survey%20FREQS...

© Copyright 2015, Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System and Wisconsin Educational Communications Board.

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