Political Animal


April 02, 2012 12:58 PM Rasmussen Agrees: Walker Really In Trouble

By Ed Kilgore

Nobody is much surprised when Scott Rasmussen and his outfit release a poll or publish a polling analysis that seems to place a pretty large right thumb on the scales as compared to other public opinion researchers. Indeed, I’m probably typical that when I run across Ras’ numbers, I just mentally five or six points in the Democratic direction, and figure that’s without shouting distance of reality.

So it’s significant that Rasmussen has just published a poll of Wisconsin voters showing a 52-47 majority support recalling Gov. Scott Walker in the election just scheduled for June 5. That’s probably why the conservative Washington Examiner refers to it as a “shock poll.” It sure shocked me: but in a good way.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • liam foote on April 02, 2012 1:37 PM:

    I'm a native Badger in constant contact with family and friends monitoring the situation in Packerland. For a time there appeared to be decreasing support for more recalls as voters were weary and Gov. Walker's standing improved a bit. But following the success of the recall petition drive the enthusiasm seems to have returned.

    In a matchup featuring the governor vs Tom Barrett, Walker led by 5% in Jan'12, then 2% in early Mar'12 and now Barrett leads by 2%. So Walker is trending down and Dem enthusiasm is on the upswing. The torrent of attack ads and sleaze from the Rove-Koch machine and elsewhere on the right won't be enough for the GOP as in 2010.

    Note also that in Wisconsin Mr. Obama is now leading Mr. Romney by a substantial 52% to 35%.

  • LauraNo on April 02, 2012 1:38 PM:

    I bet Rasmussen is just trying to rally the right to get out and vote. There is little the right does that has any honesty or ethics to it.

  • Ron Byers on April 02, 2012 1:40 PM:

    Those are interesting numbers, but not surprising. Walker declared war on labor in Wisconsin. He kicked a sleeping giant and the giant woke up and is about to smash him and the Republican party. At some point state Republicans are going to have to stop listening to ALEC or at least realize ALEC doesn't have their long term professional interests in mind when it proposes some silly law or other.

    On the other hand, I am sick of the Democratic party sleeping. Arise Democrats or you will let a chance to really make hay against the overreaching Republicans.

    This fall Democrats winning state and local races is going to be important and possible.

  • POed Lib on April 02, 2012 1:44 PM:

    LauraNo has a good point. Rasmussen is a Republican policy operative who uses the blunt weapon of pols to accomplish policy objectives and drive the debate. Using loaded questions, he obtains "objective" results that ALWAYS have a bias. To keep his credibility, he reduces the bias near elections to keep the pretense up. So, the final objective, Republican policy and electoral success, is always the main point.

    There are limits to the lies and biased polling that Raz can do. As liam notes, the trend is down for REpukes. I am a WI homeowner, although I do not live there, and do keep up with politics (my wife's mother is a big Joe McCarthy fan). I think Walker is going down, but it is going to cost a lot of money.

  • joe corso on April 02, 2012 3:32 PM:

    Rasumssen also likes to move press coverage with early polling in lightly polled races that tilts the media coverage and perception against Dems and toward Repubican candidates. It's therefore entirely within his M.O. to put out a poll that shakes up Republicans and hopefully drives a percent or two extra out to the polls when this is the urgent political imperative.

  • FriscoSF on April 02, 2012 3:35 PM:

    How COOL would it be if Walker LOST his governorship ?

    I'm already waiting to see his sorry face on TV !!
    He could explain how he was Cheated out of his Governorship !!

    On, Wisconsin !!

  • Texas Aggie on April 02, 2012 8:59 PM:

    It would be nice if the other polls were equally optimistic, but some of them done by reliable pollsters show differences less than the 3 - 4% margin of error of the poll. It could be that Raz just accidentally screwed up this poll in the other direction from what he usually does. It certainly isn't time to let down our guard.

    On Wisconsin! Go Hodags!

  • anon's honey on April 03, 2012 8:25 PM:

    Loving seeing the anti-Walker brigade so strong and consistent in Wisconsin. A beacon to us all, braving frigid temperatures, sticking with it, all the way to successfully getting the recall elections approved. Love it.
    Looked like Walker started dying his hair--at least it appeared that way on my teevee. He has the most icy cold eyes I have ever seen. Like there is no soul in that body.