Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) standoff with unions has taken a huge toll on his popularity, according to several recent polls. In line with a "devastating" Rasmussen poll from late last week, the newest numbers, from a conservative think tank, put public disapproval of Walker at 54 percent. While 43 percent of Wisconsinites still approve of him, the biggest drop in support is from independents. Can Walker recover, or has he ruined his promising career? (See the latest protests in Wisconsin)
Walker overplayed his hand: These polls are terrible news for Walker, says David Dayen in Firedoglake. But they're only one reason "commentators from across the political spectrum have come to the conclusion that Walker is sunk, and not just in the near term." By nakedly targeting unions, he's done something almost unimaginable a month ago: He's made labor the "symbol of a new voice for everyday people." And he won't be the only anti-union politician to feel the sting.
"Labor organizing jumps in the wake of Wisconsin"
He'll be fine... if he doesn't back down: Walker inherited a fiscal mess, and the only surprise is that he's holding up so well after being forced to make some tough calls, says Spencer Abraham in The Weekly Standard. "Walker and Wisconsin Republicans shouldn't sweat their dip in the polls." Michigan went through similar upheaval 20 years ago, and the GOP governor ignored the short-term hit, slashed spending and taxes, and rebounded to win two more terms.
"The Michigan experience"
Walker could drag other Republicans down with him: The unions are taking aim at more than just Walker, says Greg Sargent in The Washington Post. A "hard-hitting new ad" is a warning to Republican state senators "that sticking by Walker will ensure that they sink right along with him." Some of the senators are already "wavering in their support for Walker," and with the drive to recall eight of them "picking up some steam," the ad is more than an empty threat.
"New ad turns up heat on Wisconsin Republicans as Walker's poll numbers sink"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How a degree from Duke University dashed my dreams of buying a home
- This is why you can't trust the NSA. Ever.
- Innocent before proven guilty? The bizarre bipartisan rush to clear Rick Perry
- Half the world's population lives in these 6 countries
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The single best way to help your kid succeed at school
- ISIS and the echoes of the West's religious terror
- Today in history: Lincoln reveals the real goal of the Civil War
- Inside America's crumbling infrastructure
- 4 things NASA can teach you about a good night's sleep
Subscribe to the Week