A new PPP survey finds that Scott Walker’s actions in Wisconsin have caused Obama’s approval ratings to soar in the state, and made the president Wisconsin’s favorite 2012 choice.
According to PPP, President Obama now has a 52% job approval rating is Wisconsin. The President’s disapproval rating has fallen to 44%. The spread between his approval/disapproval has doubled since the last time the poll was taken. How blue is this state? Obama has more Republicans who approve of his job performance (11%) than Democrats who disapprove (8%).
The problem for the potential 2012 Republican nominees is that the actions of Gov. Scott Walker seem to have seriously damaged the Republican brand in the state. The potential 2012 candidates are very unpopular in Wisconsin. The current frontrunner, Mitt Romney has a 29% favorable rating in the state. His unfavorable rating is 49%. Sarah Palin fares a little better with a 32% favorable rating, but a huge 63% unfavorable rating. After picking a fight with Wisconsin’s own Paul Ryan over Medicare, Newt Gingrich has a 15% favorable rating, and a 67% unfavorable rating.
In the potential head to head 2012 match ups, Obama leads Mitt Romney by 12 points, 51%-39%. The President leads Newt Gingrich by 18 points, 53%-35%, and he crushes Sarah Palin by 19 points, 55%-36%. Obama has expanded his lead over Romney by 2 points. His lead over Gingrich has grown by 6 points, and his lead over Palin is unchanged. Paul Ryan runs closest to Obama in state, and even he loses, 50%-43%.
Obama won Wisconsin in a blow out in 2008 and if voters were unsure about supporting Obama in 2012, the combination of Scott Walker’s leadership and a truly horrifying crop of Republican candidates has cleared up any doubts.
As we have seen in Florida and Ohio, the 2010 crop of unpopular Republican governors is doing serious damage to the GOP’s hopes of defeating Obama in 2012. The policies of John Kasich and Rick Scott have pushed Obama’s approval ratings higher in their states. While Wisconsin is losing some of its presidential swing state reputation, Scott Walker’s whipping up of a feverish animosity towards the GOP brand has virtually destroyed any chance the GOP has of winning the state in 2012.
Assuming he doesn’t get recalled, can you imagine the 2012 GOP nominee campaigning with Scott Walker in Wisconsin? How about hitting the stump with John Kasich in Ohio, Rick Scott in Florida, or Rick Snyder in Michigan? These governors are political poison, yet the Republican nominee will have to go to these swing states in the fall and share the stage with some of the most unpopular politicians in America.
In April political scientist Larry Sabato released his first 2012 Electoral College map. Sabato has Obama starting out with 247 electoral votes. The President will only need 23 for reelection. Ohio and Florida are both listed as swing states with Wisconsin and Michigan leaning towards Obama. If Obama wins only Ohio’s 18 electoral votes, he will be sitting just 5 votes short of reelection. If the President wins Florida, he wins reelection.
It may turn out that it doesn’t matter who the Republicans nominate, because Governors like Walker, Snyder, Scott, and Kasich will have already ensured Obama’s reelection.
These governors not only overreached in 2011, but their collective unpopularity may get Obama reelected in 2012.