A Marquette University Law School poll released on April 16, 2015 is full of bad news for Wisconsin Republicans. The poll finds that in a head to head presidential contest, Democrat Hillary Clinton would soundly defeat Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker 52-40 percent, in the Badger state.
Furthermore, the poll also finds that Tea Party Republican Ron Johnson is in grave danger of losing his Senate seat in 2016. If Democratic former Senator Russ Feingold seeks a rematch against Johnson, Feingold appears poised to avenge his 2010 loss. Feingold is crushing Johnson 54-38 in that hypothetical race.
Walker’s inability to govern his state effectively has damaged the Republican brand in Wisconsin. Not only has Walker crippled his own chances in the state, but his poor performance as Governor may also drag down Senator Ron Johnson in 2016. 53 percent of Wisconsin voters say the state is headed in the wrong direction, with just 43 percent saying Wisconsin is on the right track. With Republicans in charge of state government, those numbers illustrate why Walker and Johnson are struggling in the polls. By a 50-44 margin, Wisconsin voters also disapprove of the controversial “Right to work” law that the state recently passed.
Wisconsin Republicans still love Scott Walker, so he would have no difficulty in the GOP primary. He leads all other GOP candidates comfortably. However, Democrats and Independents have soured on Walker to the point where he is a liability in a general election contest against Hillary Clinton.
Interestingly, Walker fares worse in his home state than Kentucky Senator Rand Paul or former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Clinton outperforms Paul 49-41, and she is ahead of Bush 49-38. Both those races are closer than the Clinton versus Walker match-up, where Hillary has a 52-40 lead.
The November election is still well over a year away, so Walker and Johnson’s fortunes could potentially rebound, depending upon how events unfold between now and then. However, it is clear that, at this point in time, Wisconsin voters have soured on Governor Walker and the Republican Party. If that trend continues, and Walker somehow still manages to secure the Republican nomination, he could be headed for a double-digit defeat in his home state. Should that happen, he would also almost certainly drag Tea Party Senator Ron Johnson down with him.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.