Monday, October 26, 2015

Wisconsin poll shows voters prefer a new (and liberal) direction

Democratic candidates and politicians receive higher marks than their Republican counterparts

The Wisconsin Survey poll, which was conducted through a partnership of Wisconsin Public Radio and St. Norbert College, shows a general distaste of where things are heading in both the nation and the state.

Nationally, Wisconsin residents view things going in the wrong direction, with 62 percent of respondents saying so. The direction that the state is taking didn’t fare much better: 57 percent said they felt Wisconsin was moving in the wrong direction also.

But when it came to attitudes on specific candidates and politicians within the state and country, it’s clear to see that respondents overwhelmingly supported a Democratic vision.

President Barack Obama received an approval rating from state residents of 51 percent, with 47 percent disapproving. That’s a net approval rating of four percent.

To contrast that, Gov. Scott Walker received an approval rating of just 39 percent, with three-out-of-five voters (60 percent) disapproving. That’s a net disapproval of 19 percent.

When it comes to our two U.S. senators, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson receives a 38 percent approval/49 percent disapproval ratings. Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin flips those numbers, and got a 49 percent approval/35 percent disapproval rating.

Forty-six percent said they’re more likely to vote in the Democratic Party presidential primary, while only 40 percent said they’d choose to vote in the Republican Party primary.

Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders defeat three presidential contenders (Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, and Ben Carson) in potential head-to-head contests.

Democratic candidate Russ Feingold handily defeats Ron Johnson in a rematch of their senate battle from six years ago, by 51 to 40 margin.

Overall, most respondents were willing to call themselves Democrats or leaned Democratic (47 percent) as opposed to being labeled Republicans or Republican leaners (39 percent).

Despite all of these numbers, Republicans in the state will continue to hammer out a conservative agenda. They have to -- in 2016 many of them may be out of a job. So they’re doing their due diligence to make sure that any efforts to clean up their dirtying of Wisconsin politics won’t be so easy.

But it won’t be impossible. Yes, statewide gerrymandered legislative maps have made it nearly impossible for Democrats to win a majority in the legislature. But Republicans have messed the state up so much that it is entirely possible yet for Democrats to win in extra high numbers, given the right conditions.

It will take a lot of ground work, pounding pavements and knocking on doors. And it will take an enormous information campaign, allowing residents to get a full picture of what the Republicans have been up to in the capitol. The list is a long one indeed -- there is probably a red-button issue that every resident can conjure up in their own mind that Republicans have fully endorsed.

Sadly until we’re able to replace these failed leaders, Republicans will continue to govern just as they have. We the people need to stand up to them whenever possible. And when bad legislation does get passed, we need to vow to remedy it further down the line -- by putting some fresh new faces in the state legislature, and eventually the governor’s office itself.

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