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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Gallup: Strong Support for Collective Bargaining for Public Employees

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker apparently thinks he is poised for a big victory. But the latest Gallup opinion data indicates that he may instead be opening a big can of self-sabotage. Gallup is not infrequently accused of conservative bias in survey methods, which makes this lede from Dennis Cauchon’s USA Today article, “Poll: Americans favor union bargaining rights” all the more interesting:

MADISON, Wis. — Americans strongly oppose laws taking away the collective bargaining power of public employee unions, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. The poll found 61% would oppose a law in their state similar to such a proposal in Wisconsin, compared with 33% who would favor such a law.

The 28 point advantage favoring public employee unions in this controversy is impressive, but Independents were even more opposed to limiting public employee bargaining rights, with 62 percent opposed vs. 31 percent favoring limits. Wisconsin voters can’t be all that different from this nationwide survey sample in their views on the topic.
Not content to advocate an unpopular policy, Gov. Walker seized the opportunity to showcase his ignorance of labor history and a certain flair for Orwellian ‘logic,’ quoted by Cauchon:

“Most people … mistakenly think worker rights come from collective bargaining,” Walker told USA TODAY Tuesday. He said his plan would not remove union workers’ protections from wrongful termination or inappropriate discipline or hiring. “When you alter collective bargaining, it doesn’t alter workers’ rights,” he said.

Just wait till he starts meddling with Wisconsin’s educational system.

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