Wisconsin Round Two

Last week’s poll on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s budget reforms set off a firestorm of responses. Clearly, emotions and opinions are volatile surrounding the bold moves made by Walker, and public opinions on the issues run into the extremes. A number of our readers sent great suggestions for follow-up questions. We offer one of those today, and revisit another question from last week.

First of all, we wanted to once again measure public sentiment toward the Wisconsin Senate Democrats’ decision to leave the state rather than allow a quorum to be present for a vote on Gov. Walker’s initiatives. Last week we found that a majority of people were (at that time, at least) opposed to Walker’s reforms, but disagreed with the Senate Democrats disappearing act. That intrigued us, so we wanted to see if Wisconsin resident continued to disapprove of that maneuver after a week later. We revamped the question:

We’d like to know if you APPROVE or DISAPPROVE of Wisconsin Senate Democrats’ decision to leave the state to avoid a vote on Governor Walker’s budget reforms.

To help us understand the segmentation, we also asked everyone their gender, whether they (or member of their household) were union members, and their political party affiliation. Here are their responses:

Type of Poll: Automated
Sample: 3,538 Wisconsin residents
Date of Poll: 2/28/201
Margin of Error: ±1.66%
ApproveDisapproveUncertainTotal
ALL RESPONSES43.84%52.77%3.39%100.00%
BY GENDER
Female46.26%49.31%4.42%100.00%
Male40.80%57.10%2.10%100.00%
BY UNION / NON-UNION
Union household61.02%36.21%2.78%100.00%
Non-union houshold36.65%59.70%3.65%100.00%
BY PARTY ID
Republican18.12%80.04%1.85%100.00%
Democrat75.15%20.92%3.93%100.00%
Independent41.94%53.80%4.27%100.00%

We were also curious on the public’s general opinion on whether state workers’ and teachers’ should be required to join a labor union. Here’s how we asked that question:

We’d like to know if you believe that Wisconsin state workers should be REQUIRED to belong to a labor union…or should it be optional?

Again, the same demographics apply…

RequiredOptionalUncertainTotal
ALL RESPONSES26.43%68.77%4.80%100%
BY GENDER
Female25.22%68.99%5.80%100.00%
Male27.94%68.49%3.56%100.00%
BY UNION /NON-UNION
Yes38.98%56.51%4.50%100.00%
No21.17%73.90%4.93%100.00%
BY POLITICAL PARTY ID
Republican14.69%82.67%2.64%100.00%
Democrat43.61%49.80%6.58%100.00%
Independent23.43%71.29%5.28%100.00%

At first glance, the crosstab showing that responses from union households to this question may appear as an anomaly. However, we’ve seen this type of result before in rank-and-file union households when polling on issues such as “card check” initiatives. And remember, we asked about union options for public employees.

What comes next in Wisconsin is anyone’s guess. There are a number of other questions that we may want to ask as this struggle continues to unfold. Stay tuned.

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NOTE: This poll was paid for by We Ask America. The information has not been shared with any public official, candidate, cause or campaign.

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