This is (apparently, so far) shaping up to be a political defeat for the unions, the Democrats, and Obama.

48% Back GOP Governor in Wisconsin Spat, 38% Side With Unions.

So far, it looks that way.

If these sorts of numbers hold up, the unions, the Democrats, and Mr. Obama will have managed to turn a local setback into a major defeat by accepting battle on a ground not of their own choosing.

(I wanted poll numbers, and I went to Patrick Ruffini’s Twitter stream, knowing if there were any, he’d have them.)

That poll is a national, not a Wisconsin poll.

What are the Wisconsin-only numbers? Last week Walker was apparently behind.

The question was:

As you may know, Gov. Scott Walker has proposed a plan to limit the pay of government workers and teachers, increase their share of the cost of benefits, and strip some public-employ unions of much of their power. We’d like to know if APPROVE or DISAPPROVE of Gov. Walker’s plan.

43% approved, 53% disapproved. But that was last week, the question is slanted, events have moved on and that is only one poll. (That same poll found that by 55/36 people wanted the Democrat senators to return to the capitol.)

I don’t see any other Wisconsin-only polls. If anyone knows of one please put a link in the comments.

It is too early to say how this will all play out.

12 thoughts on “This is (apparently, so far) shaping up to be a political defeat for the unions, the Democrats, and Obama.”

  1. The pressure has been ratcheted up so high around here with the massive demonstrations, I am starting to wonder if these are convulsions rather than the activity of a living entity.

    I also think that even if Walker doesn’t “win” (and I think he will) this has been a great starting point to diminish the public sector unions nationwide.

  2. Lex: I think that the Teachers Union has apparently asked all of its members to go back to work, and the unions new ploy is: “We will accept the financial terms that Governor Walker has asked for can’t we pretty please negotiate something else on the other issues”, both confirm that the wind is blowing against them.

  3. Listening to some radio show today and heard that the “we’ll be glad to give up the financial elements’ is a ploy. Insistence on being able to continue the ‘right to negotiate’ would include negotiations on this ‘giving up the financial part’.

    The last ‘negotiation’ on such matters took over 15 months. Just a ploy they said and I agree.

  4. The whole public service union/democrat administration pas de deux looks like a Ponzi scheme once the harsh glare of rational inquiry is applied to its wormy guts…. The whole concept of public unions should be illegal, in that it allows members to be represented twice, once directly at the negotiating table as a union member, and again at the polling booth as a citizen of the locality. Simultaneously, each of those privately-employed citizens who together pay the bulk of the union members’ salaries have but one vote, and effectively no power to fight off the unions’ ever-greedier demands. One man, one vote? Not when there are public unions, who offer nothing but specious rationalizations and thuggery when challenged. Public unions are undemocratic in theory, and stink of nothing but corruption in reality. They must all be dissolved.

    Otherwise, like in CA, the CALPERS mafia and the Demonrats continue to negotiate more incredible pension frauds, which make Signore Ponzi look unimaginative. Maggie Thatcher’s dictum that this will keep going on until CA runs out of other peoples’ money is the final judgment.

  5. It’s hard to see why a national poll matters much here. re: WI poll: how is it slanted? It seems like an accurate depiction of Walker’s plan.

  6. @ Jpe

    The national poll matters because of other states are heading that way, and the dems ultimately lose the topic. For in WI, even if the union wins, could be a (national) Phyrric victory if the polls are accurate.

    The WI poll is only one data point, it takes three to plot a trend, and more than three to establish statistical outliers. Polling can be slanted through many techniques, see numerous books and experts on that.

  7. One of the local Madison television stations had a poll last night. It was 49% favoring Walker and 51% favoring the teachers. Remember this is Madison. If the numbers were that close here, it is not a good sign for the teachers.

  8. The light on this has been educational. True, I always had a gut reaction against teacher’s unions. It had always seemed to have the same potential problems as nepotism, etc. But what happens when any system of checks and balances is abrogated becomes clear in reporting and in comments. Surely many a Wisconsin resident was like me – hadn’t thought about the implications of the one vote, one time nature of the union nor that the employer is responsible for figuring up, taking out, and passing along the dues nor that the union was bargaining to make its own insurance the required one (in some places) for union members. The obvious problem that the negotiator had nothing to lose and everything to win by agreeing to the union demands surely would make many a Ponzi scheme con man jealous. That teacher’s colleges themselves are con games has also been obvious. And then there’s the whole “critical thinking” scam.

    In a sense the Wisconsin battle is like 9/11. We’ve long taken for granted, ignored, and even been cynical about some of our core values (checks and balances – that power tends to corrupt and absolute power – one with no checks and balances at the negotiating table – tends to corrupt absolutely). We can see, here, that those old values have weight and wisdom and contemporary sophistries are destructive, even if they seem self-evidently silly.

  9. While the focus on teachers unions is valid, it is only half the battle in terms of the educational system. Paying teachers $42K with a good retirement and health care plan is really not out of line if the unions were out of the way. Hiring, promoting, pay increases, class assignments and so forth are tilted way too heavily toward seniority, rather than merit. Young teachers coming into the system with a high level of energy and inspiration are too quickly beaten into submission. The big problem not being addressed, however, is in Washington. A school district is doing well if 50% of its money goes into classrooms – teachers’ pay, instructional materials, etc… The rest goes to administration and extracurriculars – mostly administration.

    There is a bureaucratic stranglehold on the education system – some created by federal mandates and some self-sustaining. My daughter is a high school teacher in Arizona, and she spends 2-3 weeks a year in workshops, while substitute teachers are paid to run her classes. These workshops are funded from Washington and the money can only be spent on them. So while the teachers are telling kids they have to bring paper and pencils from home because the school cannot afford them, tens of thousands of dollars are spent on training in such areas as diversity management, and odd new theories of educational technique.

    The district has a superintendent and three people with the title Assistant Superintendent, all four making north of $100K, and there is no clear job description of what these three assistants actually do, and of course no accountability.

    Extracurriculars are used as the funding weapon – if the voters do not pass the tax levy the most popular programs such as football, marching bands, proms and school plays will be eliminated, or teachers laid off – never a word about a curriculum coordinator, or diversity analyst job being cut.

    What is happening in Madison is job one, but then the voters need to march on Washington with torches and pitchforks demanding the abolishment of the Department of Education, and a return of the schools to local communities so the adminstrative mess can be cleaned up.

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