From 2003 through 2010, Wisconsin suffered through the policies of their Democratic Governor, Jim Doyle. In 2010, Doyle was challenged by the Republican Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. In his campaign, Walker promised to take necessary action to help balance the state’s budget and work on their economic woes. Walker won and was sworn into office on January 3, 2011 and immediately began working to keep his campaign promises.
Walker spearheaded legislation that modified the collective bargaining powers of most state employees. With the help of a GOP controlled state legislature, he also cut $1 billion from the state’s two year education budget and another $500 million from Medicaid.
All of his actions, especially the change to the collective bargaining powers of state workers led to a recall election. Democrats and union leaders from around the nation were pouring millions of dollars into the recall election to unseat the new governor who was living up to his promises. Much to their dismay, Walker handily won with 53% of the vote.
So how do the voters of Wisconsin feel about their governor and the direction the state is heading?
In the latest Marquette Law School Poll, Walker holds a 46% to 41% lead over Mary Burke, the Democratic challenger for the governor’s seat. In October, the race between Walker and Burke was closer with Walker holding a narrow 47% to 45% margin.
When asked about the direction the state is heading, Walker continues to see his numbers grow. In January 2012, 50% said the state was heading in the right direction and 46% said it was on the wrong track. In June 2012, 52% said the state was heading in the right direction and 44% said it was on the wrong track. In the new poll, 54% no say the state is heading in the right direction and only 40% say it’s on the wrong track.
Walker’s success is getting attention from the White House, but it’s anything but congratulatory. Reports indicate that President Obama’s campaign organization has place Walker in their sights, making it a high priority to unseat him from office.
It seems the Obama campaign is not happy that Walker is living up to his promises by cutting the state budget and weakening the unions that represent many of the state’s employees. Walker also made enemies in the White House when he ordered that the national parks in Wisconsin remain open during Obama’s government shutdown.
Commenting about the target being placed on Walker by the Democrats, Robert Knight, columnist for The Washington Times and a Senior Fellow with the America Civil Rights Union, stated:
“The Democrats would dearly love to take out Scott Walker. He represents everything they hate – he’s a traditional values guy who has looked the unions in the face and stood them down; he survived a recall when the kitchen sink was thrown at him; he’s restoring Wisconsin’s economy.”
“… If the American people get wind of [Walker’s performance], this kind of governance will actually return us to prosperity – [and] that would be bad news for the Democratic Party. So the Obama people are moving into Wisconsin [and] throwing everything at this.”
I agree with Knight in that the Democrats can’t stand to see Walker succeed. They claim to be the party of the people, but they can’t stand anyone to actually help the people. Yet, so many people still believe that the Democrats have their best interest at heart. All the Democrats have done lately is take from the poor and keep it for themselves and Gov. Walker is reversing that trend in Wisconsin and it’s really ticking off Obama.