Quantcast
Connect with us

Down 10 points: One-time GOP superstar Scott Walker’s political career is crashing and burning

Published

on

- Commentary

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin was the rising star of the Republican Party and believed to be destined for the White House just four years ago. Instead, he may be forced into an early retirement from politics.

This article first appeared on Salon.

ADVERTISEMENT

An NBC News/Marist poll released Thursday shows Walker down a whopping 10 points against his Democratic challenger, state schools superintendent Tony Evers. Evers leads by 53 to 43 percent among likely voters, the survey reported.

Fifty-four percent of respondents said they had a negative view of Walker as governor, even more than the 50 percent who said they disapproved of the job President Donald Trump is doing.

Two earlier polls released in September also showed Evers up by 4 to 7 points, though a Marquette Law School poll muddled the picture this week after showing Walker with a narrow one-point lead, 47 to 46 percent.

All of the polls show a big lead for incumbent Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who is also on the ballot this November. Democrats have looked strong in district-wide elections in the Badger State since Trump took office.

ADVERTISEMENT

Walker losing re-election, perhaps by a large margin, would makes sense in a year where Democrats appear energized to rebuke the ruling party, especially in a state Trump won by about 23,000 votes, or 0.8 percent. Trump has similar sagging approval numbers in nearby states. His approval has fallen to 45 percent in Pennsylvania, 42 percent in Michigan and 40 percent in Minnesota — all states he carried in 2016.

But Walker is no generic swing-state Republican. He won three elections in a state that generally tilts Democratic despite a very conservative Tea Party-inspired platform, including winning a recall election in 2012 after he decimated public unions in the state. He has overseen an aggressive gerrymander of the state that was challenged before the Supreme Court, the creation of a voter ID law that reportedly disenfranchised 200,000 people, and the slashing of public education funds.

His conservatism in a blue state endeared him to the Republican Party and the Koch brothers. By 2014, conservatives like the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol were already picking running mates for Walker’s 2016 presidential bid.

ADVERTISEMENT

It didn’t go well. Walker, who was the last Republican to enter the crowded GOP field, became the first to drop out after just 70 days.

Walker’s decline tracks closely with fellow former Republican governors Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Sam Brownback of Kansas, who imposed hard-right fiscal policies that endeared them to national conservatives, but resulted in disaster for their states and their careers.

Jindal, another conservative darling touted as a presidential contender since 2012, inherited a $1 billion budget surplus when he took over the state, and quickly slashed taxes while cutting health care, education and the state workforce. After two terms, Louisiana had a record $1.6 billion budget deficit. Not only did Jindal finish his doomed 2016 presidential bid while polling at less than 1 percent, he finished his governorship with a 20 percent approval rating in his own state. Democrat John Bel Edwards defeated Republican Sen. David Vitter with 56 percent of the vote to replace him.

ADVERTISEMENT

Brownback, who unsuccessfully ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, found similar success with ultra-conservative policies in Kansas. Brownback took the Republican idea of trickle-down economics to the extreme, overseeing a massive tax slash that resulted in a $700 million revenue loss in its very first year, a potential school shutdown and massive education job cuts, but none of the explosive job growth he had promised. Brownback won his election in 2010 with 63 percent of the vote, but ended his governorship with a 66 percent disapproval rating, resigning to serve in the Trump administration as ambassador-at-large for “international religious freedom.”

Walker now risks becoming the latest Republican cautionary tale, leaving the state with staggering deficits on what may be his final exit.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

You can expect these 3 authoritarian regimes to help get Trump reelected in 2020

Published

on

In the aftermath of the Israeli government’s decision to bar Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from visiting Israel and Palestine, the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders rallied around the two congresswomen, and the Israeli government discredited its American supporters.

With a blatant show of support for President Trump’s strategy of racial polarization, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu not only signaled his government’s support for Trump in the 2020 election; he also served to unify an often-fractious party around a more anti-Israel message that resonates across the party’s left-center spectrum.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘I’ll be darned!’ Rick Perry — who oversees US nukes — fooled by Instagram hoax

Published

on

Energy secretary Rick Perry, who oversees the U.S. nuclear arsenal, fell for an Instagram hoax, along with several celebrities.

The poorly worded "legal" notice is similar to viral hoaxes that have circulated for years on Facebook, which owns Instagram, warning that the social media company will make all its users' photos and messages public.

Instagram isn't changing its privacy policy, according to its chief executive Adam Mosseri.

If you’re seeing a meme claiming Instagram is changing its rules tomorrow, it’s not true - learn more here: https://t.co/Qy102zMQCm

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Has anything changed since Burning Man’s sex assault and labor issues were exposed?

Published

on

The last weekend in August marks the start of Burning Man, a week-long, festival in the Nevada desert consisting of freewheeling performance art, fanciful costumes, and a lot of drugs. The anarchic party with more than 50,000 attendees constitutes a pilgrimage for many attendees, lured by the promise of leaving the “default world” behind in exchange for a transformative or even spiritual experience.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image