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Poll: Walker’s Approval Slump Continues

Latest Marquette Survey Shows 39 Percent Approval Rating

Michael Vadon (CC-BY-SA)

Five months after he ended his presidential campaign, Gov. Scott Walker has yet to emerge from his polling slump in Wisconsin.

The latest Marquette University Law School Poll showed 39 percent of Wisconsin voters approve of the job Walker is doing in office, compared to 55 percent who disapprove. That’s virtually unchanged from Marquette’s January survey, when 38 percent approved of Walker’s performance while 57 percent disapproved.

Walker’s drop in the polls early last year coincided with the beginning stages of his presidential campaign, when he started spending more time outside of Wisconsin. It also dovetailed with the introduction of his most recent state budget, which cut spending for a variety of programs, including a $250 million cut to the University of Wisconsin System.

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As soon as his presidential campaign ended, Walker pledged to spend more time in Wisconsin reconnecting with residents. During his State of the State address in January, he called for a package of college affordability bills, an issue that has polled well in surveys like Marquette’s.

At least so far, none of it seems to have made a difference.

“There were some that thought once he got out of the presidential race, his approval would spring back up,” said Marquette University pollster Charles Franklin.

But Franklin said that when Walker’s numbers were nearly this low in 2011, it took 6-12 months for his approval to recover.

“And so the idea that these numbers spring back for anybody overnight is not very realistic,” Franklin said.

In addition to Walker’s low numbers, 52 percent of those polled said Wisconsin had “gotten off on the wrong track,” compared to 44 percent who said the state was headed in the right direction.