In January, Walker’s job approval was 51 percent; in March, it was 50 percent; and this month, it’s 47 percent.
In January, Walker was leading Barrett 50-44; in March, 47-45; and this month, he trails 46-47. (Among likely voters, Walker leads by a point; all of these findings suggest a mostly unchanging dead heat.)
“There’s been a great deal of advertising in the state, especially from the Walker campaign and Republican supporters, and we’ve seen virtually no movement in the Walker numbers,” Franklin tells me.
What’s particularly interesting here is that just yesterday, Walkerannounced he’d raised a staggering $13 million in three months for the recall fight. But even though he’s likely to outspend his Dem opponent in the home stretch, it’s unclear how much that will matter, because the numbers suggest ads are unlikely to move the needle much going forward.
It’s not like he’s some unknown quantity, either. I’m sure there are people in the state of Wisconsin who just haven’t heard enough about Walker to make up their minds if he or whatever organism the Dems nominate would do a better job, but the club of the most of them have spent the past year-plus hearing Walker nonstop, pro and con. Short of his fishing bin Laden out of the sea and killing him again, it’s difficult to see what Walker could do that would influence his approval ratings in any way.
That doesn’t mean recall’s a lock, though. This stuff’s hard for a reason:
“It won’t take much in voter turnout to tip the race either way,” Franklin says. “You can spend an awful lot of money on advertising and it would be unlikely to change many minds. But the advantages that Democrats and unions have traditionally had in the ground game is certainly an area where they can match Walker’s organization at the very least.”