A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is starting to take a big political hit for his effort to deep-six collective bargaining from public unions (an effort I suspect will be successful in the end). But is this now posing a bigger danger to the GOP?
TMPDC’s Jon Terbush notes:
Another key detail — the poll shows younger voters being generally more supportive of unions and collective bargaining rights than those in older demographics. That’s a reversal of what is often assumed to be the case — younger voters tilting liberal on social issues, while older voters lean liberal on the labor issues.
For example, 63% of respondents aged 18-39 opposed weakening collective bargaining rights, while 46% of respondents in both the 40-64 year-old and 65+ demographics said the same.
That could be a bad omen for the GOP in future elections, especially if they continue to take aim at organized labor — there are similar labor battles heating up in Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, and elsewhere.
UPDATE: Balloon Juice’s Kay wonders:
Younger people, who have heard virtually no pro-labor voices in media and perhaps don’t belong to a union, seem to be attracted to the general ideas behind unions. I’m wondering if that has anything to do with their experience in Great Depression II. And this isn’t very young, exclusively. It’s 18 to 39, so it’s working people.
Or, maybe, they’re just repelled by Walker as an individual and adopt whatever stance is opposite his?
It could be a little of BOTH: if you talk to young people, many of them are scrambling and a bit shell shocked at the obstacles they face whether it’s with higher tuition fees or finding a job. They see many of their relatives scrambling. Plus there is this: Walker is a quintessential talk show political culture Republican and that is fine and dandy if you’re a talk show fan or tea party member. But he offers little in the way to independents or more moderate Democrats. He is a governor of the base by the base and for the base and the danger for the GOP is that in the long term they may be losing potential members of their future base.
As I’ve said before: I believe Walker will win this battle in the end. But the operative question now becomes whether the manner in which he and GOPers win it — coupled with events in Ohio — wind up mobilizing the Democratic party base and adding to it in a way that Barack Obama has been unable to do since he took the oath of office.