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Friday, February 18, 2011

Walker Has No 'Silent Majority'

Sign, 'Danger - Idiot in power'
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, facing what the right is casting as a Marxist revolution over his plan to bust public employees unions, has come to taking Richard Nixon's "silent majority" argument -- that most people support the move, but that the whiners are making it look otherwise. Facing crowds of protesters numbering as high as 30,000, Walker explained that the number was insignificant, because there are "about 5.5 million people in the state." So remember, if you're in Wisconsin and not at the capitol, you automatically support Walker. It's just (teabagger) logic.

But Walker's argument suffered a little ding recently, as actual poll numbers on the issue finally come out.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

A poll paid for by a liberal group says a majority of state residents oppose Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal currently before the state Senate.

The survey, conducted Wednesday night by The Shop Consulting, found that by a 2-to-1 ratio, respondents strongly oppose the provisions in Walker's plan or think they go too far.

Building a Stronger Wisconsin, which doesn't disclose its donors but supported Democratic candidates in the November election, paid for the poll, which has a margin of error of 4%.

Yes, it's a poll by a liberal group, but you need to consider two points. First, the survey itself was done by a private polling firm. Pollsters have nothing to sell but accuracy. If a polling outfit gets a reputation for bad or stilted data, the media will stop paying attention to their findings and clients will stop knocking on their door.

Second, where's the poll that shows otherwise? You know Republicans and corporate groups have done internal polling on this -- they'd be fools not to -- and have the "real" data. If Walker's move had broad cheesehead support, they'd be shouting it from the capitol dome with megaphones. Instead, we get an illogical statistical argument comparing the number of protesters to the number of people not protesting. Clearly, the data they have doesn't support Walker's argument.

So, is there any evidence to show that the state supports Walker and his Republicans? Not a shred. Meanwhile, there are crowds showing up in the tens of thousands protesting them and a poll showing that Wisconsinites oppose him 2-to-1.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the idea that a "silent majority" supports Walker is almost certainly BS.


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