This month we saw Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-led legislature ram through a piece of legislation despite HUGE public opposition. Poll after poll after poll confirmed that the public was firmly against Walker and the GOP and their push for government taking away the rights of workers.
Now, facing numerous serious recall efforts and public backlash, Walker and the GOP are getting asked the obvious question: why did you ignore the public?
In a Wisconsin State Journal article last week, Walker basically came right out and said he ignores public opinion:
“Polls are nice, if they are on your side,” he said. “But in the end, you’ve got to govern based upon what you think is the right thing.”
His ally in Milwaukee County, Supervisor Joe Sanfelippo, basically said the same thing:
“He ignores the polls and the protests and does what he thinks is right. And I can tell you, he will not give in.”
Walker reiterated his feeling toward public opinion polls in another Wisconsin State Journal article today
“If I governed based on polls, I’d still be in the state Assembly,” Walker said.
But during his campaign for governor, Walker never missed an opportunity to remind the press, in case they missed it, that polls were showing the public was on his side. Here are some (14) examples of Walker campaign press releases pushing poll coverage:
Walker himself spent hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars on polling right up until Election Day. Here are the polling expenditures taken from Walker’s campaign finance reports. Take a look.
So while Walker says he doesn’t pay attention to public opinion, he obviously does, and will pay big money to find out what it is. He just chose to ignore it.