Everybody is writing about the new poll from the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute finding Scott Walker tanking in the polls, but it seems to me this number from the internals is the key one:
I’m going to read you two statements about the current conflict over public employee benefits and collective bargaining rights, and I want to know which one comes closest to your view.
Governor Walker should stand strong for the plan he has proposed no matter how long the protests go on, OR
Governor Walker should negotiate with Democrats and public employees’ unions in order to find a compromise solution.
Governor Walker should strand strong 33
Governor Walker should compromise 65
Among independents, 68 percent want Walker to compromise. The key here is that the poll also finds that a majority overall also disapproves of the Dems’ decision to flee the state -- yet they still seem to place the onus on Walker to do what it takes to resolve the standoff.
It’s hard to see how this number wouldn’t weigh heavily with state senate Repblicans who are said to be wavering in their support for the Governor. Indeed, it seems plausible that these Republicans may conclude that embracing or even trying to broker a compromise is a good way out of their current predicament.
Along these lines, Sam Stein reports that Dems have issued Governor Walker a challenge: Meet us at the Illinois border and let’s discuss compromise. That would seem to cut against all the reports claiming Dems are about to come home, and suggests that Dems have concluded -- in keeping with the above polling -- that the public will continue to blame Walker and Republicans if the standoff drags on.