Here’s something that could give some momentum to efforts to recall Wisconsin GOP state senators in the wake of last night’s end-run passage of Scott Walker’s measure to roll back public employee bargaining rights.
I’ve got an advance look at some new polling by Survey USA that finds solid majorities in two GOP senate districts support the recall of their senators. The poll was paid for by MoveOn, which obviously has an ax to grind in this fight, but Survey USA is a respected non-partisan pollster that’s routinely cited by major news organizations.
Here are the numbers, sent over by a MoveOn official, in the districts of GOP senators Dan Kapanke and Randy Hopper.
When asked if they would vote for Hopper or something else if a recall election were held right now, 54 percent said they’d vote for someone else, versus only 43 percent they’d vote for Hopper.
In Kapanke’s district, the numbers were even worse: 57 percent said they’d vote for someone else, versus only 41 percent who said they’d vote for Kapanke.
It gets even more interesting. The poll was taken yesterday, before last night’s events, and fifty-six percent of voters in Kapanke’s district, and 54% of voters in Hopper’s district, said if their Senator voted for Walker’s plan, it would make them more likely to vote for someone else. Last night, both Senators did vote for Walker’s rollback of bargaining rights.
Survey USA surveyed 400 voters in the district of each Senator. In fairness, this poll asks people to choose between their senator and an unnamed opponent, when in reality they would face a real live human being in a recall election. But this is how recalls work: First support needs to be built up for the recall of an official, and once the key procedural hurdles are surmounted, someone steps up in the role of challenger and is nominated by the opposing party in what is effetively a special election.
This poll suggests that in two districts at least, support for recall is already there, which is a good gauge of the intensity of grassroots anger at Wisconsin Republicans and will only give momentum to efforts to gather the signatures required to make the recalls happen.