New ad turns up heat on Wisconsin Republicans as Walker’s poll numbers sink

Unions are going up with a hard-hitting new ad in Wisconsin, a labor source says, that takes direct aim for the first time at Republican state senators who continue to stand by Governor Walker, even as he sinks in the polls and the unpopularity of his budget repair proposal continues to mount:

The ad, which is paid for by the labor-backed group Greater Wisconsin, is backed by a “significant” buy, the source tells me. The ad is a clear sign that unions will continue ramping up activity even as news reports indicate some senate Republicans may be wavering in their support for Walker.

“Governor Walker’s budget is devastating, and so are state senators who blindly follow him,” the ad intones. “Tell your state senator to stop selling out the middle class, and stop the Walker budget.”

The ad focuses on the impact Walker’s budget cuts would have on Wisconsin communities, rather than on the battle over bargaining rights, which reflects a sense among Walker opponents that the budget itself offers an opportunity to broaden the case against the governor and to continue driving up his negatives.

The use of the phrase “Walker budget” reflects the Governor’s mounting unpopularity in the state. A Rasmussen poll yesterday found that his disapproval rating has jumped to 57 percent among likely Wisconsin voters. With the drive to recall Republican senators picking up some steam, the ad is meant to put them on notice that sticking by Walker will ensure that they sink right along with him.

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.

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