April 16, 2014

Is Scott Walker the front-runner for the GOP nomination in 2016?

Power Line asks, after a new poll shows him with a 16-point lead in his reelection campaign.
Revealingly, Walker fares well in an electorate that does not seem particularly conservative and that, if anything, appears to be slightly to the left of American voters in general...

The buzz among Republican accompanying a big Walker victory [in November 2014] would probably dwarf the considerable buzz that followed Chris Christie’s runaway win in New Jersey. 
Walker may do very well here in Wisconsin, but is he ready for the national scene? Power Line says Walker has "more humility and less bravado" than Christie and presents this as a reason he's "a less inviting target than Christie." Of course, Walker is completely different from Christie, but if he's the front-runner, he's the target. No invitation needed. He'll be attacked, just not in the same way as Christie. Christie is the loud-mouth braggart from the East Coast, which rubs many Americans the wrong way. But the modest, nice-enough guy from the Midwest... does America get that?

Here's Walker's newest ad. Check it out. He's barely even in it:

77 comments:

Mark said...

Wisconsin is barely in that ad. Nothing but stock imagery.

You would think he would include a Brewer, Packer, or Badger logo, or something identifiably Wisconsin.

Conserve Liberty said...

All any credentialed elite commenter need do is ask where he earned his Bachelor's Degree, then drop a jaw with incredulity.

Destroy Credibility. Check.

Meade said...

number of times "Wisconsin" mentioned: 3
number of times "Walker" mentioned: 1

That ratio seems about right.

MadisonMan said...

No mention of job creation. Wonder why.

cubanbob said...

It doesn't matter who the Republican's run, the lies and smears are inevitable. What matters is whether or not the voters regard the Republican candidate as even worse than Hillary and considering Hillary is who she is it's almost impossible to find a credible Republican who would even be worse than her.

MadisonMan said...

But I don't see how a Walker victory means much -- I don't see how he can lose, frankly, and I sit back to watch Democrat Heads explode with some fascination.

Now, a Big Walker Victory (not defined, of course) might mean something, but since it's not defined, it's not able to be tested.

I'll define a Big Walker Victory to mean he takes Dane County. That would mean something.

garage mahal said...

I wonder if that cornfield is even in Wisconsin. And why would he be chatting with a family farmer I wonder?

eric said...

We do like nice guys. We like them a lot.

What we don't like is the guy who is too nice. Who agrees with everyone because he doesn't want to be disagreable.

If Walker has a spine and can stand up for his team and his positions, great.

But if he gets on the national stage and becomes an apologist for his team, that'll sink him quick.

He doesn't have to agree with those of us on the right, necessarily. All we ask is he doesn't throw us under the bus when the media plays the association game with him.

Terry Canaan said...

If Walker -- a college dropout with a nightmarish economic record and a history of shady campaigning -- is the best Republicans can come up with, we should all get used to saying "President Clinton" right now and get it over with.

RecChief said...

Mark said...
"Wisconsin is barely in that ad. Nothing but stock imagery.

You would think he would include a Brewer, Packer, or Badger logo, or something identifiably Wisconsin.
"

I saw farming and CNC machinery.

Are you saying Wisconsin doesn't have a history of farming and industry?

But yes, let's focus on.... sports?

MadisonMan said...

I wonder if that cornfield is even in Wisconsin

It looks more Wisconsin-y than Iowa or Illinois to me. The land isn't pancake flat.

It would be interesting to learn, though, for any political ad, where the imagery comes from. That family of 6 -- are they really in WI? And those graduates? From where?

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...
I wonder if that cornfield is even in Wisconsin. And why would he be chatting with a family farmer I wonder?"

Probably to thank them for putting up one of those monster "I stand with Governor Walker" signs.

And to tell them property taxes won't be going up.

And that they will see part of a $1 billion return of unneeded taxation.

Farmers are no different than most folks in the state...we like that.

Curious George said...

Now we know why Burke won't spend her own money.

RecChief said...

Here is an example of what I mean:

"Carney also noted that the timeline for releasing demographic information and details, such as who among the 7.5 million have paid their first month's insurance premium, is different than the timing for the administration's push to have the Senate confirm Sylvia Mathews Burwell as the next HHS secretary.

I bet the timetable is different, any guesses why? Could it have anything to do with the fact that if the numbers aren't what the administration touted, the person who signed off on the "if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. period." lie and the architect of shutdown theater won't get appointed? Or at least, it's one less thing to question her about at her confirmation hearing? And why even go to the trouble of a hearing anyway? it's theater. The Democrat party has 51 votes, I'm sure. Why waste everyone's time? Just hold a vote today, appoint her, and be done with the kabuki.

Curious George said...

"Terry Canaan said...
If Walker -- a college dropout with a nightmarish economic record and a history of shady campaigning -- is the best Republicans can come up with, we should all get used to saying "President Clinton" right now and get it over with."

If so, you should get used to "Governor Walker."

khesanh0802 said...

Hey Garage, no comment on the poll numbers? I am sure you have some snark you can come up with.

Curious George said...

16 points down? Burke won't put her own money in, and outside money is gonna dry up like Nancy Pelosi's gadget.

Marshal said...

Last cycle everyone got a shot at being the Not-Romney. Except Huntsman of course, there's not much support for a Republican who thinks everything would be fine if only there weren't any conservatives.

This cycle will be even more open since everyone will have a shot at being the front-runner or the not-front-runner (some will be both).

Most are going to cycle through as fast as Gingrich and Cain did. Walker will get his shot.

Of the main candidates I think Cruz and Walker have the least damaging baggage.

B said...

Terry Canaan said: "If Walker -- a college dropout..."

Is this the tone we should expect? Being derisive of a person without a college degree?

garage mahal said...

I wonder what picture of Walker Curious George jacks off to. The wink and finger gun, or the deer hunting selfie where Walker pretends to be deer hunting ?

Sorun said...

That looks like Wisconsin corn in the summer of 2012.

bbkingfish said...

I hope so.

Sorun said...

It is 2012 corn near Burlington, WI.

Michael said...

Hillary can be beaten by an honest man with a sense of humor. Hillary wants to tell you not to eat in the library and looks, always, as if she were holding a wasp in her mouth.

damikesc said...

If Walker -- a college dropout with a nightmarish economic record and a history of shady campaigning -- is the best Republicans can come up with, we should all get used to saying "President Clinton" right now and get it over with.

That got Obama elected. Twice.

And Hillary is a really, really bad candidate with, literally, no record to run on in spite of her 30 years of service or so.

Brando said...

Republicans--at least those who want to win in 2016--ought to look at one key thing: how good a politician their candidate is. Can they sling mud without making it look mean? Can they deftly play the ju-jitsu of spinning an attack back on the attacker? Can they rev up a crowd? Can they handle the media, particularly the hostile media?

And most importantly--can they move the voters? By which I mean turn out the base while not exciting the opposing base, and swing enough moderates his/her way.

I'm hard pressed to think of a time the GOP nominated a great campaigner (I didn't think Bush was that good, but compared to his opposition he towered). And among those often mentioned as candidates for 2016 who does that leave?

Will Cate said...

"Wisconsin is back ON."

That's a great slogan.

David said...

No he's not the front runner. There is no front runner. At this stage, in a truly competitive contest, you do now want to be the front runner.

For the Democrats it's different. Hillary is the clear front runner. In fact that's pretty much all she's got. Other Democrats know that if they do not bow to her now, she will behead them later if she wins.

That didn't stop Obama in 2008, but he didn't have much to lose. If Hillary won, he was going to have to craft a reputation as a senator for 8 years if he wanted to be President. That was unlikely to work well for him.

We tend to forget that the Democrat pros did not start to come to him until he had already kicked Hillary around in the primaries for a while.

Right now Walker does not have the kind of staff and advisers needed to run for President. By design, I would guess. If it really opens up for him, they will come. There are still some old dogs in Wisconsin with very good. He's governor of Wisconsin, and he understands he has to do that well first/

joucas said...

I just don't see a relatively modest, small-bore personality being able to win, unless the opposing is also flawed. Jimmy Carter could win, but only because he was running against Gerald Ford in a post-Watergate environment. To be a credible presidential candidate, people have to be able to see that person as an occupant of the White House. Walker isn't there. Maybe he'll achieve that status, but he has a lot of selling to do (remember when Bobby Jindal was going to be the next big thing?)

David said...

"I'll define a Big Walker Victory to mean he takes Dane County. That would mean something."

That would mean a mass emigration to Colorado Springs and Boulder in the year before the election.

The Godfather said...

In 2012 the GOP chose the only candidate that didn't self-destruct during the campaign (my preferred candidate, Tim Pawlenty, self-destructed so quietly nobody even noticed he was gone). Part of the problem was the endless series of "debates", which made all the participants look smaller than life and "non-Presidential", and which created "news" only when a candidate fucked up. I've heard lots of people say the Republicans have to change that process, but I haven't seen any sign that they will.

So the last thing Walker wants is to be the "front runner" after the 2014 elections. He'll feel like Animal in Stalag 17. He should pray that Chris is forgiven, or there's a boomlet for Jeb, or Rick comes roaring back, or Mario denounces illegal aliens, or Sarah or The Donald announces -- or SOMETHING to draw the enemy fire (do I need to say that "enemy" means the MSM? Nah, you knew that).

Conserve Liberty said...

If Walker -- a college dropout with a STRIKE nightmarish /STRIKE brilliantly executed economic record and a history of STRIKE shady campaigning /STRIKE telling the truth -- is the best Republicans can come up with, we should all get used to saying "President Clinton" right now and get it over with.

Just changing your hyperbole for fun.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Great, that's governance for the people, and not just for the ego of the celebrity politician.

If the Republican party ever discovered that principle.... but that's a faint hope. This year they think that NOT DEMOCRATS is going to win an elections, without a thought to how they'd run things differently. Or how they'd rein in the government overreach item by item, or how they'd encourage new business, or what they'd do to salvage a foreign policy.

Some of the most discouraging literature coming in the mail slot is Republican fund-raising, simply railing against Democrats. It's time to can the hucksters who think that's going to govern a country.

Freeman Hunt said...

"But the modest, nice-enough guy from the Midwest... does America get that?"

He'd play well in the South.

Mark said...

There is a reason why the Journal Sentinel did not cover this poll and everyone blew it off .... except for the hyper partisans for whom accuracy and good samples are irrelevant.

J Lee said...

Walker's team's following the Reagan 1984 campaign ad strategy. He was barely in those, ads, which focused on general tone above visual face-time (The 'Russian Bear' and 'Morning In America' ads).

It works if the voters have an image already locked in about you, and a majority of those view the image favorably. On the other hand, it would be a horrid strategy to use in any 2016 presidential ads, since you'd be looking at Walker having to introduce himself to the voters of the 49 other stations (where political junkies who already know who he is are part of a vast minority of voters).

garage mahal said...

Hey Garage, no comment on the poll numbers? I am sure you have some snark you can come up with

Historically, it's a garbage poll. Rasmussen, also garbage, had it tied two months ago.

garage mahal said...

Hillary can be beaten by an honest man with a sense of humor.

Welp. That ain't Walker. Crooked, and has the personality of a cold, damp dishrag.

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...
I wonder what picture of Walker Curious George jacks off to. The wink and finger gun, or the deer hunting selfie where Walker pretends to be deer hunting ?"

Remember garage getting all stoked because Walkers ad by "didn't move the needle"?

Needle moved.

Walker 2010 WIN
Walker 2012 BIGGER WIN
Walker 2014 EVEN BIGGER WIN






Mountain Maven said...

A "nice guy" successful governor who knows how to fight and win. A non ivy league non lawyer. A candidate with no baggage.

Ann/Meade, you need to clear out the pervs in your commenters.

gadfly said...

So degree-less Scott Walker is like Rush Limbaugh with humility - but first and foremost a self-made man.

His campaign style is as reserved as any politician that I have observed. He could be more contentious than he is - perhaps he needs to be tutored by Sarah Palin.

Michael K said...

"If Walker -- a college dropout with a nightmarish economic record and a history of shady campaigning "

For a moment I thought you were describing Obama, then I noticed "college dropout" and knew it couldn't be him.

Crunchy Frog said...

He's boring. Right now there are only three guys that move the needle with Republican voters: Paul, Cruz, and (unfortunately) Huckabee. The Bible thumpers love him because he's an ex-preacher, but nobody else can stand him. Right now the Establishment GOP has nobody, but they will throw enough CoC money at someone (probably Rubio) with name recognition to make it somewhat interesting. Ultimately it will come down to foreign policy, and I think Paul is too dovish for the folks on the right.

Ted Cruz is going to make lefty heads explode all over this great nation.

dave_WI said...

It is all about Wisconsin getting better and right at the end, the last message is; and I did it. Great campaign ad.

Æthelflæd said...

I'd be good with Walker. As a Texan, I recognize that a Texas or southern accent is a liability in much of the country. Walker may not be the fire eater that Paul or Cruz is, but he oozes capability without coming across as a squish like Romney or Pawlenty.

He may be just what the doctor ordered;, but boy howdy, it is early days yet.

garage mahal said...


Remember garage getting all stoked because Walkers ad by "didn't move the needle"?


This was Curious George in August 2012, predicting a Tommy Thompson win. The thread was discussing Thompson's 11 point lead at the time.

"3% are undecided doesn't bode well for the first open lesbian in the House. I was a Hovde guy, but the silver lining is that WI knows Tommy...how can Baldwin move enough voters. She can't."

Ah, good times. Many other hilarious lesbian cracks in other threads, but alas, the lesbian kicked the former governor's ass.

MadisonMan said...

but first and foremost a self-made man

How is Walker a self-made man?

Phil 3:14 said...

From out here in Arizona, he looks pretty good.

chickenlittle said...

Mary Burke should just cave right now. What a waste of her money to run against success.

Of course, I'd like to see garage mahal (and others) donate generously to her campaign just to see the redistribution continue.

Alex said...

If Walker runs for POTUS the entire campaign will revolve around alleged breaking of campaign laws when he was county executive.

Just don't bother 'Pubs, keep him in Wisconsin.

Alex said...

It is a bit humiliating for Democrats that Walker is probably going to win by double-digits this time. I mean WTF, I thought Wisconsin was uber-progressive and hates union busting? Right garage? Or is it the Koch money?

grackle said...

Is it stating the obvious to offer the opinion that the primaries are designed to winnow out weak campaigners? I like Walker a lot. Do most voters have a degree? Could his lack of degree actually turn out to be a positive and make him more palatable to the base?

Maybe degrees are overrated. It's the highly educated that have made the US an object of derision and scorn overseas. And billy-clubbed the economy. Perhaps what is needed is less nuance and more simplicity. I'm tired of all the Harvard/Princeton grads screwing things up.

The Crack Emcee said...

Is Scott Walker the front-runner for the GOP nomination in 2016?

No.

Am I expected to elaborate?

Oso Negro said...

Please quit pimping this guy. You are not doing him or yourself any favors. If nominated, he will be mocked relentlessly for his lack of education. It is 2014. Presidents are expected to be college-educated.

Alex said...

Oso - most Americans do not have college degrees.

richard mcenroe said...

Let's see... fiscally responsible and makes lefties' heads explode? I'd vote for Walker in a Madison Minute.

richard mcenroe said...

All Walker has to say is, "And then I cut the budget by a billions and handed half of it straight back to the taxpayers."

Unknown said...

---a college dropout with a nightmarish economic record and a history of shady campaigning ---

Comedy Gold!! That's why I surf the internet. Way to go HAHAHA.

I'm enjoying my tax cut from our billion dollar surplus! How about that tuition freeze at UW? Wanna trade Wisc unemployment for Illiniois? Hhahahahah.

richard mcenroe said...

But the modest, nice-enough guy from the Midwest... does America get that?

You mean like Eisenhower?

Gahrie said...

Am I expected to elaborate?

No...you're expected to make ourageous claims and charges of racism and blame Whitey for everything.

Mark said...

Alex, most executives do. Most people aspire for their kids to get one.

If Walker runs having not finished his education or his term .... Not impressive. People will thnk Sarah Palin got off easy, count on it.

cubanbob said...

If Walker -- a college dropout with a nightmarish economic record and a history of shady campaigning -- is the best Republicans can come up with, we should all get used to saying "President Clinton" right now and get it over with."

Nope. With all if his so-called deficits he is still more accomished and far less shady than Hillary.

grackle said...

If nominated, he will be mocked[by the MSM] relentlessly for his lack of education.

Of course. It's a given that ANY GOP candidate will be mocked for something. Question is … will the mockery work or will it boomerang into his favor? The primaries, if he runs, will provide a partial answer to that.

rcommal said...

Man-o-day. Perhaps it's yet another one who's peaked too soon. Who can tell or know. Time rolls on, as always, and it crushes as it goes. We'll find out, in the event, at the time when it actually matters. Until then, it's just theater.

rcommal said...

t is 2014. Presidents are expected to be college-educated.

Ah, yes. But what does college-educated mean?

Specifically.

Aught Severn said...

Oso said: Please quit pimping this guy. You are not doing him or yourself any favors. If nominated, he will be mocked relentlessly for his lack of education. It is 2014. Presidents are expected to be college-educated.

Not all well-educated people have gone to college. Not all people who have gone to college are well-educated. Who is it that expects presidents to be college-credentialed? People? I am part of the 'People' group and that is not my expectation. It may be your expectation, but please claim ownership of it as it is very presumptuous to assume it applies to others (although an argument could be made that someone who requires college certification as proof of whatever would necessarily be someone who is presumptuous...). If it is not your expectation then how can you know anyone actually holds it, and why did you bother writing it as truth?

Or to put things more succinctly: I disagree with at least two of the assumptions in your statement.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Most Americans do not have college degrees but I believe they expect their leaders to.

I would be interested in seeing polling on this.

sojerofgod said...

I hate to say it but the crowd is right here about the lack of an Ivy League Pedigree. I believe the last president to not be a member of that club was Reagan, and he of course was constantly mocked -the "Amiable Dunce" if you remember. Now the corporate media has shed its mantle of impartiality and come out full-throated for the progressive cause they will have no compunction destroying him as they did Sarah Palin and other similar people.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I want to be able to Stand With Governor Walker.

garage mahal said...

I'm enjoying my tax cut from our billion dollar surplus!

Really. How much and when did you receive it?

RecChief said...

I have a number of people with Masters Degrees who work for me. Little old me with a bachelors degree. Most of them got their Master's immediately following their Bachelor's so no real work experience. How exactly can you be a Master of anything at age 25?

It's funny, they might have book knowledge, but they are also unable to see 2nd and 3rd order effects. Almost like they expect everything in the world to follow the scenarios set up for them in a classroom. I'm the one that my superiors look to to actually get something accomplished.

I'm not denigrating a University education, but it seems like standards have dropped in getting those credentials. At this point in our history, I think a college degree is over-rated.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Question, though. Will Tonette Walker need a stylist? Discuss.

Crazy Jane said...

If I were Walker, I'd quietly take enough night or correspondence courses to complete my degree and then March, proudly, in commencement exercises with all the other students. My guess is that people would admire him for it.

Ann Althouse said...

@Crazy Jane That's been my theory too. See this post from April 8th.

Heather said...

I just had this horrible idea. We are getting our Republican nominees by a Survivor like mechanism.

alan markus said...

Maybe lots of people don't have college degrees, but I suspect that they prefer that their physician has an MD degree.

Mark said...

Walker has a very busy out of state travel schedule. The though of hin getting 32 hours of coursework done in the next year on top of the out of state events will make many wonder what we are paying him for.

Especially as he is only at 100,000 of his 250,000 pledge.

When exactly is he doing the peoples business? When his campaign and classes can fit it in?