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67% Disapprove of Legislators Fleeing Wisconsin to Avoid Vote

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Half of America’s voters favor public sector unions for government workers, but they strongly oppose the tactic by Wisconsin state senators to flee their state to prevent a vote that would limit the rights of such unions.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that only 25% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of this tactic, while 67% disapprove. State legislators in Indiana have used the same approach to avoid a vote in their state. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Sizable majorities of Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major party reject such a strategy. Democrats are fairly evenly divided, with 48% approving and 44% disapproving.

Until the Democratic senators return, there will not be quorum allowing a vote on Republican Governor Scott Walker's proposal to have public employees pay more for their health and pension benefits and to limit their collective bargaining rights. The Republican majorities in both chambers of the Wisconsin legislature are expected to pass the governor's proposal which has been the subject of major protests in the state for several days now. 

Voters continue to be closely divided over the question of public employee unions themselves. Fifty percent (50%) at least somewhat favor such unions, while 44% oppose them. These figures include 25% who Strongly Favor the unions and 25% who are Strongly Opposed.

Last month in a survey of American Adults as opposed to Likely Voters, 45% supported public employee unions, while 45% opposed them. Support for the unions was down from 53% in May of last year.

Eighty-one percent (81%) of Democrats now favor public employee unions, while 66% of Republicans and 54% of unaffiliated voters oppose them.


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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 22-23, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.


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