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Wisconsin Poll: Support for Budget Cutting, Not for Weakening Collective Bargaining Rights

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Most Wisconsin voters oppose efforts to weaken collective bargaining rights for union workers but a plurality are supportive of significant pay cuts for state workers. Governor Scott Walker is struggling in the court of public opinion, but how badly he is struggling depends upon how the issue is presented.  There is also an interesting gap between the views of private and public sector union families.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Wisconsin voters shows that just 39% favor weakening collective bargaining rights and 52% are opposed. At the same time, 44% support a 10% pay cut for all state workers. Thirty-eight percent (38%) are opposed. That’s partly because 27% of Wisconsin voters believe state workers are paid too much and 16% believe they are paid too little. Forty-nine percent (49%) believe the pay of state workers is about right.

To gauge support for the Governor’s stand, Rasmussen Reports asked about the dispute in two separate ways. Half the survey respondents were asked about the Governor’s proposals to reduce the state budget deficit and whether they supported the Governor or state senate Democrats. The other half were asked about the plan to weaken the collective bargaining rights of state unions and asked whether they supported the Governor or the union.

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The survey of 800 Likely Voters in Wisconsin was conducted on March 2, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 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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