Rasmussen polls have been seen for many people as the most unreliable since they tend to favor right wing ideology. Nate Silver raised the question of "bias" on their first poll on Wisconsin in February: Rasmussen Poll on Wisconsin Dispute May Be Biased.
I don't know if they got nervous from all the criticism or what, but their newest poll from March 3 on what's happening in Wisconsin is pretty devastating to Scott Walker and the Tea Party/conservative crowd.
A majority of those polled said they sided with the public employee unions rather than Gov. Walker in the showdown that has deadlocked the state government for more than two weeks. And while a plurality favor a plan to make state employees pay more toward their benefit plans -- something the unions have already agreed to do -- a majority oppose the most contentious proposal put forward by Walker: the elimination of most collective bargaining rights for state employee unions.
Just as damning for Walker, a majority also said they sided with the AWOL Senate Democrats, who fled the state to deny the senate the quorum necessary to advance the budget repair bill.
Despite Walker's efforts to paint Senate Democrats as being in dereliction of duty for fleeing the state to stall the budget bill, 52% of respondents in the poll said they were more supportive of the Democrats than Walker, compared to 44% who were more supportive of Walker.
Another key detail -- the poll shows younger voters being generally more supportive of unions and collective bargaining rights than those in older demographics. That's a reversal of what is often assumed to be the case -- younger voters tilting liberal on social issues, while older voters lean liberal on the labor issues.
For example, 63% of respondents aged 18-39 opposed weakening collective bargaining rights, while 46% of respondents in both the 40-64 year-old and 65+ demographics said the same.
That could be a bad omen for the GOP in future elections, especially if they continue to take aim at organized labor -- there are similar labor battles heating up in Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, and elsewhere.
Josh Marshall makes an interesting observation about the change in attitude in young people this poll shows:
But when you look at this poll the pro-union / anti-union division turns heavily on age too. The younger votes have a far more progressive views on public employees, unions, collective bargaining and so on. That's not great news in general for Republicans. But for those of us with somewhat longer political memories this is actually pretty different from the way things used to be in the '80s and '90s. Back then it was older voters who tended to have more Democratic views on bread and butter economic issues. And it was younger voters who had more libertarian inclinations.
In any case, we've seen enough polls at this point to know that Gov. Walker is really getting crushed in the court of public opinion. But it's this age division -- not only cultural and social issues but on economic ones -- that really jumps out to me.
These polls have been also a rebuke to the Beltway media elite who have been yammering on ad nauseam at the notion that working Americans should be sharing the sacrifice and that they stop whining about not wanting any cuts in their Social Security benefits.
When even Rasmussen can't cook up poll numbers that come down on your side, then as a Republican you have problems, major problems. We've got to keep up the fight against these wingnut Governors, state to state, because they will do everything they can to be "scabs" for corporations and work against working-class families.