Nonpartisan Poll Shows Support for Collective Bargaining Rights

As Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) continues to push for a bill that would eliminate collective bargaining rights for almost all of the state's employees, a Gallup/USA Today poll taken amid the standoff finds that most Americans would oppose a similar measure in their own state.

In the poll, 61% of adults nationwide said that they would oppose a law that would take away some collective bargaining rights for state employees, including teachers. Only one third, 33%, said that they would support that measure if it were proposed in their state.

While the poll does not specifically mention Wisconsin, the results are a fairly strong repudiation of Walker's efforts. Walker's proposal would roll back almost all collective bargaining rights for state employees except for law enforcement personnel and firefighters. Salary negotiations would be exempted from the ban.

Walker isn't the only governor looking to use budget woes as a pretense to gut collective bargaining for public employees. Similar efforts are underway in Ohio, Tennessee and several other states.

Previous polls that addressed the showdown in Wisconsin specifically provided a more mixed picture. A Rasmussen survey release earlier this week found Americans siding with Walker over the unions by a ten-point margin. Yet those results should be viewed with much skepticism, as Rasmussen front-loaded the poll with potentially misleading questions.

Another poll released this morning by Democratic pollster GQR found Gov. Walker's support eroding over the past week as protests escalated in Wisconsin.

The survey was conducted Monday night among 1,000 adults nationwide. It has a margin of error of 4.0%.


Nonpartisan Poll Shows Support for Collective Bargaining RightsRepublished with permission from TalkingPointsMemo.com. Authored by Jon Terbush. Photo of protesters sleeping in the Wisconsin state Capitol via AP. TPM provides breaking news, investigative reporting and smart analysis of politics.