It looks like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker might have been right last month when he said would win the recall fight.
Three recent polls have found Governor Walker at 50 percent and leading Democrat Tom Barrett:
According to Marquette Law School Poll Director Charles Franklin, Republicans appear to hold an advantage in likely turnout for the June 5 recall election. Republicans are more likely to say they are "absolutely certain" to vote on June 5, at 91 percent, than are Democrats and independents, both at 83 percent.
Marquette poll also reports a shift in the balance of Republican and Democratic partisanship:
In January there were two percentage points more Democrats than Republicans in the poll. That rose to eight points in February but has since declined to six points in March, three points in April and now just one point in May. When independents are asked if they feel closer to a party, the balance tips to a one-point Republican advantage in the May data.
The poll also notes that the Democrat Public Policy Polling, finds a similar trend.
Retreating from the collective bargaining rights which were the initial focus of the kerfuffle between Wisconsin public workers' unions and Governor Walker over the state's budget, the campaign against Walker is now focused on jobs. Walker appears to be winning that battle as well.
Wisconsin state officials now report a gain of 23,321 jobs (public and private) between December 2010 and December 2011, which represents Governor Walker's first full year in office. That's much better than the much-cited earlier report of an estimated loss of 33,900 jobs for the same 12-month period.
A statement from Walker campaign spokeswoman Ciara Matthews indicated Walker was understandably pleased with the new jobs report:
"With more than 33,000 jobs created since Governor Walker took office and the unemployment rate plummeting to its lowest since 2008, it is certain the governor’s bold reforms and leadership are moving Wisconsin forward. Governor Walker’s policies have helped employers put more people back to work and our economy is moving toward greater prosperity for all. In contrast, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is presiding over a 28 percent spike in unemployment during his reign as mayor of the nation’s ninth poorest city. Wisconsinites cannot afford to undo the forward progress made under Governor Walker and go backward with Mayor Barrett and his failed record.The quarterly data issued today by the DWD is comprised of reports issued to 96 percent of Wisconsin employers (over 150,000 Wisconsin employers). The size of the reported universe makes quarterly data much more reliable, as monthly jobs numbers are created from a small sample – only 3.5 percent – of Wisconsin employers."
You can watch a video in which Department of Revenue Chief Economist John Koskinen discusses various surveys used to calculate Wisconsin's job numbers here.
The data for the new jobs report is obtained from more than 96 percent of Wisconsin employers, approximately 160,000 employers, compiled quarterly and submitted to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unlike the new jobs report, the earlier report used a much smaller sample of Wisconsin households and employers -- just about 3.5 percent of working age Wisconsinites.
- Wisconsin's unemployment rate is 6.8 percent in March of 2012 -- the lowest since 2008.
- Wisconsin's per capital income is growing and is now 11th in the nation.