Who does Public Polling Policy think is challenging Scott Walker?

We got a PPP robopoll today.  First of all, I want to note that the recorded voice on the phone was a middle-aged man with the worst case of vocal fry I’ve ever heard.


Much of the poll was of the form “If Republican Scott Walker runs for re-election against Democrat X, who would you support?”  And here are the Democrats they listed:

  • Peter Barca
  • Jon Erpenbach
  • Russ Feingold
  • Steve Kagen
  • Ron Kind
  • Mahlon Mitchell

Are these really the main Democratic contenders?

The poll went on to ask whether I had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of each of the following strange foursome:

  • Sen. Joseph McCarthy
  • Bret Bielema
  • Hilary Clinton
  • Paul Ryan

I’d kind of like to see the crosstabs on that, actually!

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5 thoughts on “Who does Public Polling Policy think is challenging Scott Walker?

  1. Michael Childers says:

    With no one publicly expressing interest in the race, these six are probably the most plausible somewhat high profile individuals to ask about. Barca and Erpenbach have been legislative leaders and were very visible during the protests in 2011, and Mitchell ran for LG in the recall and has kept visible since. As a former member of Congress, and with his money, Kagen is mentioned for Congress and statewide office, and there were rumors he has considered a run for something since his loss in 2010. Kind was expected to run for Senate in 2012, and is generally thought to be likely to run for something statewide. And as a former Senator with near universal name recognition and generally good favorability, Feingold is always mentioned as a possibility for a return to politics. To be honest, other than a couple of large business executives, who might be able to buy it, nobody else seems to have the stature to make a plausible run next year. Most anyone remotely plausible that they didn’t ask about would have been even less well known, and so would not have been worth asking about.

  2. James says:

    Jen Shilling’s name has been floated (by John Nichols among others). I think she has name recognition as someone who won a recall race against a Republican incumbent. Would like to see her polled.

  3. Katrina says:

    No women on that first list. I would have asked about Vinehout and Lena Taylor.

  4. Aaron Camp says:

    James, if Jen Shilling is being floated as a potential gubernatorial candidate, that may be a tea leaf that indicates that Kind probably won’t run, as Kind and Shilling are both from LaCrosse.

    Michael, two Democratic businesspeople who may be able to self-fund most or all of a gubernatorial campaign war chest include biotech executive Kevin Conroy and microbrewer Deb Carey.

    Katrina, Lena Taylor probably couldn’t win Milwaukee County in a statewide general election, as she lost the 2008 race for Milwaukee County Executive to Scott Walker. Kathleen Vinehout only got 4% of the vote in the 2012 Democratic gubernatorial recall primary, so that probably rules out another statewide run for her.

    Here’s my thoughts on the six names that PPP listed:

    From what I’ve heard, Peter Barca will announce whether or not he will run for governor sometime in late spring or early summer of this year, and he’s the only person who has given a timetable for an official announcement so far. Barca, unless he runs a lousy campaign in the primary, should be able to win the primary.

    Jon Erpenbach, if he runs for governor, should win the primary unless he faces a strong primary opponent and/or runs a lousy primary campaign.

    Russ Feingold is reportedly already considering whether or not to run for U.S. Senate in 2016, so he probably won’t run for governor.

    Steve Kagen’s wife reportedly doesn’t want him to spend a bunch of his own money on another campaign for public office, so that probably rules out a gubernatorial run for him.

    Ron Kind, if he does go through with a run for governor, would probably need multiple primary opponents to split the progressive vote in order for him to win a statewide Democratic primary, as Kind is pro-NRA and pro-free trade (he’s built up enough of a constituent service record in his congressional district that he’s probably immune from any primary challenge there).

    Mahlon Mitchell has already stated via Twitter that he is open to a run for governor, and he’d have organized labor’s backing if he did go through with a run, as he is a labor union leader himself.

  5. JSE says:

    Is there a reason Dave Cieslewicz isn’t being discussed? Surely he has as much name recognition as many of the others on that list, and my sense is that he remains very popular in and around Madison.

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