Scott Walker’s approval rating stands mired at 38 percent

Louis Weisberg, staff writer

Scott Walker is setting himself up to run for a third term as governor.

Walker says he will wait until late 2016 or after the end of the year to make a formal decision, but also says he feels good about the progress he’s made and thinks he can build off it.

Walker made the comments to reporters Jan. 26 after he signed a bill at the Rock County Courthouse expanding the state’s Family Care program to the county.

Meanwhile, the latest Marquette Law School poll could mean trouble ahead for his next campaign. It found Walker’s approval rating mired at 38 percent, while 57 percent of registered voters in the state disapprove of the job he’s doing.

In September 2015, when the last poll was taken, 38 percent approved and 58 percent disapproved of the governor.

Only 36 percent of state voters say they would like for him to run for another term, while 61 percent would not like to see him run.

In September 2015, 35 percent supported a third term for Walker, while 62 percent did not.

A career politician, Walker has worked almost exclusively in politics since dropping out of Marquette University in 1990. Last year, he launched a failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination, becoming the first candidate to drop out of the crowded race.

The Marquette poll, which is the most extensive in the state, also looked at presidential preferences among Wisconsinites who said they would vote in the primaries.

In the Democratic race, Hillary Clinton received 45 percent of voters’ support, compared to Bernie Sanders’ 43 percent. Martin O’Malley, who has since dropped out of the race, had 1 percent support.

In the November Marquette poll, Clinton had 50 percent, Sanders had 41 percent and O’Malley had 2 percent.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump was supported by 24 percent, followed by Marco Rubio at 18 percent and Ted Cruz at 16 percent. Ben Carson was backed by 8 percent, with Chris Christie at 5 percent. Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina received 3 percent each. Jeb Bush and John Kasich were each at 2 percent, with Mike Huckabee at 1 percent and Rick Santorum at 0.

Those numbers represent a dramatic turnaround from the November poll, in which Carson led the Republican field in with 22 percent, while Trump and Rubio each had 19 percent of voters’ support. Cruz stood at 9 percent in the November poll.

For Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race, Russ Feingold is supported by 50 percent of registered voters, with Republican incumbent Ron Johnson receiving 37 percent. Those numbers are almost unchanged since November.