Most in the state did not support his run for presidentThe Germans have a word -- schadenfreude -- that describes happiness at the misfortune of others. There’s certainly no shortage of that today here in Wisconsin.
he was suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination to run for president. With recent polls showing terrible numbers -- one even demonstrating less than one percent of support among GOP voters (PDF) -- the demise of Walker sent a shriek of joy across the state on Monday.
Walker has certainly been dealt an embarrassing blow, not only to his future prospects, but to his ego as well. His biggest challenge now will be leading a state that overwhelmingly disapproved of his run for president, and which now has a majority of its citizens viewing him in a negative light (PDF).
Sixty-three percent of Wisconsin residents didn’t like Walker’s decision to run for higher office; and 57 percent disapprove of how he’s handling his job as governor.
Those are some tough numbers to come back to. And with his return, one of a few things may happen:
- He will take it out on us. Walker might go hard right, even further than he already was, in an effort to make himself appear viable in 2020. Women’s rights, workers’ rights, changing the makeup of government itself...it’s all on the table for legislative Republicans, and Walker may join them in refocusing his efforts to appear better in four years.
- He will lose support and his significance will dwindle away. In the 2016 elections half of the state senate will be up for grabs. Unless Walker can convince much of the state to remain loyal to Republican policies, he could see a Democratic Party takeover of that chamber, making it impossible to pass anything meaningful and creating a lame duck session.
- Wishful thinking, but he may resign. Walker isn’t a dummy -- not all the time, at least. He may see the writing on the wall, and consider a lucrative job in the private sector. It’d be his first in more than two decades, so the transition might be a rocky one, but one that he’d probably consider given the animosity he now faces back in Wisconsin.