Wisconsin watch: In a new Marquette Law School poll, Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker has a narrow lead over announced recall election candidate Kathleen Falk (49 to 45 percent) among Wisconsinites. Walker leads another potential candidate, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, by 47 to 45 percent. In the poll, Walker has a 47 percent favorable rating in the state, 45 percent unfavorable.
Forty-one percent of Wisconsinites had a favorable opinion of public sector unions and 42 percent an unfavorable view. The recall election will probably take place on June 5.
Interesting or dull?: In February 2008, 70 percent of those surveyed by the Pew Research Center described the 2008 campaign as interesting; 25 percent said it was dull. In a new poll this year, 38 percent said the 2012 campaign was interesting, while 52 percent said it was dull.
Get out now: No, we don’t mean Afghanistan. In the new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, 61 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents said Ron Paul should drop out, 60 percent said Newt Gingrich should, and 39 percent felt Santorum should go. Twenty-one percent wanted Romney to get out.
Trial heat: Marist/McClatchy pollsters asked their presidential trial heat question and included possible running mates for Mitt Romney. With Marco Rubio on the ticket, voters preferred Obama (and Biden) by 49 percent to 44 percent. With Jeb Bush on the ticket, voters split evenly (47 to 47 percent). Latino voters appear to like Jeb Bush. With Rubio on the ticket, Latinos went for Obama over Romney 50 to 46 percent. With Jeb Bush, Latinos went for Romney 57 to 36 percent.
Social issues: In the Marist/McClatchy poll, 47 percent said the Democratic Party comes closer to their views on social issues such as abortion, contraception, and same sex marriage. Forty-four percent said the Republican Party comes closer. Women (by 50 to 41 percent) and those 18 to 29 (55 to 35 percent) felt closer to the Democratic Party. Latinos broke toward the Republican Party, 52 percent to 41 percent. Independents were equally divided.
The nuclear option: One year after the Fukushima nuclear failure, 57 percent of Americans told Gallup that they favor the use of nuclear energy as one of the ways to provide electricity to the United States. Forty percent were opposed. The responses mirrored views on the safety of nuclear power perfectly. Fifty-seven percent think it’s safe, 40 percent don’t. Women were much more skeptical than men about nuclear power on both questions.
Important issues: In Gallup’s latest survey on the most important problems Americans think face the country, the top four were the economy (71 percent worry a great deal about it), gas prices (65 percent), federal spending and the deficit (60 percent), and the availability and affordability of healthcare (60 percent). The bottom four, out 15 issues reported, were the quality of the environment (37 percent), the possibility of future terrorist attacks in the United States (35 percent), illegal immigration (34 percent), and race relations (17 percent).