If the right weren't so enamored of embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker right now, they'd notice he's talking like a RINO.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Thursday he's not afraid to lose the historic recall election he faces in less than three weeks, but if he wins he intends to govern in a more inclusive, consensus-building way.
Walker, the 44-year-old son of a preacher, hasn't wavered during his tumultuous 16 months in office, refusing to back down on an anti-union bill that sparked massive demonstrations, made Wisconsin the center of a national debate over worker rights and spurred the recall.
But more than a year after he signed the law eliminating most public workers' collective bargaining rights, the Republican governor told The Associated Press he doesn't want to go through that acrimony again and intends to govern in a way that includes winning buy-in from more people at the outset. He cited as an example education reforms he got passed last year with support from the state superintendent and other educators who opposed him on the union rights bill.
"Defiant" isn't the word I'd use to describe this. I'd go with "chastened." Walker's centrist tone may reflect political reality; his overreach has cost his party the state senate through recalls and attrition, so shift to the center or accomplish nothing. Either way, this is most definitely RINO talk. Compromise? Consensus? Burn the witch!
Good thing the base only reads Breitbart, Drudge, and Hot Air -- or they'd find out about this heresy to wingnut doctrine.
But there may be more to it than acceptance of reality. Last night, state Democratic chairman Mike Tate said that the party's internal polling shows a race much closer to a tie than the public polling released recently. And at least one of the public polls seems to be somewhat flawed in their sampling method.
Many in Wisconsin are shocked that Tom Barrett somehow went from being up by a point to being down by six points in a span of only two weeks. Have voters suddenly taken a sharp disliking to Tom Barrett? No.
The poll numbers have changed because they significantly changed the sample of who they polled. In this poll there are more conservatives and fewer moderates and liberals:
Latest Poll: Conservatives 48%, Moderates: 30%, Liberals: 20%
Poll Two Weeks Ago: Conservatives 43%, Moderates: 32%, Liberals: 22%
According to Marquette's numbers, conservatives favor Walker 72% to 21%, moderates favor Barrett 50% to 43% and liberals favor Barrett 83% to 15%.
So, if we take the fact that Walker's talking all RINO all of a sudden and add the fact that he's getting slaughtered with everyone but conservatives, we start to wonder if maybe Scott's internal polling doesn't look a lot like the state dems'.
[Image credit: Jeff Johnson at toastyaroma.com, via Flickr]