What do Wisconsin voters really think about unions? 

Democrats, desperate to keep the gusher of taxpayer money funneled to them by the public employee unions, have been trumpeting poll results indicating that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to eliminate state and local governmental units’ obligation to bargain the terms of benefits and pensions with public employee unions.

These Democrats cite, among others, pollster Scott Rasmussen. But as Rasmussen has explained, how you ask the question can make a huge difference in responses, particularly on an issue which is unfamiliar to most voters. Now Rasmussen has gotten more specific, finding that likely Wisconsin voters oppose weakening collective bargaining in general but strongly favor specific changes.

“Weakening bargaining rights”?  39% for, 55% against.  

Require that a local school district buy health insurance from a union company? 19% for, 57% against.

Should the union disclose all financial relationships between the union and the union-created insurance company WEA Trust? 76% yes, 12% no.

The obvious tactic for Democrats is to make mawkish appeals about how wonderful public employee union members are. The obvious tactic for Republicans is to get specific about how union insiders are benefiting themselves at the expense of taxpayers.

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Michael Barone

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