State Government and Political Roundup: Obama extends his lead over RomneyWisconsin News
-- Two independent polls released yesterday show that President Obama has extended his lead over Republican Mitt Romney in Wisconsin.
Two independent polls released yesterday show that President Obama has extended his lead over Republican Mitt Romney in Wisconsin.
The Marquette University Law School has the Democrat Obama up by 14 points in the Badger State. The other poll from Quinnipiac University, CBS News, and the New York Times gives Obama a six-point edge. While the two had vastly different results, both polls showed that Romney’s popularity has slipped after he got a bounce from his choice of Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan for vice president. The Marquette poll had Obama leading 54-40-percent after leading by just by three points a month ago. Quinnipiac had Obama up 51-45, a margin that’s four points wider than in August. Marquette pollster Charles Franklin said a larger percentage of Democrats and a smaller percentage of Republicans answered his survey this month. And had the proportion been the same as in past months, Obama’s lead would be eight points. The Obama campaign said it believes the race is close, with the president having a narrow lead. The Marquette poll shows that Obama’s job approval rating has grown. Fifty-four percent of the 700-plus registered voters surveyed had approved of the president’s performance – and 39-percent disapproved. In the Quinnipiac poll, 51-percent of the nearly 15-hundred voters surveyed had a favorable approval rating of Obama – and 46-percent disapproved.
Government employees in Dane County might become the first to take advantage of last week’s court ruling that struck down the nearly full ban on public union bargaining. The Wisconsin State Journal said county unions and their bosses are scrambling to extend fully-negotiated contracts for their workers through 2015. And the County Board is scheduled to act on those extensions tonight. Before the bargaining limits took effect a year ago, Dane County and its unions agreed to contracts through 2014. And County Board Chairman Scott McDonnell says local unions and governments can negotiate new deals as long as last Friday’s court ruling remains in place. Cullen Werwie of Governor Scott Walker’s office said it’s unfortunate the county is not using the tools the new union law provides for local governments to save money for taxpayers. But Josh Wescott, a spokesman for County Executive Joe Parisi, says the county uses quote, “the right tool for the job,” and “those tools are communication, collaboration, and cooperation.” Critics express concern that the county might have to lay off workers if money gets tight, but McDonnell says the county’s reserves are growing. State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is appealing last week’s court decision to strike down the bargaining limits for local governments and public schools. And he has asked that the law go back in effect while the appeal is being reviewed. Van Hollen told a law enforcement conference in Ashwaubenon that he expects a decision on a temporary stay within two weeks.