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Analysts: Tour of State Would Help Walker Reconnect With Supporters

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Analysts say Gov. Walker needs to mend some fences following his failed presidential bid.

Gov. Walker returned to work this week at the State Capitol following his exit from the presidential race.

Walker faces the lowest approval ratings of his career as he settles back in to this duties. The latest Marquette Law School poll indicates that only 39 percent of state voters approve of the job he’s doing as governor.

One of the biggest issues people had with Gov. Walker’s presidential run: he just wasn’t around very much, according to JR Ross. He’s editor of wispolitics.com.

Ross says Walker’s extensive absences from the Capitol this year led to grumbling, even among some Republican allies and particularly, during the budget debate. He says the governor also rankled some GOP legislators when he told voters in New Hampshire that he had to fight resistance from his own party in order to enact Act 10.

“A few lawmakers took offense to that because they don’t remember being hesitant to dive into changing collective bargaining powers for public employees and they weren’t real thrilled with that,” Ross says.

Ross predicts Walker will spend the coming weeks crafting a conservative agenda for his second term. One conservative radio talk show host believes Walker can win back public support by again proposing something earth-shattering, on the magnitude of Act 10. Jerry Bader hosts a show in Green Bay.

“If he is going to fill out his full four year term and he’s going to get back to being the leader of the conservative movement in Wisconsin, that’s what he has to do. And, I have no idea what that would be, but If he comes up with something that would lead the left to have another temper tantrum, I would be fine with that,” Bader says.

Bader says Walker needs to return to retail politics – getting out and pressing the flesh across Wisconsin. Republican strategist Mark Graul says being out in public is one of the things Walker does best.

“I think he’ll go back to doing what he’s always done. He’s always been a very active governor, somebody who goes out and does tons of events, talks a lot to people, talks a lot to groups all over the state and I think you’ll see him doing that again,” Graul says.

Walker’s office announced Wednesday that he’ll make his first public appearance since dropping out of the presidential race, Friday in Beaver Dam. He plans to celebrate the anniversary of a local business.

Walker could learn, next week, how Wisconsin voters view his political future. The Marquette Law School Poll will release its new tally.

Marti was a reporter with WUWM from 1999 to 2021.
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