I get the feeling today that the conservative pundit class is coalescing around Scott Walker for 2016. Some of it is his book tour, but there’s more to it than that. Walker has political victories that Paul Ryan and Chris Christie don’t, putting a government boot on the throat of the middle class and his own employees, but isn’t seen as either too conservative or too moderate.
If there’s anything the pundits love, it’s squeezing the middle class to protect government spending and policies to make life easier for the wealthy and corporations.
Real accomplishments are few and far between. Walker’s record on job creation is predictably awful, with Wisconsin being the last in the nation in 2011 and probably 2012 as well. That shouldn’t be surprising from a party that still believes the fantasy that government can’t create jobs.
But it’s all going to rot in the end. Walker’s book fell on its face and he may not even win reelection next year. Most people didn’t pay attention to exit polls from Wisconsin in 2011, but I did. A sizable number of voters said they backed Walker because they didn’t believe in the legitimacy of recalls, more than enough that had they not treated the recall like a game, Walker would have lost handily.
Regardless of whether that happens or not, Walker is far behind in early polling in Iowa. Paul Ryan, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie are all more popular in Iowa than Walker, and only Christie is competitive with Hillary Clinton there. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio aren’t even on the map.
Even if Walker’s war on the middle class plays well enough in Wisconsin to survive reelection, 2016 will be no different than 2010 and 2012. He’s just not radical enough to survive primaries.