Despite approval ratings on the upswing after U.S. military forces killed Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama’s reelection in 2012 is far from a sure thing, but President Obama may have some secret weapons to aid in his reelection fight in 2012 – Republican governors like Florida Governor Rick Scott and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, both of whom have seen their approval ratings plummet in the face of the far-right, anti-union, anti-education, anti-middle class agendas both governors have pushed since being inaugurated earlier this year.
In Florida, Gov. Scott’s approval rating stands at a dismal 29 percent, while his disapproval rating stands at 57 percent, and here in Wisconsin Gov. Walker’s approval rating stands at just 43 percent while his disapproval rating stands at 57 percent.
No doubt Govs. Scott and Walker can thank their slumping approval ratings on their remarkably similar legislative priorities, including drastic cuts to public education, attacks on public employees and their ability to collectively bargain, and a rejection of federal high-speed rail funding, just to name a few. Almost single-handedly, both governors have energized Democrats/progressives/liberals who had been demoralized by the Republican wave in the 2010 midterm elections, and here in Wisconsin Gov. Walker’s unpopularity – as well as the unpopularity of his efforts to take away collective bargaining for public employees – could well serve as President Obama’s “secret weapon” heading into 2012. In 2011, Gov. Walker has succeeded in doing what Democrats failed to some extent to do in 2010 – energized the Democratic base in a big way – and that energized base could well be the difference in a state that has been a true swing state in presidential elections prior to 2008.