Wisconsin Voters Agree: Walker’s Reforms Work

Engaged voters and policymakers have a number of things to ponder after the dust settles in Tuesday’s historic Wisconsin election.

While Governor Scott Walker (R) easily survived the union-led effort to recall him, the real story may be how soundly the voters ratified Walker’s controversial policy changes. Walker ended collective bargaining over benefits and required government workers to contribute more toward their pensions and health benefits. He also let union members vote on re-electing their unions and made paying union dues voluntary.

Union leaders portrayed these policy changes as an attack on union members. But their members disagreed. Exit polls showed that Walker won 37 percent of the union household vote in 2010. Despite the push-back he has received from unions, he won 38 percent of union households’ votes in 2012. It seems rank-and-file union members are not as incensed about Walker as their leadership is.

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