Poll: Only The Wealthy Support Gov. Walker

February 25, 2011 3:41 pm ET — Kate Conway

As union-busters scramble to turn public opinion against Wisconsin's union workers by portraying them as greedy, overpaid thugs, a variety of polls have shown that Wisconsin residents and Americans in general aren't buying the conservative line.

A USA Today/Gallup poll released two days ago found that 61 percent of Americans would oppose a law in their own state like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) proposal to severely restrict state workers' collective bargaining rights. Today, Greg Sargent digs up some details showing that the only income group to actually support Walker is those who make $90,000 or more — and even they only approve by a narrow 50-47 percent margin.

As you know, Gallup released a poll earlier this week finding that 61 percent of Americans oppose Walker's plan, versus only 33 percent who are in favor. It turns out Gallup has crosstabs which give us an income breakdown of that finding, which the firm sent my way:

  • Among those who make less than $24,000 annually, 74 percent oppose the proposal, versus only 14 percent who favor it.
  • Among those who make $24,000 to $59,000, 63 percent oppose the proposal, versus only 33 percent who favor it.
  • Among those who make $60,000 to $89,000, 53 percent oppose the proposal, versus only 41 percent who favor it.
  • Among those who make $90,000 and up, 50 percent favor the proposal, versus 47 percent who oppose it.

Only the last, highest-income category favors the proposal; working and low-to-middle class folks all oppose it.

There are some other interesting breakdowns: More men than women side with Walker; college graduates are less likely to side with unions than those with a high school education or less; and those who describe themselves as conservative — presumably the people who voted Walker into office — only support his proposal by a 51-42 percent margin.

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