Wisconsin conservatives are worried that three Republican state senators are wavering on the controversial bill to curb union power, The Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore reports. The GOP has a 19-to-14 majority in the senate, which means that if more than two Republicans switch sides, the bill will be voted down. That is, if the Democrats who fled to Illinois ever return.
It's the latest sign that support for Walker's hard line might be fading. Polls show that a large majority opposes limiting public sector workers' power to bargain for benefits. So far, one Republican senator, Dale Schultz, has offered a compromise that would limit collective bargaining rights for now, but reinstate them after 2013. Gov. Scott Walker rejected the plan because he says unions will just work to regain all the benefits cut by Republicans if Democrats retake majorities in the legislature.
Teagan Goddard notes that even Walker is willing to make a marginal change to the legislation. "Possible reason: A new Rasmussen survey finds that 57% of of Wisconsin voters disapprove of Walker's job performance."
But Moore argues that Republicans can't turn back. "It's foolish to believe that backing down will satisfy the unions. If history is any guide, more than 90% of union money will be used to defeat Republicans no matter what happens."
The New Republic's Jonathan Chait finds that last line amusing. "You mean the budget, right? It's about the budget, and preventing bankruptcy and saving the children, and so forth. Not crippling Democratic fund-raising. You almost forget there for a moment."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.