Poll finds Wisconsinites want compromise on union bill, disapprove of Democrats fleeing state

Almost two-thirds of Wisconsinites believe Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) should compromise with Democrats in the state legislature on a controversial bill that would roll back certain bargaining rights for public employee unions.

According to the poll released by Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, which bills itself as a "free market think tank," roughly 65 percent of respondents want Walker to compromise with Democrats in the state legislature on a bill currently being held up that would take away collective bargaining rights for public employee unions. Thirty-three percent want Walker to stand his ground and continue to push the bill through the state legislature.

WPRI also found that just more than half of all those surveyed have an unfavorable view of their governor while 43 percent hold some kind of favorable (either "somewhat" or "strongly") view of him. Last november WPRI found that 45 percent had a favorable view while 35 had an unfavorable view and 20 percent were undecided.

WPRI found that roughly the same number of respondents as those who want Walker to compromise also hold a favorable opinion of public employee unions now. WPRI found that 59 percent hold a favorable view of unions while 34 percent do not.

The poll comes in the midst of a continuing standoff between Walker and Wisconsin Republicans and pro-union advocates and Wisconsin Democrats over the bill that would take away collective bargaining rights for state employee unions. The bill has sparked a national confrontation between Democrats and Republicans and high profile icons on both sides like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) have weighed in with their colleagues.

Currently the bill is held up in the legislature because of 14 state Senate Democrats who fled the state so the bill wouldn't be passed. If they return the bill is likely to pass. WPRI found that a slim majority (51 percent) do not approve of the 14 Democrats' choice to leave the state to stop the bill's passage.

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