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How does Scott Walker regain his momentum? Does he need to now?

How does Scott Walker regain his momentum? Does he need to now?

Fighting and winning was working.

Scott Walker was at or near the top of just about all polling until the Fox News debate.

Now he’s dropped in the rankings as Donald Trump has maintained his margin in most polls, though there’s some evidence of weakening. Walker is now second or third in Iowa, where he consistently led, and is back in the middle of the pack nationally.

Nate Silver notes:

Scott Walker: This one surprised me a little, but the polling is clear. Walker is the only candidate who lost ground in every single post-debate poll. In Iowa, where Walker had been leading, just 5 percent of voters said his performance was the most impressive of all the candidates. Walker’s debate night was bad enough that he has lost his edge in Iowa to Trump.

Perhaps I was wrong when I commented after the debate:

Scott Walker: A very workmanlike performance. Weaved his way around questions to answer the questions he wanted to answer, refocusing on Hillary when he could. Often had time left because he answered so succinctly. Not sure this will light his campaign on fire, but in playing the long game, he didn’t hurt himself.

That workmanlike debate performance let a huge debate audience, and intense media focus, get away. While we and our readers are very familiar with Walker, most people are not.

Not making a great first impression was a great mistake. That doesn’t mean that Walker needs to be glib or something he’s not. He has a good story to tell, and he didn’t tell it as well as he could.

Walker also has been late and not strong enough in responding o Trump’s attacks on him.

This is a long season, so it’s certainly not fatal. But Walker has to up the ante not to take on The Donald, but to preserve his position as a top tier candidate.

Tweets like this are great:

But holding down tuition costs is not what made Walker the early star in the field.

Fighting and winning is why people were loyal supporters:

At the next debate, Walker needs to tell that story better to what likely will be another big audience.


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Yet there have been reports that Walker wowed participants at the event over the weekend, as well as at a similar event in Iowa or another midwestern state (not Wisconsin) a month or so ago.

The recent Fox event was more circus than debate, and that was as much the fault of the format as it was the questions from the moderators. Far too many candidates.

Maybe the voting public at large has become too culturally and politically illiterate, too immature to perceive anything beyond soundbites and gotcha moments. But I’d much rather see discussions such as Cheney and Leiberman held in 2000.

    betty in reply to Dagwood. | August 13, 2015 at 7:49 am

    “… to perceive anything beyond soundbites and gotcha moments.”

    Would have been nice if we had had a chance. But that would have gotten in Kelly Meygun’s way.

    Estragon in reply to Dagwood. | August 13, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Walker tends to do well with smaller groups and in person, but if the race is about personality, he cannot win. He is not that candidate.

    Walker is the Architect type. He can tell you what did in Wisconsin and what he would like to do for America, and explain in some detail the reasons for each action or policy, but in a calm and rational way that isn’t going to excite very many.

    – –

    This is why Trump helps Bush most in the GOP. His dominance effectively shortens the campaign. The candidates’ expenses continue as usual, but only Trump is covered daily – the media doesn’t cover Hillary so much because less scrutiny is what she needs most. One by one they will run out of donor money without ever having the chance to sell their ideas, because all the coverage is Trump.

    Only Bush can sustain a national effort to the end right now. No one else has the donor base to stay with Trump when he lives on free media.

Mr. Establishment has been attacking him with old, debunked Deemocrat talking points.

Sometimes slow and steady wins the race, and Walker has a plan, a record, and a personality that doesn’t scare the horses.

    Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | August 13, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    “Sometimes slow and steady wins the race, and Walker has a plan, a record, and a personality that doesn’t scare the horses.”

    That’s Jebbies plan. Tortoise.

I was at Red State and Walker did not wow anyone there. He was workman like but is not an inspiring speaker. He has a tin ear when it comes to the crowd and has no timing. He ended up having to yell to get his last line in on several occasions because he made the point but kept on talking after the applause began. Cruz, Fiorina, Jindal, Perry, Rubio and especially Huckabee were the best speakers. Actually the most dynamic speaker was Gregg Abbot the new governor of Texas. He came out in his wheel chair and made the crowd go wild. He will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

Midwest Rhino | August 12, 2015 at 9:49 pm

FOX gets accused of trying to sink Trump, but post debate they seem to give him most of the coverage. Greta spent most of her show on him the other night, and when she had “Breaking News”, it was for Trump’s news conference. If they’re trying to kiss and make up, they’ve gone way overboard.

Walker has a real job to do, but he can make himself available more so he hits every show possible maybe. He can remain calm and collected rather than trying to fake extreme zeal, but he needs to hit his selling points, which largely revolve around defeating the unions when they came after him nationally. He probably needs to drill down into that more, rather than just “we beat them four times”, or whatever he says.

Also, I’m not sure how much to trust many polls, but he definitely slid.

Seems quite simple to me; he starts campaigning for the the Republican nomination and stops campaigning against Hillary. I wonder why the Republican candidates are campaigning against Hillary instead of each other. Why isn’t each one of them trying to convince us that he/she is the best person to be the Republican nominee? Regardless of whether you like his style, the only person campaigning against the other Republican candidates is Trump. The presumptive Republican nominee, Jeb, has a lot of vulnerabilities. Why are none of the the other candidates going after him. Is this a fait accompli and Trump is just part of the smokescreen?

First he wants a Mexican Consulate in Wisconsin (!) and then he tones down to “Pathway to Citizenship,” and then he visits the border and says he’s changed his mind.

First he’s for Commie Core, then he’s against, but he won’t defund; he renames it “Badger Standards.”

Romney named him one of the R’s he’d support — after Heb and Christie. Talk about the Kiss of Death.

Walker says the only people he trusts in DC are his bestest friends from childhood, Paul RINO Walker and Rancid Pubis.

Need I say more?

    Juba Doobai! in reply to claymore. | August 12, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    Allegedly, his wife’s a Commie (aka Big Lib).

      You’re the first I’ve ever seen attempt to smear Tonette Walker as a lib, a communist, or anything else. The classless Democrats who trolled the Walker family’s Wauwatosa garbage cans at night and harassed Walker’s father on the streets of Milwaukee during the recall process found no reason to attack Walker’s wife. Not even the rabidly anti-Walker, ethically challenged Milwaukee-Madison media was willing to wiggle with accusations as pathetic as you’re asserting here. Scott Walker and anybody he ever shook hands with has been opposition researched to death already. You’re really reaching with the Tonette Walker thingy. Try again.

        Barry in reply to Merlin. | August 13, 2015 at 8:41 pm

        “The classless Democrats who trolled the Walker family’s Wauwatosa garbage cans at night and harassed Walker’s father on the streets of Milwaukee during the recall process found no reason to attack Walker’s wife.”

        I know nothing about Ms. Walker. But your comment could be taken to support the idea she is a lefty as well as anything else.

    Ragspierre in reply to claymore. | August 13, 2015 at 7:54 am

    ZOMG…!!! A Mexcican CONSULATE…!!! HIDE the small chilrens and sensitive dogs…!!!

    Except don’t. Mexico has been sending “mobile consulates” to Wish-con-sin for…I dunno…decades.

    If you localize Common Core, it isn’t Common Core any more.

    And WHO “alleges” his wife is a lib? And what difference has it made in how he governed?


    A Mexican Consulate in Wisconsin sounds like a great idea. Doing so would give Hispanics some confidence that they are welcome here in the U.S. Such an formalized icon of support would be especially reassuring given the media is flooded with anti-illegal immigration talk.

    Anecdotally, I was down in our building’s cafeteria yesterday to get some breakfast. Two cooks, whom I’ve known for a while, are both Hispanic.

    Yesterday, as I was waiting for my food one of the cooks made another ongoing joke about El Chapo looking for Donald Trump. I joked, “El Chapo is probably down the street at Trump’s Hotel looking for Trump.” Then the same cook joked, “When Trump becomes the president all the Mexicans must go.” He pointed with his thumb towards the south.

    The other cook immediately responded, “I was born here.” The gist of that comment -he wasn’t going anywhere if Trump is elected.

    After that conversation, I have to wonder if Hispanics are more than a little concerned when hearing the illegal immigration talk and its possible impact on their own lives.

      I’m in CA. A couple of years ago I was working with a couple of “hispanics” who were 2nd & 3rd generation Americans- and they loathed and detested illegals with a burning passion.

      Reasons: illegals rape wives, mothers, sisters, GFs; illegals steal,rob & murder; illegals don’t care about trashing the place even if they live there; illegals take jobs away; and worst of all, people who didn’t know them thought THEY were illegals, and boy, that really got some blood in their eyes!

      Yahoo news said that there were over 41 million immigrants now in this country. I wonder how many are illegals? For years & years we’ve been told that there are “only” 11-12 million- they’ve been lying a lot too.

      I’d really like to hear Walker come out with a plan on how to fix this problem, if everyone’s going to laugh at Trump and his big, beautiful wall (with a gorgeous door, for legals to come through!) 😀

Walker should focus on immigration, convincing people that he is sincere about his very strong positions on immigration, legal and illegal. There was a lot of skepticism because he used to be pro-Amnesty.

He has one of the best immigration ratings by Numbers.USA, beating Trump. Carson, even Cruz, and obviously the Amnestettes like Bush.

His drop can be traced in part to that really stupid attack on Trump by one of Walker’s donors. It may not be fair but most of the party base is not in the mood for gratuitous attacks on Trump even if Trump isn’t their top choice.

I like Walker after Cruz; he is one of the few with real “down in the bloody trenches fighting Big Labor” experience. Impressive; I hope he gets back on track. Think he will!

Sammy Finkelman | August 12, 2015 at 11:07 pm

My impression about Walker is that he didn’t do too good in the debate.

1) He stumbled on the abortion question (although Megyn Kelly said he hadn’t actually signed a bill that did not contain an exception for the life of the mother, she said that was he wanted. She asked if that was really his position. H didn’t say yes, he didn’t say no, but he seemed to say that there is no conflict – which might be true most of the time, but maybe not all of the time. And he also said his position on abortion isn’t really different from that of many and most Americans. In the meantime Huckabee was goven credit by Chris Wallace for including the life of the mother as an exception, and he didn’t dispute it .

Walker’s actual position wouldn’t have bothered anyone, since these things are decided by majoroty vote, but he’s stumbling probably hurt him

2) Walked admitted he had changed his mind on immigration and claimed that was because he had listened to the American people (as if opinion on this issue was unanimous) He didn’t even say he listened to the Republican base or whatever. Now his position was: Secure the Border. He noted he been to the border! with Gov Abbott of Texas, and mumbled something about international criminal organizations. He sounded half like Trump.

3) He was incoherent about Arab partners. He may have had a few good points, but they were just floating around, unmoored.

4) He acknowledged that he didn’t deliver the economic growth in Wisconsin that he’s promised but he explained away his failure by saying you should always aim high. Then threw in a few common ideas.

5) He didn’t answer the question about what he would do if Putin did the same thing with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania that he did with Ukraine, but talked about easier to handle things Putin did, and the possibility that the Russian and Chinese governments knew more about Hillary Clinton’s than the U.S. Congress did.

He finally said he’d put NATO forces on the eastern boundaries of Poland and the Baltic nations, and put back in the missile defense systems that they took out of Poland and the Czech Republic. Not bad, but it came late and what he said basically was that you could prevent Putin from causing more trouble – freeze the line maybe – but you could not undo anything, and the thing to do was to get right up the border of his zone of influence. That may be the right answer. Except that does not explain why not then put troops in Ukraine, too. I guess he sees it as more cautious.

The only good impression he made was when when Trump mentioned that he’d forced Hillary Clinton to attend his wedding, he suddenly remembered something he had wanted to say earlier about her – that every place in the world that she and Obama touched is more messed up today than before.

This got some applause.

His saying that he’d terminate the deal with Iran was something that also gained applause, but what he said wasn’t developed. It was also pretty simple: Iran is not a place we should be doing business with. I think he said the deal also helped ISIS, but I am not sure what he meant by that.

His answer on Black Lives Matter was also reasonably good. He said the whole problem was that police don’t haveenough training. Which could be true, but something else is going on here with the complaints – they are not honest, or reasonable.

I think he also did well with the question of if he’d ever received a message from God as to what they shold do and take care of first. He basically said no, but he was going to try to follow God’s will. He also seemed to believe in the doctrine of sallvation by belief, but this probably only annoyed a small number of Republican voters.

Walker’s team is highly suspect. The candidate himself has shifting views on major issues. The candidate’s wife allegedly is a Leftist. Walker has done lots of good in WI but his team, his changes, his wife, all suggest he’s not rock ribbed Conservative.

    “Allegedly, his wife’s a Commie (aka Big Lib).”

    You mentioned this twice without any proof. Provide it please.

      Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to jennifer a johnson. | August 13, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      Yeah! We aren’t voting for his wife!

        I didn’t know anything about Tonette Walker, so I had a look around the innerwebz. Seems like most of the chatter is about Walker’s family being much more liberal than Scott himself, esp. on Gay Marriage.

        Gay is still the 3rd rail, it’s got a lot of juice; apparently Tonette’s cousin is a “married” lesbian, and one of the Walker sons was best man. Scott Walker himself is pro-Traditional marriage. Other than that, I saw some talk about how Tonette was pro-Union; but there’s still so much anger in Wisconsin about Walker’s rout of unions, it’s hard to tell what’s for real.

        Bottom line, I still don’t know just how liberal Walker’s wife is, but she’s definitely to the left of her husband. Don’t know if their sons are just normal for their youth, or waiting-to-come-out, either. Here’s a quick rundown:

It looks to me like the person to beat out Trump is going to have to commit to some strong solutions in plain strong language if they are going to beat him. Immigration, say it and say “Secure the border FIRST” before anything else is discussed. Stand up to Putin and state how you are going to do it without a war. Take care of ISIS and explain in strong terms how you will accomplish this;use the word “Crush” more than once. Repeal obamacare and explain in simple terms what you will replace it with. Tell how you will terminate the Iranian nuclear fiasco and what you will do after you cancel it. Explain in very short sentences how you will revitalize our economy since we all know that there is NO solution with or with taxes unless the economy is booming again. Don’t talk about women, abortion, black lives matter, the 47%, banks too big to fail or gays. This is the way to beat Trump and make hillary look stupid.

Women will not vote for a beta male.

Republican men are tired of beta male leaders getting rolled on every issue.

This immigration issue is ball game. The last amnesty turned California from a permanent Republican to a permanant democrat state. The next amnesty will do the same for Colorado, Texas, Mississippi, and most of the rest of the western state.

A lot of us like limited government and free enterprise, but that’s gone if the entire population of Central and South America are allowed to enter. They do not like that there do not vote for that at home, they wolnt vote for that here.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to rotten. | August 13, 2015 at 6:52 am

    “The last amnesty turned California from a permanent Republican to a permanant democrat state.”

    Amnesty didn’t do it. Pete wilson and Proposition 187 did it. It made a lot of people who might have considred voting Republican, at least occasionally, totally rule it out. It made the Republican Party anathema to 20% or 30% of the voters in California. A political party cannot declare itself an existential enemy to a large (and growing) percentage of the population and have an easy time of it.

    The idea of Republicans wanting to hurt people on Social Security or Medicare, or poison the environment, or repeal Civil Rights for African Americans and tolerate church burning, or even do anything practical against abortion, or do almost any of the things Democrats accuse them of is a lie, but here the Republicans are shouting it from the rooftops. And then there’s the denial that this afefcts votes of American citizens. Yes, sure, when many even want to take away American citizenship from some people (although no candidates, except maybe for Donald Trump in his 2011 book.)

    “The next amnesty will do the same for Colorado, Texas, Mississippi, and most of the rest of the western states.”

    Not amnesty, but the opposite. Texas will take some time. Mississippi?

    “A lot of us like limited government and free enterprise, but that’s gone if the entire population of Central and South America are allowed to enter.”

    Not really true, and you never have the whole population leaving – it doesn’t really rise above one third or a quarter. And no, those countries are not poor because people vote for the wrong people. They don’t get good choices.

    And limited government is gone if you attempt to stop it using the measures talked about. Of course, some people talk loudly about only the border so it doesn’t sound like enforcement would affect most people very much.

    Ragspierre in reply to rotten. | August 13, 2015 at 9:06 am

    “Women will not vote for a beta male.”

    So, inferentially, you think Barracula is an ALPHA male…???


      Uncle Samuel in reply to Ragspierre. | August 13, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      Rags, that’s not logical. Rotten meant real women, not Obama hard-core feminazi abortion-maniacs.

      When I say boss – I mean a commanding presence who won’t take cr4p off the PC progressive activists like the LBGT, BLM, FTP, etc.

      A leader is someone who can inspire people to work together for good, but doesn’t compromise what is important/critical like the RINOs in the House and Senate.

      It’s early in the game and we have only one sorry excuse for a debate under our belts. Lots of time to judge and weigh candidate character and positions.

      Best regards!

the way to beat Trump is to talk about the same issues and have similar solutions … trying to cut Trump down to size doesn’t work … Trump will out counter punch you every time … 30% of GOP voters want to hear about immigration and jobs … don’t insult Trump supporters by calling him and them names … speak to the issues and you can peel off Trump supporters … badmouth Trump and at best ex-Trump fans will choose someone besides Trump and there are 15 other choices …

going negative only works at all in a 2-3 man/woman race … when voters have over a dozen other choices, spending any of your time trying to bad mouth Trump is really just a waste of time …

this campaign is a 15 round fight … you don’t have to win the early rounds … and the later rounds count for more anyway …

Walker needs to project strength, resolve, commitment, unshakable convictions – to project himself as a President, executive, being in command.

Unfortunately, his wavering and lack of conviction on issues that are critical to the base (and to all America) and the views his wife are not going to win the base/majority of Republican voters or the independent voter or the disenchanted Democrat.

Lack of jobs, inflation, black riots and crime, the thuggish heavy handedness and lawlessness of the Obama administration, threats from Iran/ISIS/Islam and invasion of malevolent illegals is on the minds of the voters.

This is not a time for wimpiness. America wants a tough guy, a boss, a figure to be reckoned with, a staunch America defender in the WH.

Not A Member of Any Organized Political | August 13, 2015 at 4:25 pm

As I recall Nate Silver is not reputable in his dealings with GOP candidates…………

Walker should stand up in say that he knows that America is tired of the Washington cartel and he wants to break it up. He should say that he has no expectation that the Obama administration will do a thorough investigation of the Clinton email scandal, nor will any criminal charges be brought. He should vow that his first step in breaking up the cartel will be to have his Justice department do a full and complete investigation, and that he will bring criminal charges.

I think, unfortunately, that Walker is done. His one real shot was to be forceful in his opinions about the problems this country faces. He has simply not expressed them well. To soft a delivery and too wishy washy. While he has done a heckuva job in Wisconsin, it’s not transferring to a presidential run. He may hang in and possibly be a good choice as a VP, but any aspirations as potus are over.