Eminent Domain

Foxconn Cronyism Could Jeopardize Scott Walker's Re-Election Chances

New poll finds Walker trailing his Democratic rival by five points and that many voters believe the state paid too much to lure Foxconn.


Scott Walker has fallen behind by five points in his bid for re-election to a third term as Wisconsin's governor, trailing his Democratic opponent Tony Evers 44 to 49, according to new a poll from Marquette Law School. Last month, the poll had the two tied at 46 percent each.

Covering the spread is Libertarian candidate Phil Anderson, who pulls 6 percent in this latest poll.

One big issue looming over the election is the deal Walker brokered to bring Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn to the state with a $4.5 billion state and local tax incentive package in return for a promised 13,000 jobs. The village of Mt. Pleasant, where the plant is supposed to be built, is acquiring the land to give to the $103.6 billion company for free. Reason TV covered the fight between Mt. Pleasant and the residents trying to save their homes from eminent domain in the video below.

The Marquette survey polled on the Foxconn question and found mixed results. While a majority of Wisconsinites polled (58 percent) believed that Foxconn would bring economic benefit to the Milwaukee area, only 39 percent believe "the plant will provide at least as much value as the state is investing in the plant." In an August poll, 41 percent believed the plant was worth the cost.

The poll also found that Wisconsin voters are increasingly skeptical of President Trump's tariffs, with only 31 percent believing that tariffs on steel and aluminum will help the economy and 52 percent believing that it will hurt it. The political realignment that Trump has caused is quite apparent on this point, with 59 percent of Wisconsin Republicans saying tariffs are good for the economy and 76 percent of Democrats saying they are bad.

But with polling indicating a stark partisan divide—with 94 percent of registered Republicans supporting Walker and 93 percent of Democrats supporting Evers—the winning candidate will likely need the support of independent voters, a majority of whom (56 percent) answered that tariffs will hurt the economy. And Walker's coziness with Trump, who's tied himself to the Foxconn deal and who made a special trip to Wisconsin after antagonizing Harley-Davidson, one of the state's largest manufacturers, doesn't seem to be helping matters. The poll found that 54 percent of the state's independent voters disapprove of the president's job performance.

Overall, 52 percent of independents polled favored Evers, with 32 percent favoring Walker and 13 percent favoring the Libertarian Anderson.

So with independents breaking for his opponent and a Libertarian candidate currently covering the spread, it seems that Walker, who once celebrated the rise of governors with a "libertarian view" of government, may have miscalculated in turning away from free market principles and towards the cronyism and protectionism of the Trump administration.

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  1. Don’t forget Walker’s eagerness to give in to Kimberly-Clark. He wants to give them millions to stay in the state.

    1. You want they should not wipe their butts, or use snow? What they gonna do in the summer?

        1. Certainly if you eat enough that preempts the butt wiping issue entirely,

  2. I have a nearly unbroken string of incorrect guesses on what the public sentiment might be on political issues, but I have this funny feeling that Trump is marginally more popular now than he was two years ago and that there’s a significant portion of Democrats who are appalled at what their party has become and the upcoming mid-term election is going to buck precedent. High voter turnout and a decidedly Republican/anti-crazy-ass socialist moonbat slant.

    1. It would be highly ironic if the people who thought, the instant that Obama was elected, that they had reached ‘the end of history’ and so could proceed to implement their agenda at full-speed with no more hiding it find that that very thinking has guaranteed that they’ll not be able to push it any further during their lifetimes.

      But people are stupid and always fall for the ‘free shit’ scam.

    2. I just think it’s hard for the party in power to match the enthusiasm of the opposing party in midterm years. Dems will gain seats in the House, the GOP could maintain a majority depending on how big the enthusiasm gap turns out to be. The Senate is an uphill climb for the Dems and it would take a really big wave for them to retake it in 2018 so the Rs likely hold on there.

      1. The usual problem is buyer’s remorse. But this time, those who have remorse weren’t the buyers. I canna guess what will happen, but nothing will surprise me.

        1. I don’t think buyer’s remorse is usually the main problem, I think it’s that people are more incentivized to bother voting in low turnout elections when they’re angry about the state of things, which generally describes the party out of power.

  3. If the Republicans cannot even hold on to Wisconsin for Walker then it is even worse than I thought. A deepening red Midwest, which even as it depopulates would allow the Senate to remain a Republican bulwark in “good” years at least, looked like it was at least a friendly trend for them to look forward to. If they can’t even pull this off “regional party” may be a generous way to view their future.

    1. Walker has recently done a looooot of shit. Foxconn – which includes stealing land to give to the company along with massive tax incentive packages – is just the largest turd in that bowl. At this point its likely even the Democrat candidate won’t be any worse for individual liberty than he’s been.

  4. I still have to ask. Why are they taking land from people to build the plant when they’re in Wisconsin? A state known for it’s tremendous amounts of open spaces.

    1. Because those open spaces are not where people and ‘culture’ are. So they have to kick out the poors to make room near a city so the Foxconn execs can enjoy whatever passes for cultural activities in Wisconsin.

      Plus, I’m sure they want easy access to a major airport.

      1. The map seems to show many acres of farmland, approximately 5 miles to the west of it. I’m sure there are more complexities than I know here, but I’d be surprised if I could be convinced the necessity here for eminent domain theft of these people’s properties.

        1. Yeah, you are right. It’s entirely unnecessary. It’s governmental stupidity/covetousness/theft.

          1. One obvious one to me is, that as a manufacturing plant, they need to be next to the lake. Which only says to me that they should move a bit north of Milwaukee instead.

      2. whatever passes for cultural activities in Wisconsin

        I’m not sure a bunch Taiwanese execs would enjoy getting bombed on PBR, stuffing their faces to the gill with bratwurst, and then going to the Packers game shirtless in Green Bay in the middle of December. I’m assuming that’s what passes for culture in Wisconsin.

        1. Don’t forget the ice fishing.

    2. Why are they taking land from people to build the plant when they’re in Wisconsin?

      Because that’s the land that the Foxconn people want. Sheesh! It’s not like they have to follow the rules or anything when they can get eminent domain loving politicians to do their bidding for them.

  5. The political realignment that Trump has caused is quite apparent on this point, with 59 percent of Wisconsin Republicans saying tariffs are good for the economy and 76 percent of Democrats saying they are bad.

    That’s interesting. That reads only of pure partisanship, or else the Democrats have had a fairly dramatic shift in their philosophy towards government management.

  6. Walker will be fine.

    Georgia stole all sorts of movie and TV show business from Hollywood via tax incentives and its super popular.

    Everytime you see that Peach at the end of a movie or TV show, its Georgia saying fuck you Commifornia.

    1. It’s a little strange that you’re proclaiming this croneyism on Georgia’s part as a fuck you to Commifornia.

      1. Tax breaks for a whole industry are cronyism now?

        I guess all Americans a bunch of cronies for getting that federal tax cut.

    2. “Cronyism is good when it benefits the state I’m living in!”

      1. Hey, if it’s good enough to support tariffs, it’s good enough to support Gollywood.

    3. Non-Libertarians on here posted that tax breaks are bad! Hahaha.

      Its a zero-sum tax game, folks.

  7. Isn’t the state of Wisconsin, and Milwaukee in general, trending to become New Somalia population wise? I’ve been told by Reason that there will be no effects because of that.

    Better question, though, is do you think Foxconn moving a plant to the United States in the first place could be because of tariff’s?

    This isn’t an attack on immigrants, or an agreement with tariffs, but it’s not beyond possible that those things might have some effects. Pretending they have zero effects is probably just as unwise as thinking those are primary motivators.

    1. Out of the approximately 5,400,000 people of Wisconsin, about 15,000 were born in Africa.


      1. I see that you forgot that I was talking about trends, and that the data you just linked to makes my point for me. Thanks!

        1. Well according to those trends it’s also going to become Latin America and Asia. It will be interesting to see who wins out.

          1. Well according to those trends it’s also going to become Latin America and Asia. It will be interesting to see who wins out.

            A fair point, and population wise across the whole planet that’s probably true too I’d wager.

        2. If everyone of African birth comprises 0.28% of the population in Wisconsin, it’s a little bit much to say that it’s becoming “New Somalia”.

          So to answer your original question, yes I think it’s safe to say that the presence or absence of this 0.28% of the population will have no effect on the Foxconn plant.

          1. It’s odd that you fail to even understand the baseline of what a trend is, even though BUCS got it right off the bat just above you. Sheesh, get outta here kid.

        3. So what is the point of bringing up the presence of this less than 0.28% of the population?

  8. As far as I’m concerned this is stupidly self-destructive on the part of Anderson and his party. They are going to spoil Walker’s re-election and hand the office to Evers, when Walker is one of the most libertarian governors in the nation. Making his state a right-to-work state is a great achievement. Evers will try to undo it and probably succeed.

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