Governor Scott Walker
Walker has put all of his political energy into winning the GOP presidential nomination, creating a leadership void in Wisconsin marked by increasing public discontent among the state’s Republican-leaning independent voters and departures by some of his top staff, observers said. The situation — combined with a recent effort by state GOP officials to highlight Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch at the annual party convention — raises questions about Walker’s political future in the state, including how well he could govern should his presidential quest end prematurely, political experts and observers say. Just 39 percent of Wisconsinites polled in August approved of Walker’s performance as governor, according to the Marquette Law School Poll, the lowest level since January 2012 when the poll began measuring Walker’s backing.
Poll director Charles Franklin said the numbers show Walker is losing support in the state’s political middle. While Republican and Democratic voters’ support for Walker hasn’t changed much in recent months, Walker’s support from Republican-leaning independents has dropped sharply — from 86 percent supporting Walker in his November re-election in an October poll to now 64 percent approving of the job he’s doing as governor, according to an August poll Franklin conducted.
President Barack Obama
Obama signed an executive order on Labor Day requiring federal contractors to provide up to seven days of paid sick leave a year, even as he accused Republican congressional leaders of endangering the economy and Republican presidential candidates of undercutting American workers. Addressing a union audience gathered in Boston for Labor Day, Obama said he was glad not to be on the ballot but then sounded like a candidate himself as he went after the Republicans who hope to succeed him in the White House. He mocked them individually and as a group for portraying themselves as champions of the middle class while opposing labor unions.