Next up in our candidate profiles is the current governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker. Walker has not publicly said he is going to run but has dropped hints about the possibility. For Republicans, he’s probably one of the most underrated potential candidates that could enter the 2016 field. While in office, Walker passed a controversial budget that virtually ended all collective bargaining rights for public employees and had deep cuts in the Medicaid budget. The move sparked essentially a national outrage and protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol calling for him to be recalled. The protests gain national attention and prominent politicians from all over the country was chiming in and going to Wisconsin to fight or support Walker. Walker not only defeated the protesters and avoided a recall vote but won re-election in the 2014 midterms. He’s clearly on a high and could roll into 2016 on that wave.
Walker has been dominating the Democrats in Wisconsin, despite it being a purple state. Walker represents everything that Republicans stand for: smaller government, anti-unions, anti-collective bargaining rights, reductions in Medicaid, passing a balanced budget, etc. Walker also earned the support of big name Republicans after his collective bargaining fight. Guys like Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and Rick Perry. As I said, he’s currently living large and if he can keep his Republican-led state legislature in check, he could prove to be too popular to ignore as 2016 gets closer, even if it’s for a possible V.P. pick if he chooses not to run for the White House himself. One thing is for certain, he may be one of the only potential candidates that could actually unite the Republican Party again.
Just after his 2014 victory, during an interview with Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” Walker said that the next President and Vice President should both be governors. Comments such as these, while even if he is just speaking his mind, can be taken offensively by some non-governors. The Rand Paul’s and Paul Ryan’s of the world could certainly feel offended by the comments and could lead to them pulling support for him in favor of someone else if they are somehow magically not in the primary race. Another weakness is that he is still a relatively unknown to many Americans who do not follow politics closely. He would certainly need to declare early and get his name out there in order to make a name for himself.
Potential Vice Presidential Pick
Obviously we know that if he wins the GOP nomination, he wants to have a governor as his Vice President as well. Despite the rarity of this happening (see what I said about it when talking about Mike Huckabee’s options), Walker seems to think that governors do a better job as Washington outsiders. Because of this he’s going to be targeting prominent governors. Insert Susana Martinez. As I’ve said before, she’s a successful governor in a swing state and is a female and Hispanic. She feels every need that Walker would have and the two would be quite a difficult duo to beat. He could also target someone more established: Rick Perry (if he doesn’t run which is almost a given), Mike Pence, John Kasich, or Nikki Haley.
Chances to win
Chances of winning the GOP nomination: A-
Chances of winning the general election: B or C depending entirely on his V.P. pick (B if he goes with Martinez; C if he goes with anyone else).