Who’s winning the public relations battle in Wisconsin?

Another poll is out today to muddy the discussion water over which side is winning the public relations battle in Wisconsin.

A Rasmussen poll shows 67% of those surveyed nationwide do not agree with Senate Democrats’ decision to leave the state to prevent a vote on a bill stripping some public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights. Republicans, as you might expect, were against the move by a wide margin. But, somewhat surprisingly, Democrats were split on the question.

On the question of whether public employees should even have unions, the results were generally split.

Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com deconstructed some polls a day ago, including one — a Gallup poll — that showed people in favor of public employees being in a union and one — Clarus — showing people are not in favor of public employees being in unions.

There was some bias in the wording, but generally, he says, people tend to support unions less during times of high unemployment:

But there are an awful lot of issues on which the American public has ambivalent feelings, but nevertheless objects to rights being taken away. People might think that alcohol has a negative influence on society, for instance, but I’d imagine that relatively few want to ban it. Even on an issue like abortion, this pattern can sometimes be observed — about as many Americans describe themselves as “pro-life” as “pro-choice”, but polls generally show a clear majority opposed to overturning Roe v. Wade.

A University of Wisconsin poll expert tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he thinks Walker has lost ground in the struggle.