Scott Walker hit political rock bottom in September 2015, soon after his presidential campaign flamed out. It was depressing to be one of the first candidates to drop out of a crowded Republican field that eventually winnowed to Donald Trump. But the Wisconsin governor’s first foray onto the national stage also took a serious toll on his standing back home. Less than a year after getting reelected, his job approval rating had fallen to 37 percent. Most Republicans in the state hadn’t wanted him to run in the first place, and many felt like he cared more about Iowa’s problems than Wisconsin’s.
After two years of mending fences, Walker has clawed his way back. His numbers have inched up each of the past four quarters, and his approval rating is now back in the mid-to-high 40s.
Last week I joined the governor at three events over three days as he launched his campaign for a third term. During an interview at a tailgate party across the street from Lambeau Field before the Green Bay Packers played in “Monday Night Football,” Walker talked about how much extra work he created for himself by running for president.