Gov. Scott Walker enters the Assembly chambers to deliver his sixth State of the State (copy)

Gov. Scott Walker’s approval rating was 38 percent in the Marquette University Law School poll released Jan. 28. Photo by AMBER ARNOLD — State Journal

Photos by AMBER ARNOLD — State Journal

Gov. Scott Walker isn't worrying about his sagging poll numbers right now, despite indications that a majority of Wisconsin voters don't want him to run for a third term.

The governor's approval rating among Wisconsin voters hasn't touched 40 percent since he ended his presidential campaign in September. 

And of the voters polled in the Marquette University Law School poll released last week, 36 percent said they would like the governor to seek a third term, while 61 percent said they don't want him to run again.

"Well, in 2011, my poll numbers were so low that Time magazine called me 'Dead Man Walker.' In June of 2012 I won the recall election with more votes and a higher percentage of the vote than I did the first time," Walker told reporters Wednesday. "So for us, it’s just steady. We don’t get too high when things are good, we don’t get too low when times are challenging."

Walker invoked the Time article several times toward the end of his presidential campaign, shrugging off flagging support at the national level. 

He argued on Wednesday that despite widespread backlash to his 2011 battle with labor unions, public opinion swung back in his favor by the time voters went to the polls in 2012 and 2014.

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"We just persevere going forward," Walker said. "For us, I think what we’ve found when we ultimately prevailed in the 2012 recall election is because people, despite what they were seeing on TV ads and maybe they were hearing about some of the stories out there, eventually they saw the reforms were working."

Walker said he's listening to voters as he travels throughout the state and putting a renewed focus on matching employers with qualified employees and investing more in public education. 

The governor's most recent approval rating was 38 percent, up one point from 37 percent just after he exited the presidential race.

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Jessie Opoien covers state government and politics for the Capital Times. She joined the Cap Times in 2013 and has also covered Madison life, race relations, culture and music. She has also covered education and politics for the Oshkosh Northwestern.