Matt McDaniel

3 minute read

Note: Over the next few days and weeks, I’ll be posting predictions/reflections on the 2016 Primaries as the race begins to unfold. Each of the posts will be just a snapshot of each potential candidate. As the race comes into focus, you can certainly expect deeper analyses.

The Road to 2016: Scott Walker

Scott Walker by Gage Skidmore.jpg

Quick Facts:

Current Governor of Wisconsin

Survived a recall election and has won a separate second term

Pushed through the legislature significant anti-union measures

Keys to the Party:

Mr. Walker is a governor of a state that is not a lock for Republicans.

Governor Walker has beaten back his critics and has secured both a second term and an attempted recall. He is seen as someone who can win elections.

Governor Walker has Republican economic credentials in going after unions and working to make Wisconsin a state that has better business relations.

Keys to the Press:

Governor Walker is anti-union and has pushed a socially conservative agenda in Wisconsin


Clearly Governor Walker has the economic policy that Republicans have been searching for along with a record of not shying away from fights.


Governor Walker is not a very engaging speaker and has regularly been shown to be polarizing in his state. While his policies represent what the Party may want in a Presidential candidate, Governor Walker’s stalwart pushes for his policies may not engender him much love when it comes to a national electorate.

Odds of Running:


Financing will be a hurdle for Governor Walker. While he appears to be the sitting governor with the most clout at the moment, there is the chance that he will be one of several sitting governors to make the decision to explore a run for the White House. Added to this, he is currently seen as an establishment candidate. While he is definitely “outside the beltway,” Governor Walker runs the risk of being eclipsed by the funding juggernauts of Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush.

Before running, Governor Walker would need to immediately carve out a niche for himself on a particular hot-button issue so he could draw funding and maintain a campaign.

Odds of Winning the Nomination:


At the moment, Governor Walker has not done enough to separate himself from what will be a crowded field. Also, as noted above, funding after a likely middle-of-the-pack showing in Iowa and New Hampshire will dry up.

Odds of a Cabinet Position:


Governor Walker is an excellent Vice Presidential candidate with the appropriate credentials. Also, by 2016, he will be on the waning edge of his time as governor and will be looking for a new position.

Bottom Line:

Governor Walker has been a consistent player in 2016 theories. However, because the field looks like it will crowd out those candidates who fail to capture the imagination of the base, or secure a particular demographic, Governor Walker will have to work quickly to make an issue his own or risk losing out on early funding.

GovMatt’s Opinion: I think Governor Walker will be running for Vice President rather than for President if he throws his hat in the ring.