I’m not sure analogies to ice cream flavors works, but Scott Walker is pulling off a very difficult task. He’s drawing the angst from both liberal and conservative media pundits. From a media rating perspective, and the perspective of most media analysts, it really doesn’t matter so long as he’s moving the rating numbers in the right direction.
And that’s exactly what Scott Walker is doing.
Whether you agree with his politics or not, the Wisconsin Governor is parlaying his 2011 union-busting spotlight into a broader conservative media platform that has driven Walker’s March media rating up +1 point at a new high of 80 points. His ascent through the GOP contenders for the 2016 race is impressive and he is now ranked #7, no change over the prior month but up +6 positions over the prior year.
His year-over-year growth is strong at +22%; cumulative 4-year growth not so much as the Scott Walker brand recovers from a media decline that didn’t reverse itself until mid-2013. The good news for Scott Walker is that media momentum is solid at +36% and he has not had any significant decline in media rating performance for nearly 18 months. The variability around his media rating trend is quite narrow suggesting a strong and consistent media draw.
The storylines around Scott Walker’s March numbers are a blend of his controversial stance within his own State on many issues along with recent comments on immigration reform (he’s backing away from it). There’s no one storyline or theme that is defining the candidate at this point. Again, consistency in his media rating moving average attests to the broad storylines that are following the candidate in traditional and social media channels.
Overall, Walker’s team is running a well-oiled media outreach program that is carefully grooming the candidate for a tough primary road. There were some critical candidate announcements over the last 2-weeks which should help level-set the new leaders as April’s media rating numbers come in. Stay tuned!