How Walker did on his 2010 promises

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, left, leaves a meeting during the National Governors Association winter meeting in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 22, 2014
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, left, leaves a meeting during the National Governors Association winter meeting in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 22, 2014

When it comes to keeping the campaign promises he made in 2010, Gov. Scott Walker  has fared best on education, taxes and the outdoors.

Meanwhile, he’s overseen mixed to mediocre progress on pledges related to jobs, transparency reforms, overturning a ban on smoking in businesses and allowing nuclear energy.

So says our Walk-O-Meter, which we have used to track 65 promises made by Walker as a candidate. The first-term Republican has about three months left in his term, but less than month to the Nov. 4, 2014 election.

Walker has kept a majority (57 percent) of the promises we have tracked, while earning a Compromise on 17 percent. Slightly less than one in four rated a Promise Broken (23 percent). One promise remains rated Stalled and one In the Works.

Promises are rated based on outcomes, not intentions, so a promise not achieved is rated Promise Broken. The aim of PolitiFact promise meters is to compare campaign rhetoric with what actually happens after a candidate takes office.

By way of comparison, PolitiFact National has rated 45 percent of President Obama’s pledges as Promise Kept, and 22 percent Promise Broken. (Some 8 percent have no final rating).

We also looked at three governors in other PolitiFact states. Florida’s Rick Scott had 42 percent rated  Promise Kept; Texas Gov. Rick Perry had 46 percent rated Promise Kept; and former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell had 52 percent rated Promise Kept.

In the 2010 election and the four years since, Walker has asserted voters want bold action and decisive reforms even if they don’t agree wholeheartedly with the goals.

Voters tend to see him as more results-oriented than Democratic opponent Mary Burke, according to a Marquette University Law School Poll conducted in late September 2014. Asked if Walker is "someone who is able to get things done," 63 percent said yes. For Burke, that number was 42 percent.

Of course, one particular promise -- Walker’s pledge to add 250,000 new private-sector jobs in his four-year term -- has been front and center in the campaign. We have rated it Promise Broken.

In the Sept. 11-14 MU poll of likely voters statewide, 61 percent said falling short of 250,000 would be very or somewhat important to deciding how to vote in the governor’s race.

Looking ahead to a new term: A look at campaign promises by Gov. Scott Walker and challenger Mary Burke in the 2014 governor’s race.