MILFORD, N.H. — Republican presidential contender Scott Walker took a motorcycle tour of New Hampshire over the Labor Day weekend, but so far the Wisconsin governor’s record of reining in public employee labor unions has not become a key issue in the GOP race.
Walker’s two-day ride started Sunday in Milford and ended Monday evening with a house party in Amherst.
It was his seventh trip to New Hampshire this year and his fourth since he announced his candidacy.
As organized labor continues to lose membership and influence nationwide, its clout doesn’t appear to be a top priority for most Republicans.
Walker has seen his poll numbers fall as those for Republican front-runner Donald Trump have risen.
“I took on the big government union bosses, and we won,’’ Walker said in his closing statement at the Aug. 6 Republican debate.
“They tried to recall me, and we won. They targeted us again, and we won.’’
Walker was referring to his 2011 fight with public sector unions, as well as his 2012 recall and 2014 general election victories, both contests that included heavy union spending against him.
His handling of those battles has become a central theme of Walker's campaign.
Walker rode a rented Harley-Davidson through all 10 New Hampshire counties.
He highlighted his experience in taking on unions, including the threats he received and the 100,000 protesters he faced at the peak of his battle.
Walker marked the start of tour with a Friday evening tweet recounting his victory over the unions.
In response, Stephanie Bloomingdale, secretary treasurer of the AFL-CIO in Wisconsin, said, “He should be ashamed of what he has done and should not be proud to sit on that Harley-Davidson that was made by hard-working men and women.’’
Founded in Milwaukee, the motorcycle company is unionized.
In New Hampshire, union membership has continued to drop, a reflection of national trends.
In 2014, just 9.9 percent of those employed there were members of unions, Bloomberg News reported, citing figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
On Tuesday, a super political action committee backing Walker is expected to start a roughly $7 million advertising campaign on his behalf in Iowa.
The most recent Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll found Walker was backed by just 8 percent of likely caucus-goers, less than half what he recorded in the last Iowa Poll in late May.
A poll released Thursday by Monmouth University showed Walker had slipped to 3 percent nationally.