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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at CPAC 2013.
Republican Gov. Scott Walker
Goal Thermometer

The respected Marquette University Law School poll is out with a new survey, and they find things as close as ever. Among registered voters, Republican Gov. Scott Walker has a small 48-44 lead over Democratic foe Mary Burke. However, among likely voters, it's Burke who's up, by 49-47. In Marquette's July poll, Walker led 46-45 among registered voters, with Burke up 47-46 among likely voters. Other pollsters have shown a very close race, but Marquette is the only one to show any Burke lead.

Suffice to say, it's a bit surprising that a Democrat is doing better among likely voters than registered voters, especially when conventional wisdom says that midterm turnout will disproportionately favor the Republicans. That said, Scott Walker is a very uniquely polarizing figure who seems to attract about as much devotion from one side as utter hatred from the other. It's not unreasonable that Democrats are enthusiastic enough about the idea of ousting Walker that the usual turnout gap could have disappeared.

Indeed, Walker sits on a 47-47 approval rating. Walker's approvals have barely budged during his tenure: In each Marquette poll since early 2012, Walker has never had an approval rating higher than 51 percent or lower than 46. The ongoing allegations about Walker's ethics don't seem to have changed anything. Most voters appear to have decided whether they love or hate Walker long ago. In 2012 Democrats ran into trouble when they tried to recall Walker from voters who didn't like the governor, but felt that a recall was a step too far. However, many of those voters don't seem to have the same qualms against voting against the governor in a regular election.

Marquette has polled exclusively in its home state and had a solid track record in 2012:

WI-Gov: Marquette: Walker (R) 52-45; Actual: Walker (R) 53-46; error: +0

WI-Pres: Marquette: Obama (D) 51-43; Actual: Obama (D) 53-46; error: +1 D

WI-Sen: Marquette: Baldwin (D) 47-43; Actual: Baldwin (D) 51-46; error: +1 R

While that's not a huge sample size, Marquette absolutely nailed three critical races, giving them a record any pollster would kill for. Additionally, Marquette is headed by Charles Franklin, one of the most respected names in polling.

At the beginning of the cycle it looked like Democrats were too dispirited by the failed recall to mount a serious challenge, but that has not been the case. This race is incredibly close, and it's expected to remain so. Walker has tons of money at his disposal and this race is likely to be decided by a small group of persuadable voters. Walker and his allies are going to do whatever it takes to hold this seat, and Democrats are going to need to keep working very hard here.

Help Wisconsin. Help oust Scott Walker. Please give $3 to Mary Burke's campaign.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Walker (6+ / 0-)

    The reason Kathy Nickolaus still has a job is because Republicans need her to swing the election to Republicans again.

    •  We'll get to see how desperate Walker is. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      howabout, nadd2, Matt Z, Amber6541

      I expect to see the Koch boys shove a lot of cheddar his way, and if that fails, they'll call in Diebold to install the voting machines with the hanging chads again.

      "Washington, DC: Where Corruption is Rewarded, and Ethical Merit is DESPISED.

      by The Truth on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 01:01:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I believe you're right about Kathy Nickolaus (0+ / 0-)

      That is, I think there was fraud in holding out that "one" reporting unit as well as a whole towns votes in the supreme justices court race...

      As far as the Governors race, I think that outfit that offered 3000 new voting machines in a two for one exchange in 46 of the 72 counties had some rigging going on.

      We really need to vote on paper for optical scanners so that we can verify the machine scan count by hand or just go back to counting paper ballots the old way to eliminate invisible votes.

      I provide more on this on the link below and so much more.

      It's high time for a change

  •  Not what Walker had planned (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    howabout, Amber6541

    He expected an easy reelection and them full-steam on to his WH bid. Now he stands a good chance of defeat. Boo-hoo.

    He misunderstood his recall win. They didn't support you, Scotty, they just didn't believe in throwing you out so early in your term. But in the regular scheduled election, they certainly will.

    •  LOL.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "Now he stands a good chance of defeat".

      again with the desperate baloney. How do you figure Burke's 1-2 pt lead in recent polls proves anything since this is within the margin of error?

      I want Wanker gone as well, but this poll gives me no confidence democrats are going to show up and vote.

      "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

      by Superpole on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 01:55:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well yeah... (0+ / 0-)

        Considering that the polling has been extremely close. The consensus is this is a tossup or lean R race at worst.

        "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." - Barack Obama

        by anshmishra on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 01:59:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  50-50 is a good chance. (0+ / 0-)

        We no longer ask if a man has integrity, but if he has talent. - Rousseau, Discourse on the arts and sciences

        by James Allen on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 02:04:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Go look at the trends (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hbk, GeoffT, nadd2, Amber6541

          Over the last 2 months, you see Burke picking up 1-2 points every few weeks, and in the aggregate, she leads (especially when you throw out a 400-person junk poll from St. Norbert in the early part of this year). I see no reason that trend can't continue, particularly since everyone knows Walker, but not everyone knows Burke.

           Add in the fact that much of this poll was taken before the latest scandals, and the fact that it's BURKE SUPPORTERS in the poll that are more likely to vote, and the upside in this race is Mary's.

           That doesn't mean there isn't 10 more weeks of hard work to go, but the good guys are in a good spot right now.

        •  The undecideds are 4.3% of RV's (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z, Amber6541

          0.7% are Dem undecideds, 2.5% are Independent undecideds.  0.1% are Republicans.

          Undecideds are 1.9% of LV's:  the D/I/R split is 0.8%/0.6%/0.1%.

          There just aren't any Republicans left who can come to Walker's side, and given Walker's exceedingly high name recognition and widespread impact on the state it seems unlikely that many undecided Independents could be persuaded towards him amongst those who haven't already been.  They'll likely break either for Burke or for sitting out the election.

          Walker's main hope for boosting his LV percentages has to be in turning his very-likely-but-not-absolutely-uncertain and 50-50 likelihood voters into actual voters.  Miring himself in scandal, jobs failure and budgetary failure is going to push him onto the defensive for large chunks of the rest of the campaign.

          Canceling the QCEW pre-release seems like shooting himself in the foot: his best bet to minimize the political damage from that and the revenue numbers which will both inevitably be out before the election would be to have them hit at the same time.  He could now push back the revenue numbers until mid-September, but that in itself would looks terrible.

          Fake candidates nominated by the GOP for the recalls: 6 out of 7. Fake signatures on the recall petitions: 4 out of 1,860,283.

          by GeoffT on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 06:14:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Two Wisconsins (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dylanfan, howabout

    The cities and the farmland.

    Republicans are bad for America because they think making us all poor and sick and miserable and stupid is good for America. - Bill in Portland Maine

    by pinhighin2 on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 12:43:46 PM PDT

  •  When I think of all the great men & women (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ggav11, howabout, WisVoter

    the great policies like Workers Compensation, the fine cheeses and the beautiful people and landscape, I keep forgetting that Wisconsin was also the:

    a. home of the GOP (Ripon, WI)
    b. a major center for huge religious (end of times) tent revivals.
    c. a major profit center for Koch heads
    d. state that passed abstinence only sex education and major abortion restrictions.
    e. The home of Joseph McCarthy, the besotted, vile, evil, anti-communist, who destroyed the careers of thousands, and drove this nation into its first paranoid state.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 12:45:30 PM PDT

  •  Beating Walker would be sweet (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, howabout, Jorge Harris, hbk

    along with Scott, Corbett, and Brownback.  

    you can shit on my face but that doesn't mean I have to lick my lips

    by red rabbit on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 12:51:00 PM PDT

  •  It could get very, very close (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    howabout, hbk

    Like the Senate primary in Mississippi or Hawaii.

    This will keep me up all night on November 4th.

  •  What is Walker's campaign slogan? (5+ / 0-)

    Is it -- Walker, Not As Corrupt As You Think!

  •  Me too (0+ / 0-)

    I've already got 4 other people coming to the house that night and we're committed to staying up all night watching the election coverage/outcomes.  This election year is so damn important, it's crazy.  Sometimes I don't think people realize what a move right in the U.S. legislature could mean and how any move right in the various state legislatures and governorships can mean to our country. and pizza and one guy wants to bring "something else" but I put the kabosh on that (for now).  I mean, after all, this is gonna be an all-nighter, y'know?  :-)

  •  If Burke performs reasonably well in the debates (3+ / 0-)

    I think she has the edge.  Despite all the money and national GOP support, Walker has to this point struggled.  Burke has to show that she can handle her business in front of the cameras and looks like someone who has the gravitas to be governor.  I have not seen her on tv, but it seems to me that if she has made it this far she should be able to clear that threshold of acceptability.

    Global Shakedown - Alternative rock with something to say. Check out their latest release, "A Time to Recognize": Available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and other major online music sites. Visit

    by khyber900 on Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 01:57:43 PM PDT

  •  Recent corruption not included (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GeoffT, hbk, nadd2, unkadan, Amber6541, WisVoter

     Worth noting is that much of this poll took place before we knew about the $700,000 that Walker (illegally) got a mining company to send to Club for Growth, and before we knew about the $6 million giveaway to Ashley Furniture (and the $20,000 kickback from Ashley's execs that followed 2 weeks later.

       I'd LOVE to see a PPP poll or someone else get into the field right now to see if the House of Cards is crumbling. It'll happen sooner than later, but we need any help you can in the next 10 weeks

  •  I heard some pundit say the other day that Burk... (0+ / 0-)

    I heard some pundit say the other day that Burke wasn't a good candidate.

    •  Burkes been better than advertised (0+ / 0-)

      I had my doubts when she entered, but shes run a strong race hitting Walker hard whenever something comes up. while she cant say ' my opponent is a crook' openly(yet), all this stuff was not known during the recall. had it been, We'd have Governor Barrett running for a full term this year.  but i think burke is a much better candidate than Barrett.

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