The poll of 800 registered Wisconsin voters took place last week, mostly before Walker’s State of the State address. The survey finds Walker polling at 47 percent, and Burke, a former state commerce secretary and business executive, polling at 41 percent. Walker's lead has grown since a similar poll last October; Burke’s numbers have slipped a few points while Walker's haven’t moved, even though his job approval rating is up a bit.
Marquette pollster Charles Franklin said Walker hasn't gotten much of a bounce from good state fiscal news and some bad national headlines for Democrats.
“We have just gone through the health care rollout and the problems with that, and found money in the state budget, so we’re kind of at a high point for Republicans,” said Franklin. “It’s interesting that his vote hasn’t moved.”
Franklin said voters have well-formed views of Walker, but 70 percent of respondents don't know enough about Burke to have an opinion of her. He expects television commercials for and against Burke to soon change that.
Franklin said the poll also shows 59 percent of people see tax cuts as mainly benefiting the wealthy. That could be a problem for a “governor, and the Republican Party generally, that has stressed tax cuts.”
Franklin said the poll also shows majority support for raising the minimum wage, while Walker said hiking the minimum wage would be a political stunt.