Marquette Poll Finds Burke, Walker Tied At 46 Percent

Increased Support Among Women And Young People Helps Burke's Numbers

By
Scott Walker, left, and Mary Burke, right.

A new Marquette University poll has found that the race for governor between incumbent Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke is now tied.

Another poll from two months ago showed Walker ahead 48 to 41 percent. Now, a Marquette survey conducted of 805 registered voters late last week finds numbers that are starkly different, with each candidate polling at 46 percent. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 points.

Marquette pollster Charles Franklin says that a few things have happened in the governor’s race that has led to the shift.

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“First of all, Mary Burke becoming better known to the public, so that has improved her standing,” said Franklin. “We also saw some shifts in the gender gap. In March, men and women were equal in their support of Burke. Now women are … almost 10 points more, supportive of Burke.

Franklin says that more young people are supporting Burke than before, and that state Democrats like Burke may also be benefiting from President Barack Obama’s improved standing in the polls.

Franklin says the poll also shows Walker does have strengths.

“In the governor’s case, people see the state headed in the right direction,” said Franklin. “They think the state budget in better shape than it was. They see him as someone who’s able to get things done.”

Franklin says that working against Walker is a division of opinion on Wisconsin’s jobs picture, and a large number of people who don’t see the governor as an empathetic person.

Franklin says the poll shows Walker three points ahead of Burke among people who say they are likely voters, so he expects a big emphasis on turnout in the fall election and a summer full of campaigning.

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