Marquette Poll Shows Governor’s Race Remains In Dead Heat

Walker Leads 46 Percent To 45 Percent Among Registered Voters, But Difference Is Within Margin Of Error

Gov. Scott Walker and Mary Burke are in a dead heat in the gubernatorial race.

A poll released on Wednesday by Marquette University shows the race between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke remains a dead heat.

The survey found Walker leading Burke among registered voters, 46 to 45 percent. Burke led Walker among likely voters, 47 to 46 percent.

Those numbers are similar to Marquette’s last survey in May when it found the race was a virtual tie.

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Marquette University pollster Charles Franklin said there was some question about whether that May poll was a fluke.

“These new results that are so similar to what we saw in May, I think, are pretty good evidence that … this race really is very tight,” said Franklin.

In Marquette’s May survey, Walker led Burke among independent voters by 9 percentage points. In this month’s survey, Walker’s lead among independents was down to one point.

“I think if you’re reading tea leaves, you see a little tightening among Independents,” said Franklin. “But you should take it with a considerable dose of skepticism that that amount of movement is within the margin of error.”

The poll was conducted between Thursday and Sunday, soon after Walker began to run TV ads attacking Burke on outsourcing. Franklin said it’s too early to say whether those attacks have had any effect on the race.

“It takes a long time for messages to sink in during a campaign, and an advertising campaign that’s only been up for three or four days is very unlikely to move public opinion in that short a span,” said Franklin.

Walker’s approval rating dropped in the new survey, with 47 percent approving of the job he’s doing and 48 percent disapproving. Burke still remains largely unknown to the public, with 49 percent of voters saying they don’t know enough about her to form an opinion.

The survey polled 804 registered voters in Wisconsin, and was conducted over cell phones and landline telephones.