Mary Burke Leads Democratic Candidates For Governor By Huge Margin, Poll Finds

Among Democratic Primary Voters, Burke Polls At 66 Percent

Mary Burke is polling at 66 percent among Democratic primary voters. Photo courtesy of Mary Burke.

The newest Marquette University poll shows that Mary Burke seems to have a clear path to the Democratic Party nomination for governor, though her attempt to defeat Gov. Scott Walker may be hard-fought and costly.

The poll asked Democratic and independent voters last week about all the Democrats who say they’re running for governor, including former state Commerce Secretary Mary Burke, state Rep. Brett Hulsey and Milwaukee-area residents Hari Trivedi and Marcia Perkins. About two-thirds said they would vote for Burke, 3 percent for Hulsey, 1 percent for Perkins, and 1 percent for Trivedi. There were also 24 percent who did not express a preference.

Pollster Charles Franklin says he’s not surprised Hulsey, who just got into the race a few weeks ago, is in the low single digits.

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“As a two-term state representative, I think that is a fundamental background that matters for running,” said Franklin. “He’s snagged some early media attention, and yet that is not something that’s percolating through the public.”

The Marquette poll also shows Burke drawing even with Walker at 46 percent, with the poll’s margin of error at about 3 percent.

Franklin says the expected onslaught of television ads over the next few months may affect the race. He says pro-Republican ads that have already aired seem to have changed the contest, but not the way Republicans wanted.

“Perhaps paradoxically, those ads may have done more to raise Mary Burke’s name identification,” said Franklin.

Franklin expects more ads soon, and later, extensive voter turnout efforts.