New Poll Shows Walker Ahead Of Burke By 7 Points

Marquette University Data Shows That Nothing Much Has Changed In Race Since January

Gov. Scott Walker currently leads Mary Burke by seven points, according to a Marquette poll. Photo: Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

Republican Scott Walker holds is ahead of Democrat Mary Burke 47 percent to 41 percent in the latest Marquette University poll on the Wisconsin gubernatorial election.

There’s been some television advertising in time the since a Marquette poll in January showed Walker six points ahead of Burke. The new poll shows Walker up by seven points.

Marquette political scientist Charles Franklin says the new survey, conducted last week and involving 800 registered voters, shows things are about the same as two months ago.

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“A six or seven point lead is a lead just a little outside the margin of error, so it’s justified to say it’s a lead,” said Franklin. “But ‘widen’ would not be appropriate. A one-point shift over two months in a sample with a three-and-a-half percent margin of error is a meaningless change.”

Franklin says Walker has some positives, including a poll result showing 54 percent of respondents say the state is moving in the right direction and 55 percent back the new Republican-created tax cuts.

But Franklin also says the poll shows 58 percent say tax cuts do more to benefit the wealthy than the middle class or the poor. Plus, the poll shows an increase in the number of people who view job creation in Wisconsin as lagging behind other states. Franklin also says the survey indicates only 43 percent feel Walker cares about them, while 51 percent say he doesn’t.

“So I think that empathy element to how we see political figures can come to play a role this year,” said Franklin.

Franklin says that in the 2012 U.S. Senate race, Democrats were able to portray Republican Tommy Thompson as uncaring. The new poll says 36 percent believe Mary Burke cares about them while 29 percent disagree.