More ads. More speeches. More press statements. More fundraising pleas. More PAC involvement. And some high-profile pitches followed the news that the Marquette University Law School Poll in early October showed Scott Walker and Mary Burke tied at 47-47 percent among likely voters in the Wisconsin governor’s race.
That tie between Walker and Burke has disappeared in the two weeks between Marquette polls. In the poll released Oct. 29, which surveyed 1,409 registered voters, 1,164 of whom said they were likely to vote, Walker is favored by 50 percent of likely voters, while Burke is down to 43 percent. Poll director Charles Franklin attributes the change to shifting turnout intentions. Effectively, he said at a poll release event, more Walker supporters say they will vote than Burke supporters.
What else were polls showing in the weeks ahead of the high-stakes Nov. 4 election?
• The gender gap in the governor’s race, shrinking in the last poll, is back. Among likely male voters, Walker is favored 58-36 percent, and among likely female voters, Burke is favored 49-43 percent. In the six Marquette Polls since July, Walker has averaged 55-40 percent among men and Burke has averaged 52-42 percent among women. At one time, Walker had a 28-point advantage among men and Burke had an 18-point edge with women.
• Burke’s favorability rating has declined in recent weeks, dropping from a 44 percent tie to 39 percent favorable and 49 percent unfavorable among likely voters in the most recent poll. Walker’s current favorability rating among likely voters is 51 percent favorable and 46 percent unfavorable, a ratio that has remained consistent throughout the race.
• About 49 percent of likely voters agree that Walker cares about people like them; 47 percent say that about Burke.
• About 43 percent say Burke is “able to get things done” and 65 percent say that about Walker.
• That increase in Walker’s numbers in the Marquette Law Poll is faintly reflected in the responses given to questions about Wisconsin’s future. Among likely voters, 54 percent say Wisconsin is headed in the right direction, versus 42 percent who say it is on the wrong track.
• Walker and Burke supporters are split on almost every issue, and the biggest one is, unsurprisingly, the issue of Act 10 and collective bargaining. Just 9 percent of Walker supporters would restore collective bargaining, in comparison to 79 percent of Burke supporters, according to the latest Marquette Poll.
• On the other hand, Wisconsinites don’t disagree on everything. The latest Marquette poll found that a majority of both Walker and Burke supporters favor criminal penalties for first offense OWI (52 from Walker and 62 from Burke). Numbers are also close when it comes to the proposed Kenosha casino. 39 percent of Burke supporters and 44 percent of Walker supporters are in favor of the casino, while 37 percent of Burke supporters and 36 percent of Walker supporters oppose it.
Other polls reveal what’s going on outside the governor’s race:
• A new survey from the Pew Research Center found notable differences between where liberals and conservatives find their news. Conservatives reported that they find their news from a single source, 47 percent of them saying that source is Fox News. “Consistent liberals” list a wider range of news outlets as main sources.
• A recent Gallup poll found the economy is the top concern in America as midterms approach, followed sequentially by dissatisfaction with government, unemployment and jobs, health care, and immigration. The Ebola virus made its first appearance on the monthly poll, though, a concern among 5 percent of surveyed Americans.
• Polls show less enthusiasm for discussing 2016 presidential politics. That’s probably because the clear favorite among Democrats, Hillary Rodham Clinton, hasn’t announced her intention to run, and because no Republican yet has broken from the pack. Mitt Romney, who lost in 2012, is not jockeying for the nomination.
• In a Post-ABC poll, had the support of 21 percent of Republicans or Republican-leaning independents for the presidency. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was No. 2 with 11 percent. U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan was in the group polling 8-6 percent. Scott Walker was at the bottom of the list, with 1 percent.
• In Marquette’s Oct. 15 poll, 25 percent of likely voters in Wisconsin would like to see Walker run for president in 2016; 40 percent would like to see Ryan run.
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