The new Marquette Law School Poll of Wisconsin shows that Gov. Scott Walker continues to be in a close race in the state’s high-stakes recall election.
The survey of registered voters shows Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett edging Walker by 47 to 46 percent, within the ±3.8 percent margin of error. But among the narrower poll of likely voters, Walker has an edge of 48 to 47 percent, with a ±4.2 percent margin of error.
At a press conference streamed online, professor Charles Franklin said of the poll result: “So i think it’s fair to call that just about as close to a tie as you can possibly get.”
The other top-tier Democratic candidate, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, trails Walker by 49 to 42 percent among registered voters, and by 49 to 43 percent among likely voters.
In the previous Marquette survey from late March, among registered voters, Walker led Barrett by 47 to 45 percent, and Walker led Falk 49 to 45. .
The TPM Poll Average for the general election gives Walker an edge over Barrett of 48.7 to 46.6 percent, in a race that has clearly gone back and forth:
Walker’s approval rating in the new poll is 47, to a disapproval of 51, down from a positive 50-47 split in the late March poll. The TPM Poll Average for Walker’s approval currently puts him underwater at 48.0 percent:
The new poll also tested the Democratic primary, which will be held this Tuesday: Barrett 38, Falk 21, Secretary of State Doug La Follette 8, and state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout 6, with a ±4.7 percent margin of error. In the previous Marquette poll, Barrett led Falk by the narrower figure of 36 to 29 with La Follette at 8 and Vinehout 8.
Notably, the Democratic primary respondents were asked: “What is the most important in your choice of a candidate?”
The result was 46 percent for creating new jobs, 25 percent for defeating Walker, 14 percent for reducing political divisions in the state — and only 12 percent for restoring collective bargaining rights for public employees, the issue that fueled much of the protests against Walker last year, and helped to fuel this very recall election.
The new survey of was conducted from April 26-29. The general election will be held June 5.
Ed. note: Reporter Eric Kleefeld was a volunteer in 2002 for Tom Barrett’s gubernatorial campaign in the Democratic primary that year, in which Kathleen Falk was also a candidate. He has had no additional political involvement with Barrett since that time.