Wisconsin guv up in third straight poll
May 30th, 2012
02:34 PM ET
3 years ago

Wisconsin guv up in third straight poll

(CNN) – With six days to go until the recall election of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a new poll indicates that the Republican governor holds a seven point advantage over his Democratic challenger.

According to a Marquette Law School poll released Wednesday, 52% of people likely to vote in Wisconsin's June 5 election say they back Walker, with 45% saying they support Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the Democratic challenger. Barrett won his party's primary earlier this month, setting up a rematch with Walker from the 2010 election, that Walker won by five points.

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The Marquette Law School survey is the third non-partisan poll released over the past week to indicate Walker with a single digit margin over Barrett.

Republican Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch also faces a recall election. The poll indicates she holds a 46%-41% advantage in the new survey over Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin President Mahlon Mitchell, the Democratic challenger.

Walker set off a firestorm in January 2010 when he moved to curtail the collective bargaining rights of most Wisconsin state employees.

With majorities in both houses of the legislature, Walker and his GOP allies voted to limit raises for public employees except police and firefighters to the rate of inflation, bar unions from deducting dues from workers' paychecks and force them to hold a new certification vote every year. That bill was signed into law in March 2011, following weeks of protests at the state capitol building in Madison.

Republicans insisted it was necessary to control the skyrocketing costs of public employee benefits and close the budget shortfall. Democrats argued it was an attempt to gut public-sector labor unions, one of their core constituencies.

The public demonstrations all but shut down the Wisconsin state legislature for weeks. It also drew protesters by the tens of thousands, among them union supporters and public employees, who called the measure an attack on workers. A group of Democratic lawmakers left the state for some time in an effort to not allow a quorum for a vote.

The state Supreme Court upheld the controversial law in June, but the battle sparked a storm of political activism that led to the recall effort. The election was scheduled earlier this year, after more than 900,000 signatures petitioning for a recall of the first-term governor were collected.

This is first time in Wisconsin's history that a governor has faced recall. There have only been two successful gubernatorial recalls in the nation's history: California Gov. Gray Davis in 2003 and North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier in 1921.

Besides the firestorm over collective bargaining, jobs have become another big issue in the recall election. By a 50%-43% margin, Wisconsin voters say that Walker rather than Barrett would do a better job creating jobs.

The survey also indicates that Wisconsin voters remain divided on the job Walker's doing in office, but his 51% favorable rating is ten points higher than Barrett's 41% favorable rating.

The poll also suggests Republicans are slightly more energized, with 92% of Republicans questioned saying they're "absolutely certain" they'll vote, compared to just 77% for Democrats questioned in the poll.

Big bucks are being raised and spent in the recall effort. Both tea party groups and other grassroots and fiscal conservative organizations on the right, and labor groups and progressive organizations on the left, as well as the campaigns and Democratic and Republican party committees, have been pouring in money to build up get out the vote efforts, and to put up TV commercials.

According to Kantar Media/Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political ad spending, Republican groups have out spent Democratic groups when it comes to ad buys by a more than two to one margin over the past two weeks.

The Marquette Law School poll was conducted May 23-27, with 600 likely Wisconsin recall election voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.


Filed under: Scott Walker • Tom Barrett • Wisconsin
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Another Huge Obama Failure

    Well, that was short lived, Democrats.

    May 30, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. Another Huge Obama Failure

    "This piece fails to mention that a large portion of those protesters at the capitol were bused in by unions and other "progressive" groups from all over the country. Why are rent-a-mobs not part of the background to this story?"

    Mainly b/c the story is being "told" by CNN.

    May 30, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. once upon a horse

    EVERY picture I have seen of this guy he looks either lost or two dots short on his dice......kind of like Perry down here in Texas. If Walker wins the Democrats should have a 2000 election type recount. That or either blame themselves for showing up at the party too little too late while Walker went courting every known GOPer from Karl Rove to Sarah Palin and crying on FoxNews as often as he could.

    May 30, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. vic , nashville ,tn

    Scott Walker will win , thanks to supreme court

    May 30, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. rob

    @mmad5camp
    So far the scare tactics from the Dems and the unions have all been untrue. No teachers have been laid off, the state is now showing a surplus and the its becoming a business friendly state where good paying jobs will be created. In a year when Wisconsin is booming will you give the Gov credit?

    May 30, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    He will win. People do appreciate a man who does his job. We need more of that in American government.

    May 30, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. dnick47

    Fact: Romney is an anti-Christ. Fact: God Almighty hates anti-Christs. Read 1 John.

    May 30, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. mcsunshine

    Dear "once upon a horse" You clearly are suffering from a case of sour grapes. There are still enough of us Americans that will not be shouted down by the union thugs, to see that excellence in leadership like that demonstrated by Governor Walker, will bring proven positive results. The "rent-a-mobs" have caused over a million dollars in damage to a once beautiful building, threatened the Governor's children on their way to school, and used many other disgusting tactics. Have they improved anything in the State of Wisconsin? Not one thing!

    May 30, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Humm,
    It appears people in Wisconsin understand fiscal responsibility. It's either that or Food Stamps. Afraid as Winsonsin goes, the Nation goes? It is pitiful that some of you don't know which end is up.

    May 30, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. Thomas

    Scott Walker will win !
    Gov.Rick Scott ,Gov. Nikki Haley , Scott Walker .

    America , home of the bought and payed for !

    May 30, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. livingston

    Polls no longer have the significance that they once had. Polls are taken on land lines. Many people only have cell phones now Think for a minute who has a land line.They tend to be older. If they want a true objective poll they need to also call cell phones.

    May 30, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. gr8usa

    Amazing teachers are losing their jobs...some of them are good friends of mine. Their mistake – loving the teaching profession enough to stay at the same school district 15+ years, enough to earn a decent wage. They are being let go and replaced by inexperienced teachers who will work for much less, if they are replaced at all. It sounds like great economic sense to some, but the children of my home state will suffer. Great teachers are losing their jobs and the once great education system in Wisconsin is being ripped to shreds. Walker's damage has already been done. It has been a very, very sad year in Wisconsin!

    May 30, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. ataxed99er

    The only busses at the protests were the $300,000 tea party counter protesters busses. Walker is the one flying around the country collecting out of state donations

    May 30, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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