Poll: Barrett, Walker would face close matchup in Wisconsin recall
Republican Gov. Scott Walker faces a June 5 recall election.
May 2nd, 2012
03:39 PM ET
8 years ago

Poll: Barrett, Walker would face close matchup in Wisconsin recall

(CNN) - A new poll released Wednesday indicates Republican Gov. Scott Walker is in a tight race with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the likely Democratic challenger in Wisconsin's June 5 gubernatorial recall election.

While the Democratic primary takes place next week, the Marquette University Law School poll shows Barrett leading Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk by a wide margin of 38% to Falk's 21%.

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If Barrett becomes the Democratic nominee, the poll indicates he narrowly edges Walker among registered voters by one percentage point, with 47% to Walker's 46%.

Among likely voters, however, the results flip and Walker pulls ahead by one percentage point with 48% to Barrett's 47%, according to the poll. Both margins fall well within the sampling error.

Should Falk win the Democratic primary, she would find herself trailing against Walker, the poll shows. The Wisconsin governor, according to the survey, takes 49%, compared to Falk with 43% among likely voters.

Democrats, largely backed by labor unions, launched a recall challenge against Walker after he sided with a February 2011 bill that cut most collective bargaining rights for state employees.

The race has largely consumed Wisconsin politics and airwaves in recent months, as national groups and public figures weigh in on the contest. GOP star and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie traveled to the state on Tuesday to offer his support for Walker at two public events.

The poll also measures the political climate for the presidential election in November. While Obama won Wisconsin in 2008 by a wide margin over Sen. John McCain, the Badger State is expected to be a battleground state in the fall due to Republican gains in the 2010 midterm elections.

According to the survey, 51% of voters say they would choose Obama, while 42% prefer Romney. The margin represents a slight change from Marquette's last survey in late March, when Obama held a 48%-43% advantage over Romney.

Wisconsin Republicans chose Romney in the April 3 primary, with 44% backing the former Massachusetts governor, while 37% chose former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

For the poll, Marquette interviewed 705 registered Wisconsin voters by phone between April 26 and April 29. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

For questions on the Democratic recall primary, 451 respondents said they would vote in the election, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points. Meanwhile, 561 respondents said they would vote in the June general recall, with a margin of error of plus or minute 4.2 percentage points.

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Also see:

Michelle Obama swings West for fundraising push

Christie uses GOP star power to help embattled Walker

White House says Afghanistan trip not political

Filed under: Mitt Romney • Polls • President Obama • Wisconsin
soundoff (55 Responses)

    @Democrat ClassWarfool.
    Unions aren't the great fear in America, it's the outlawing of unions that boils me. Republican'ts doing the dirty work for big
    businesses. You speak as one who has nothing to offer society. Nothing from nothing leaves nothing.

    May 2, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. Jeff in San Diego

    To get the money he needed to be gov of Wisconsin, Walker not only had to promise the Koch brothers everything they wanted, he also had to get on his knees and service them both.

    May 2, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. Data Driven

    Educate me: if Walker is thrown out, does he get to turn right around and run again?

    May 2, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. Marcus

    alyarby – Nice to see that you are so misinformed and yet, so full of it!
    FYI, you can find dozens of videos around the web in which the (D)s of Wisconsin says 'OK, we'll pay our part' (including card carrying union members).
    And you can find also dozens of videos in which Walker keep on saying that (D)s 'don't want to pay their part', even if the whole reason as to why he is being recalled IS NOT the 'money' part of that law, but the union rights one.
    Go check on the videos... then tell us who doesn't get 'it'.

    May 2, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    @alyarby, Walker will be recalled and then indited. yesssssireeeee, AND President Obama will be re-elected. bye bye alyarby

    May 2, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. Joel


    Union 'privileges', lets use the correct term, are part of the problem. The 'privileges' under attack are: Requiring state employees to join one specific union, at the expense of all others or none at all; and, withdrawing union dues straight from paychecks, without any input from the worker. I honestly believe that if people knew what collective bargaining "rights" are, most would be adamantly opposed. There is a gulf of difference between bargaining collectively, and collective bargaining "rights" as its seen in the US.

    May 2, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. MarM

    Walker will be recalled. Bye Bye Walker. Dont let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.

    May 2, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. Joel


    Outlawing unions?!? What on god's green earth are you talking about? This (incredibly moderate) bill did no such thing.


    Absolutely, but lying about your opponents is hardly new, unfortunately, its the normal state of affairs. See: Democrats accusing GOP of obstructionism w/o substance, in spite of a number of yes, flawed, ideas, but plenty of ideas.

    May 2, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. Chumlee

    Step out of the race Falk and let Barrett step in so the voters of Wisconsin can win the recall against Walker –
    who is an insult to all but Carl Rove, the Koch Brothers and the GOP/Tea Partiers

    May 2, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    The Koch brothers influenced the first Walker race when Walker ran on Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!. Now that his jobs program is worst on record nationally, we'll see just how much the Koch influence will help Walker this go around. Walker has been all over the country soliciting funding. Wisconsin is going to have to decide if they want to regain control of their own state's politics or if they want the Koch's to continue governing Wisconsin from behind the scenes through the Koch's "buying votes payback strategy" policies. I'm putting my money on the former.

    May 2, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "Walker is a snake in the grass."

    I'm pretty sure he's right out in the open, sunning himself on the sidewalk and wizzing on peoples' shoes as they pass by. There's nothing hidden about him being a corporate shill who was paid to via campaign donations to attack public unions in order to weaken organized labor and pull a leg out from under the Dem's support network.

    May 2, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "Democrats accusing GOP of obstructionism w/o substance, in spite of a number of yes, flawed, ideas, but plenty of ideas."

    Without substance? Do you know how many records the GOP/Teatrolls set in the past 6 years (and then repeatedlyk broke their own records) for filibustering proposed legislation, putting "secret holds" on nominees, the wait time for nominees to get a hearing, vetoing legislation while Dubya was still POTUS, etc.? Government doesn't work because the GOP/Teatrolls are terrified of allowing it to.

    May 2, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. Marcus

    Joel – funny, you mentioned just part of the 'Act 10'... you forgot to mention the key of it all, the collective bargaining issues that it raised and the 'absolute vote' (that would have to happen every year) part too...
    Selective amnesia?
    THESE are the parts that the Federal judge, William M. Conley, struck down in March, 30th, 2012.
    Remember now?

    May 2, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. Joel

    Liberals, haven't you heard, your not supposed to use the Koch's anymore. People eventually saw through that one, the new folk devil is ALEC. Keep up with the times.

    May 2, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  15. Ed1

    Sounds like the Union controls Wisconsin and you stupid people don't care. The Unions were great back in the fifties and sixties but now they are the 1%. Look around it's pretty sad that you let the Unions control your state.

    May 2, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. Joel


    The vote is part of the problem, its a forced monopoly. Workers are given no choice as to which union they would like to have represent them, rather, are forced to go along with whatever union gets a majority and are never given the option of not joining a union. Unions like to dress up the votes a democracy in action, it couldn't be farther from the truth. Its a way the unions impose themselves on people who don't what to join them. Of course, attaining monopolies and forcing one organization down the throats of a group is hardly unique to unions, corporations and businesses try it all the time, its only that unions tend to be much more successful.

    May 2, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  17. Political Welfare

    "GOP star and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie traveled to the state on Tuesday to offer his support for Walker at two public events."

    This GOP "star" has NO business in Wisconsin! Christie has NO rights to VOTE in Wisconsin.

    Who is paying for his travel?

    STOP Political Welfare!

    May 2, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  18. Woman In California

    Marie MD

    You are absoultely correct.

    Walker is the ONLY other liar that actually looks more crooked than Willard (and that's saying something) but I have my doubts the people of Wisconsin will kick him out. I think he might unfortunately pull this off.

    May 2, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. Marcus

    Joel – You mean that all those reunions, referendums and such are for nothing? All that an union does is what its communist/anarchist/un-American leaders decides?
    OK, stuff like that happens, happened and probably will happen. There is always a bunch of ******* ready to take advantage in any group they affiliate themselves, and this is valid to unions too.
    Can you think in a better way to have work hours/safety/wages and the likes regulated for a whole group of, say..., one thousand workers that is not the collective bargaining?
    Scott Walker can't, and yet he wants to get rid of it.

    May 2, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  20. Joel


    You missed the latter part "w/o substance". The GOP are opposing bills that they are against, that is their job in a republic, if it weren't the case, there would be a problem. There are certainly parliamentary procedures that could be cleaned up (no secret holds and blocking movement of cloture, you what to filibuster, then you better be ready to speak) The GOP has been offering many ideas, the Dems just don't what to here it (or more likely, they do, but think the "no ideas" is a good campaign theme). The GOP's ideas are as flawed as the Dems, but the charge that the GOP wants to oppose legislation without counteroffers is an outrageous lie (unfortunately, a little lie by political standards)

    May 2, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  21. MarM

    Walker is a snake , just like Ryan. Vote these tea party obstructionist out of office asap

    May 2, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  22. Joel


    I'm not opposed to collective bargaining, and I imagine Walker isn't either. I oppose forced participation, since it is a violation of basic human rights.

    May 2, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. Marcus

    Joel – Walker IS opposed to 'collective bargaining', that's what the Federal Judge said (since it was THAT part of the bill that he struck down), that's what the bill says in various parts of its text and that's the whole root of the question:
    It is not a problem to be against collective bargaining and fight to have it overturned (legally that is), as long as you give a viable alternative to replace it.
    Walker didn't (unless he explains how the 'absolute vote' part of the law IS viable and how it would be done to be so).

    May 2, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  24. Joel


    Getting rid of the absolute vote does not need something to replace it. Collective bargaining does not need a vote. Its unfortunate that in the US, generally the only manner that collective bargaining happens is through the monopoly votes because there are no small, independent unions anymore, they were driven to extinction because of the forced monopoly, and the larger unions wont help unless you give them a monopoly. People, as human beings, should be allowed to join or not join a union (and thereby forgo any benefit of being in a union). The section in the law that was overturned was about the vote, the forced unionism aspect.

    May 2, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. Marcus

    Joel – Walker, through the bill, doesn't wants to get rid of the 'absolute vote'. He wants to put it on the place of some of the collective bargaining rights he wants to eliminate!
    Before you try to rationalize on what you believe that is happening in Wisconsin, read the bill AND the ruling of March, 2012.

    May 2, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
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