Wisconsin guv up in third straight poll
May 30th, 2012
02:34 PM ET
10 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. Sniffit

    Don't worry. If it ends up close like it did when they elected a chief justice, the administration witll "find" votes in some conservative county...just liek last time.

    May 30, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. SuperD

    Walker brings fiscal sanity to a state that has been controlled by Democrats for decades, and he's such a pariah to all the progressives who are experts at knowing everything about what isn't so.

    Walker will win and Obama and the Democrats house of cards will begin to fall....thank goodness for our country.

    May 30, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  3. TheOneIndependent

    SuperD must be short for Delirious......

    May 30, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. kevin

    they polled 600 people from Wisconsin and that is suppose to repesent all of the state. Come on next week, lets see who has the momentum at their backs.

    May 30, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. rob

    Wisconsin will vote for sanity in their state govt. We can no longer afford a Dem/Public Sector Union stranglehold on our States budgets. For years the Dems have taken campaign donations from the unions even as they negotiate their contracts that end up bankrupting the state and local Govt's. This is corruption at its worst. The people of Wisconsin and the nation are waking up to the scam.

    May 30, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. Lemone

    President Obama's people will stilll be out there in 3 hour lines to vote...don't get it twisted
    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    May 30, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. ST

    If Walker will win, he should thank University students who are away and not able to vote at this time. This should not be an indicator of how the results will be come Nov.

    May 30, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. joyce

    If they reelect hin they will deserve what they get.

    May 30, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. freidamurray

    I just don't get it. How can Wisonsin possibly vote for such a mean-spirited man. He was caught on tape saying his goal is to "bust" the unions. But he insisted early on that this was not in his plans when initially elected. Such a sneak and a nasty one at that.

    May 30, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. RWB1956

    SuperD.....So someone who comes in and gives the budget surplus away in tax cuts for the rich and then tries to gut union coffers is possessed of fiscal sanity? And what does this have to do with President Obama? If Walker wins-if-he'll be one of the most expensive governors ever bought!

    May 30, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. California Conservative

    Scott Walker will win easily.

    May 30, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. Name edward mosley

    Wisconsin if walker is what u want then by all means!! There was no reason for the recall! Dems played themselves!! You guys organized for the recall and when you got it you thought the game was over and you won!! You just taught everyone how not to campaign!! Your an embarassment to the true democrats!!!

    May 30, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. mmad5camp

    If Scott Walker is re-elected then Wisconsin deserve whatever he plans to do to them. And believe me it will not be pretty.

    May 30, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. paul

    Since Walker has outspent his challenger by 25 to 1 (mostly from outside money) then his cost per vote will be off the charts. If the people of Wisconsin want rich Republicans from outside their state deciding elections then they will suffer the consequences. Walker is a typical Republican and the rich will do quite well under his leadership and the middle class will pay for it.

    May 30, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. Dr. A

    I am not against teachers unions as much as I am against the whole idea of tenure in public K12 education. For a new teacher to be on good behavior for three years and then have a job for life is ridiculous. This whole idea of tying up the process of getting rid of bad teachers as "due process" that can go on for more than a year is not in the best interest of the children. When our children were in the local school district, the teachers were unreceptive to any concerns we as parents had, and yet our property taxes paid their salaries and generous benefit packages. They knew they were teflon and the parents could just go to hell... That is what is wrong with education...no accountability for the quality or lack thereof.

    May 30, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  16. Obama Must Go = OMG

    Democrats are going to cry when Walkers wins. Whining little babies.

    May 30, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  17. Obama Must Go = OMG

    The original FleaBaggers at it again. FleaBaggers = LOSERS!!

    May 30, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. obama victim

    unions.................R I P

    May 30, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. B

    There will be a whole lot of ballot stuffing in favor of the republicans again. Waukesha County has a history of voter fraud.

    May 30, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  20. leelanau

    Thanks Democrats for wasting money Wisconsin doesn't have for this charade. Despite the amount of media libel against Scott Walker, the voters' will in Wisconsin will finally be done, and the national "correction" will soon follow. Liberalism will be dead by this time next year.

    May 30, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  21. Eggman38

    Hopefully Walker will win and a new law will be created that limits recalls to times when crimes have been commited by the politician, NOT just because he does something that some don't like. He was voted in fair and square...don't like it, too bad. Wait for the next election. Otherwise, where would it end...Recall Obama because of Obamacare and lack of jobs in the country???

    May 30, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. THE truth

    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?

    May 30, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. tee27

    Walker has said he will roll back state minimum wage to 2.13 a hr this is crazy how can anyone in Wisconsin vote for this guy.

    May 30, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  24. Brian

    Sad. Anyone who works for a living should be eager to throw this bum out. Once he's finished with the unions he'll be coming after everyone else who struggles to earn a paycheck. What's next Walker? You want my 401K to fund a millionaire's tax cut?

    May 30, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  25. Lizzie

    RWB1956, goodness gracious your misinformed.
    Sniffit, I hope for sanity sake, people WILL go and VOTE, because if they are not then the dead will win with MIckey Mouse and Superman in tow. Maybe their slogan VOTE AS OFTEN as you can won't be effective this time.
    mmad5camp, IF walker should win UNIONS can't WRITE their own benefit packages anymore, as they have been doing for years by paying current and past democrats by promising them their vote and money.

    May 30, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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