It may seem that much has happened in the governor’s race since Mary Burke’s announcement to take on Gov. Scott Walker nearly a year ago, and while that is true in some sense, the reality is that the fate of the race remains the same as it did when it began: It is toss-up that will come down to turnout on Election Day.
A little over two weeks ago it looked as if the Governor had started to put this one away. A number of polls showed him leading from two to five points, and the Burke plagiarism issue was just emerging. Given Walker’s previous success, the national trends that point to a bad election year for Democrats, and the plagiarism fallout, Walker’s re-election was looking like a done deal. Fast forward to today, with less than three weeks until the election, while Walker is still the favorite, Burke remains within striking distance.
While the Marquette poll is the survey the media pays the most attention to, Tidbits has always looked for corroborating evidence from other tests around the same time. Wednesday’s poll that showed the race tied (47-47) amongst likely voters was a significant shift given that two weeks prior it showed Walker up 5 points and having hit that magical 50 percent threshold. At this juncture, there isn’t another poll completed within the last 10 days that would help validate the newest Marquette poll numbers so we are hesitant to view this as the trend when it is possible the poll could be an outlier.
Charles Franklin, who conducts the Marquette University Law Poll, has stated there will be one more survey prior to the November 4th election.