New MU Poll has Walker Leading for First Time Since March

A new Marquette Law School Poll was released this week, putting Gov. Scott Walker at 50 percent, and Mary Burke at 45 percent among likely voters. This is the first time either candidate has had a lead greater than the margin of error.

Those in Wisconsin politics were paying close attention to the poll, as some wondered whether numbers would take a dramatic swing in favor of Walker after a Buzzfeed article alleged parts of Mary Burke’s jobs plan had been plagiarized. Since then, the plagiarism issue has been a much touted and talked about issue on both sides through television ads, social media, and the press.

Both candidates have strong support by those who identify with their party, with 95 percent of Republicans favoring Walker, and 94 percent of Democrats favoring Burke. Among independents, Walker has the lead 53 percent to 40 percent.

In the gender breakdown of likely voters, Walker leads among men 62 to 34 percent; Burke leads among women 50 to 40 percent.

In the race for attorney general, Republican Brad Schimel leads with 41 percent, to Democrat Susan Happ’s 39 percent, with 19 percent undecided. However, the candidates are unknown to over 80 percent of registered voters.

What to expect next: As the poll shows, Walker is pulling ahead of Burke, but the plagiarism charge against Burke is less important to voters than Republican strategists were hoping. In the race for attorney general, too few voters know who the candidates are to get an accurate number on who’s in the lead. As the election gets closer, attorney general candidates will most likely increase the amount of face time, which will be helped by upcoming debates in three separate ad markets.

A debate between Walker and Burke will be held on October 10, broadcast in the La Crosse ad market, and on October 17 in the Milwaukee ad market. Debates with the attorney general candidates will be held October 12, 24, and 29. Expect more information on those debates in future Tidbits.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 4.

The Issues

Regarding recent voter ID requirements, 63 percent of those polled favor requiring photo ID to vote. When asked if they were aware they would need to show photo ID when they vote in the November election, 20 percent of those polled said they were unaware. Young voters (age 18 to 29) are the most likely to be unaware of the requirement. Among registered voters, 1.3 percent say they do not have a valid photo ID.

Governor Walker recently announced he supported drug testing for recipients of unemployment benefits and food stamps. Poll numbers show 56 percent favor drug testing, 41 percent oppose.

59 percent of those polled would like to see a minimum wage increase, 36 percent would not. 61 percent favor accepting federal money to expand Medicaid coverage, 27 percent oppose.