New Poll: Walker and Burke Still in “Dead Heat”


On July 23, the much anticipated Marquette University poll was released showing Governor Walker and Democratic candidate Mary Burke in a dead heat, with 46% of those polled supporting Walker, 45% for Burke and 8% were undecided. Amongst likely voters Burke leads Walker 47-46.  All of the head to head numbers lie well within the margin of error as we move closer into heavy campaign and election season (statewide primaries are August 12th).

Charles Franklin, director of the poll, stated during a Q&A that almost all the changes from the May poll to July poll are statistically not significant. What does this mean for the candidates? According to Franklin, while Walker has managed to fundraise nearly twice as much as Mary Burke, Walker hasn’t managed to out run Burke among voters, and the two candidates will be looking to pull ahead as we leave primary season and begin the race towards the November 4th general election.

For the first time since this race has been polled, a majority of voters have now heard of Mary Burke, although it is a slim majority as Burke’s name ID had a slight uptick from May to 51%.  A somewhat surprisingly low number at this point in the race    Compared to Walker, only 5% of those polled don’t have an opinion of him. Of those who do, 47% view Walker favorably, similar to his favorability numbers in previous polling.  Additionally, a traditional benchmark for an incumbent is the “right track/wrong track” statistic.  The Marquette poll showed 54% of respondents believing Wisconsin was on the right track with only 41% stating it was on the wrong track. 

Walker made waves earlier this summer when the national media picked up on the John Doe case in Wisconsin. However the MU Poll shows that a majority of those who had even heard of “John Doe” believed it to be “just more politics,” while 42% thought it was “really something serious.”

Other items of note from the Marquette poll:

  • No results on the state attorney general democratic primary race could be concluded because there wasn’t a large enough sample of voters following the race.
  • 68% of registered voters were “absolutely certain” to vote in November, which is down from the 89% who were certain they would vote in the November 2012 election. This fall in voter turnout is expected, as turnout always decreases during non-presidential election years.
  • 56% of voters favor ending Wisconsin’s ban on same sex marriage; 37% would keep the ban.
  • 56% favor increasing the minimum wage, 39% oppose.