The latest Marquette University poll came out last week and it once again showed the race deadlocked.
Walker expanded his lead amongst registered voters to 47.5 to 44.1 while Burke gained amongst likely voters and leads 48.6 to 46.5. As expected, both sides have declared themselves to be leading the race.
Pundits are debating which number is closer to the truth, but pollster Charles Franklin believes that it only shows the race is a dead heat with much left to play out.
In fact he was quoted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as saying the margin between the two candidates was “indistinguishable and meaningless”.
In addition to the scales not tipping in favor of either candidate, many of the other findings were similar to Marquette’s August poll.
A majority of respondents believe the state is on the right track (54-42) and that the changes made in the last year will benefit Wisconsin in the long run (51-43). But even with that positive outlook, Walker gets a split response on job approval (47-47).
Burke’s name recognition spiked higher going from half of poll respondents knowing enough about her to form an opinion to nearly two-thirds now knowing Mary Burke. Although with the election 8 weeks from Tuesday, one-third of respondents still don’t know enough about Mary Burke to form an opinion.
The August poll also highlighted the gender gap in this race. Amongst likely voters Walker leads with men 57-40, while Burke leads with women 56-38.
In the Attorney General’s race, Democrat Susan Happ leads Republican Brad Schimel 40-33 amongst registered voters with 24 percent undecided, and 42-32 amongst likely voters with 23 percent undecided.
While that lead is outside the margin of error, nearly three quarters of poll respondents still don’t enough about either candidate to form an opinion. Combine that fact with the primary victory bounce that adds to Happ’s lead, and most believe this race is probably still a toss-up as well.