Poll shows Burke, Vinehout in a dead heat with Gov. Walker


With the election for governor still more than a year away, a new poll shows the race is already close.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker had 47% and Democrat Mary Burke had 45% in a poll of 800 registered voters released Tuesday by Marquette Law School.

That’s within the poll’s margin of error of 3.5 percentage points, making it “essentially a tossup,” said the poll’s director, Charles Franklin.

Among Wisconsin Republican primary voters, Walker led the pack for potential 2016 candidates for president. He came up short in a head-to-head matchup with former U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, as did other Republicans.

The results also showed support for the statewide expansion of taxpayer-funded vouchers for private school tuition and, for the first time, a majority favored same-sex marriage.

President Barack Obama scored slightly higher in favorability than he did in a Marquette poll in July. But more people are opposed to the federal health care overhaul, known as Obamacare, than support it.

As for shutting down the federal government to try to block that law? Wisconsinites in the poll didn’t like it.

The telephone poll took place from Oct. 21 to Thursday.

Burke, a former Trek Bicycle Corp. executive and former state commerce secretary, is the only announced Democrat in the race. Nearly as many voters said they would vote for Burkeover Walker, even though 70% said they did not know enough about her to have an opinion.

The results also were close when Walker was matched with state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma), who is also considering a run. She finished third in a four-way Democratic primary to oppose Walker in his recall election last year. In the poll, Walker had 47% to Vinehout’s 44%. Among those polled, 79% said they didn’t know enough about the legislator to rate her.

Obviously it’s really early, so putting too much stock in this one poll would be foolish, but the results are surprising considering 70% of those polled said they did not know enough about Democratic candidate Mary Burke to have an opinion.

That certainly leaves some room for improvement for Mary Burke among those voters who don’t yet know enough about her, but that’s why it’s so vitally important (in my uninformed opinion) that she actually start articulating her policy positions.


Related Articles

6 thoughts on “Poll shows Burke, Vinehout in a dead heat with Gov. Walker

  1. I am somewhat surprised, but pleased, that Senator Vinehout finished so high considering she has not declared and Tate is spending all his time and $$$ supporting Burke.

    Duane, do you think Wisconsin voters are smarter than Tate? Considering his past failures, of course.

    Nota bene: Excuse an old fart talking to himself. 😉

  2. Walker is simply a polarizing figure, but right now his approval rating is too high and negatives are not high enough if Democrats are going to win the Governors race. If we can drive up his negatives on the Heath Care implementation in Wisconsin, we have a chance at tapping into his rock solid poll numbers of the past year.

    1. AJ, there are at least two other major factors that can affect the outcome or ratings: “Son of Doe” and debates.

  3. Duane, Good point about the John Doe and debates. We do need to get Walkers negatives up and the sooner the better.

    1. States with their own ACA exchanges, like Minnesota, are having minimal problems with enrollment, are paying significantly less in premiums, and expanded their Medicaid programs which provides ease and simplicity to tens of thousands of Minnesota residents.

      So how exactly is Walker looking better every day on the health care implementation issue? His decisions have made life harder for a couple of hundred thousand Wisconsinites in real time, right now.

      If Burke wants to finally get her campaign underway she should take the time to visit some of these folks, listen to their troubles, get a photo-op out of the deal, and make a public statement slamming Walker for his callousness and cruelty.

      But that would mean stepping outside of house parties organized by the comfortably concerned within the DPW, so don’t hold your breath.

Comments are closed.