Poll: Walker’s lead grows with registered voters…but he trails among likely voters?

posted at 4:41 pm on August 27, 2014 by Guy Benson

Fresh numbers from Marquette University Law School’s respected pollster confirms that Wisconsin’s gubernatorial race remains extremely tight. The head-to-head match up sits within the margin of error, but this split is unusual:

Walker has improved his standing with registered voters since MU Law’s May and July surveys, but has fallen among respondents who are likely to vote.  Odd.  Typically, Republicans fare better among “likelies” than with “registereds.”  Not here:

A 19-point Walker lead among “less likely voters”?  As I say, unusual.  In the LV category, Walker is suffering from a pronounced gender gap, trailing among women by 18 points.  With RV’s, though, the split drops to a more manageable seven-point disparity.  Walker dominates male voters within both groups.  Overall, Dems enjoy a (+4) enthusiasm gap in this survey, which produces a (D+6) LV sample.  As a point of reference, the high-turnout 2012 recall electorate was (R+1).  Should these new stats hold up in November, Wisconsin will have bucked this year’s national trend of Republicans’ enthusiasm outpacing Democrats’.  How likely is that?  We’ll see, I guess.  If you’re an incurable Eeyore — cough — there’s ample pessimism-fueling material within this poll’s internals.  The media’s scandalously bad coverage of rejected ‘John Doe’ investigation allegations appears to have taken a toll on the governor.  His job approval and favorability ratings are split exactly evenly in his survey, down from previous thin majorities.  Walker also faces a (-5) empathy gap, with fewer voters believing he “cares about people” like them.  The Burke campaign’s attack that Wisconsin’s job growth is ‘lagging behind‘ other states has gained noticeable traction, too.  The two candidates are tied on job creation, even though Burke’s tenure as Commerce Secretary marked the only stretch over the last 25 years in which Wisconsin’s unemployment rate exceeded the national average.  On Walker’s watch, the state’s unemployment rate has dropped from 7.7 percent to 5.8 percent today, below the nationwide average.  On the positive side, Walker is widely viewed as an effective leader, more Wisconsinites would prefer to keep his successful budget reforms in place than reverse them, and these data points are good signs for any incumbent today — especially given the dismal national outlook:

Also, there are solid reasons why Mary Burke doesn’t want to be seen with President Obama:

Oh, and the state’s voter ID law, enacted under Walker, is wildly popular.  Scott Walker has been a transformational and successful governor in Wisconsin, striking blow after blow for fiscal sanity and responsible, limited government.  And yet his re-re-election is by no means assured.  He’s in a dogfight, and it looks like this race will come down to resources and turnout.  I’ll leave you with Walker’s latest TV ad — a positive, minute-long spot in which the governor personally reminds voters of Wisconsin’s tangible progress over the last four years:


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The DNC vote counting apparatus is in high gear already.

“OK pollsters….here’s your results for next weeks polls…”

BobMbx on August 27, 2014 at 4:47 PM

The only people who don’t like Walker are the corrupt union leaders, greedy teachers unions and the communists who pine for the days when they ran Wisconsin into the ground.

darwin on August 27, 2014 at 4:48 PM

I’ll repeat what I tweeted earlier. If Wisconsin dumps Walker, they deserve the economic misery they’ll get.

Doughboy on August 27, 2014 at 4:48 PM

I wish Walker would have stepped aside and had a protege to run in his place.

My gut says that Wisconsin is getting burnt out on all the drama surrounding Walker.

He has done great things for the state, but he is a lightning rod for leftist criticism. As is any successful conservative. Pretty tough to say he shouldn’t run because the left hates him, I like him for the same reasons the left hates him.

I understand him running again if there was no credible successor on the Republican side, we know how quickly the left could undo the success in Wisconsin.

I think he is a great governor. I would hate to see Wisconsin revert back to crazy leftwing ideology simply because voters are sick of hearing about Walker and decide to vote for a new candidate assuming they can’t make things worse again.

airupthere on August 27, 2014 at 4:49 PM

3.5 billion deficit converted into 1 billion surplus…3rd tax refund, unemployment down by 3%, unions knocked out.

Beware stupid people.

Schadenfreude on August 27, 2014 at 4:49 PM

There’s a pretty easy explanation for this. Older Wisconsin voters are much more likely to be traditional democrats than most tea party friendly states. Walker has gone after some pretty sacred cows and that demographic might be persuaded to stop this experimentation with smaller government.

libfreeordie on August 27, 2014 at 4:49 PM

3.5 billion deficit converted into 1 billion surplus…3rd tax refund, unemployment down by 3%, unions knocked out.

Beware stupid people.

Schadenfreude on August 27, 2014 at 4:49 PM

There’s a pretty easy explanation for this. Older Wisconsin voters are much more likely to be traditional democrats than most tea party friendly states. Walker has gone after some pretty sacred cows and that demographic might be persuaded to stop this experimentation with smaller government.

libfreeordie on August 27, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Ladies and gentlemen, your daily example of irony!

stvnscott on August 27, 2014 at 4:54 PM

I’ll repeat what I tweeted earlier. If Wisconsin dumps Walker, they deserve the economic misery they’ll get.

Doughboy on August 27, 2014 at 4:48 PM

3.5 billion deficit converted into 1 billion surplus…3rd tax refund, unemployment down by 3%, unions knocked out.

Beware stupid people.

Schadenfreude on August 27, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Yep, to both.

ladyingray on August 27, 2014 at 4:56 PM

To have Wisconsin out of the hands of the Koch brothers would be nice.

liblikeaslave on May 21, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Schadenfreude on August 27, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Walker trailing among women by 18 points. Vote those lady parts!!!!

Bitter Clinger on August 27, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Mary Burke Obama

Mary Burke Doyle

22044 on August 27, 2014 at 4:57 PM

The obama-is-an-ignorant-dilettante threads were missing a few idiots today.

Schadenfreude on August 27, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Congratulations.

Allah used to be the designated writer here to take a single poll result and analyze it as if it were the Revealed Word of God.

Any pollster worth his salt will tell you that incongruous results (registered/likely split vs right track #s) point to either bad methodology or a bad sample.

To paraphrase John F-ing Kerry, “Who wants to be the last writer to write about a mistake?”

Adjoran on August 27, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Walker has gone after some pretty sacred cows and that demographic might be persuaded to stop this experimentation with smaller government.

libfreeordie on August 27, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Are you really this vacuous? Oh, never mind!

texgal on August 27, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Too many people listening to me on his immigration stance?
Hint people… If he stays stateside and does not go federal, he has no significant impact on immigration. Just like I do not campaign against perry the governor, no reason to not vote for Walker the governor. Just let him know you will not support him in the primary!

astonerii on August 27, 2014 at 5:01 PM

How’s Walker doing with dead voters?

TarheelBen on August 27, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Walker has gone after some pretty sacred cows and that demographic might be persuaded to stop this experimentation with smaller government.

libfreeordie on August 27, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Yeah, I’ll tell you what…..those folks are
CLAMORING for Gazillion Dollar deficits baby!!!!

ToddPA on August 27, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Um, didn’t the polls say he was gonna get killed on the recall, too?

formwiz on August 27, 2014 at 5:08 PM

There’s a pretty easy explanation for this. Older Wisconsin voters are much more likely to be traditional democrats than most tea party friendly states. Walker has gone after some pretty sacred cows and that demographic might be persuaded to stop this experimentation with smaller government.

libfreeordie on August 27, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Sacred cows like corrupt unions that bled people dry?

Yeah, keep digging. Your ideology is insanity itself. That’s why you can never tell people the truth and always have to cloak your agenda.

Lastly, the entire foundation of the US revolves around small government and maximum freedom although your friends are very close to turning it completely around … massive corrupt government and no freedom.

darwin on August 27, 2014 at 5:08 PM

libfreeordie on August 27, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Sacred cows like corrupt unions that bled people dry?

Yeah, keep digging. Your ideology is insanity itself. That’s why you can never tell people the truth and always have to cloak your agenda.

Lastly, the entire foundation of the US revolves around small government and maximum freedom although your friends are very close to turning it completely around … massive corrupt government and no freedom.

darwin on August 27, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Don’t you like how leftists regularly refer to smaller, Constitutional government as an “experiment?” Like we’re just haplessly tinkering with the fabric of society? These are the same people that are always using government as a test bed for their own faculty lounge spitball sessions.

CurtZHP on August 27, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Heh. I thought Allah was the registered Poll Eeyore here?

cdog0613 on August 27, 2014 at 5:11 PM

There’s a big case brewing whereby all unions could lose.

A GM worker wants all union dues refunded, for all union members, if they were used for D political causes. It’s going to the SC.

Schadenfreude on August 27, 2014 at 5:13 PM

I wish Walker would have stepped aside and had a protege to run in his place.

My gut says that Wisconsin is getting burnt out on all the drama surrounding Walker.

He has done great things for the state, but he is a lightning rod for leftist criticism. As is any successful conservative. Pretty tough to say he shouldn’t run because the left hates him, I like him for the same reasons the left hates him.

I understand him running again if there was no credible successor on the Republican side, we know how quickly the left could undo the success in Wisconsin.

I think he is a great governor. I would hate to see Wisconsin revert back to crazy leftwing ideology simply because voters are sick of hearing about Walker and decide to vote for a new candidate assuming they can’t make things worse again.

airupthere on August 27, 2014 at 4:49 PM

You don’t make any sense. What do you want, an unsuccessful protege?

Walter L. Newton on August 27, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Don’t you like how leftists regularly refer to smaller, Constitutional government as an “experiment?” Like we’re just haplessly tinkering with the fabric of society? These are the same people that are always using government as a test bed for their own faculty lounge spitball sessions.

CurtZHP on August 27, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Their “experiments” with huge, corrupt, communist governments never quite worked out. They did manage to reduce the global population … something they’re very keen about.

darwin on August 27, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Schadenfreude on August 27, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Is this true? Haven’t heard about it. Great news if it is.

Barred on August 27, 2014 at 5:16 PM

I’ll repeat what I tweeted earlier. If Wisconsin dumps Walker, they deserve the economic misery they’ll get.

Doughboy on August 27, 2014 at 4:48 PM

I totally agree. This race should not even be close. I realize he’s from a blue state, but people even like the voter ID laws and budget reform *which has had positive results*, plus he’s done a great job with their economy.

Yet he could lose in November? Give me a break.

As usual though, there is a big gender gap. As a woman, I admit I do not understand a lot of female voters.

cat_owner on August 27, 2014 at 5:18 PM

I think he is a great governor. I would hate to see Wisconsin revert back to crazy leftwing ideology simply because voters are sick of hearing about Walker and decide to vote for a new candidate assuming they can’t make things worse again.

airupthere on August 27, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Sounds like the Wisconsin communists are trying to impose Walker fatigue on the population making an opponent, any opponent, look desirable.

darwin on August 27, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Walker gets 52%+

Not even Cheeseheads are dumb enough to screw up a good thing.

Over here,(west of the river), well, there’s a reason the Vikings have never won a Super Bowl and Jesse Ventura was elected guv…

Bruno Strozek on August 27, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Ignore the poll, there is no way liklely voters would skew to the Democrat.

Tater Salad on August 27, 2014 at 5:21 PM

When people say “unions that bled people dry” in Wisconsin, they are very often speaking about an age demographic that votes in midterms. It’s not a conspiracy theory.

libfreeordie on August 27, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Barred, it’s Ford, but it’s true.

Schadenfreude on August 27, 2014 at 5:22 PM

I live in WI an have seen nothing but attack ads from Burke and other lefty groups. It’s almost every other commercial. Not one of these ads that point out the list-of-horribles Walker’s accused of – offer an alternative. Not one ad offers up “We’d do this instead”. Why? Because people don’t want to hear their taxes – in whatever form will go up.

Let’s face it… 45% of D’s will always vote D, and 45% of R’s will vote R. It’s that squishy middle, low information voter that will swing things.

Captain Betty on August 27, 2014 at 5:24 PM

SIGH….Guy the MU poll is respected because IT’S THE ONLY FREAKING POLL IN THE DAMN STATE.(Loud enough for you) There have been serious internal problems with this poll going back to its inception. Mostly it bias toward urban areas in southeastern Wisconsin, and never covering the upper half to the border with the state with shall not be named.(BISHOP!) And to be honest, MU simply does not have the money to do a true state wide survey. So we get what every poll is now. Full of pollster weights, assumption, and other such tricks to make up for the actual lack of data. Campaign Spot, had a good overview on the problem yesterday, on the lack of polling in major races. A major side effect of the collapse of large news orgs. We will have to live with it for now.

flackcatcher on August 27, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Schadenfreude on August 27, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Interesting. Glad to see he is getting free legal assistance from the Right To Work Foundation.

Barred on August 27, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Barred on August 27, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Unions across the land are scared crapless of this case.

Schadenfreude on August 27, 2014 at 5:33 PM

D-rats are scared of it too.

Schadenfreude on August 27, 2014 at 5:33 PM

When people say “unions that bled people dry” in Wisconsin, they are very often speaking about an age demographic that votes in midterms. It’s not a conspiracy theory.

libfreeordie on August 27, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Which is why union membership has dropped like a rock in Wisconsin, because of age demographics that vote … or something.

darwin on August 27, 2014 at 5:34 PM

As usual though, there is a big gender gap. As a woman, I admit I do not understand a lot of female voters.

cat_owner on August 27, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Same reason as why Shillary is favored to win in 2016…

ladyingray on August 27, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Actually, the MU poll nailed the recall, and that’s why it’s so respected.

mypalfish on August 27, 2014 at 5:53 PM

And the MU poll had Walker ahead in almost every pre-recall poll so it’s not biased.

mypalfish on August 27, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Good luck Governor Walker.

Bmore on August 27, 2014 at 5:58 PM

The Democrats would love to knock Walker off. I’m just not sure the polling on anything, between now and November, is going to be all that accurate. There are a lot of things in this poll that just don’t add up. The right track, wrong track numbers are positive for Walker and the Republicans, yet his opponent is favored?

Luckily, I don’t have to worry about polls, Walker does. I sincerely want to see him re-elected but, if the voters in Wisconsin want to go back to higher taxes and all the other burdens the Democrats bring with them, there’s not much we can do about it. I believe Walker has been positive enough and the Democrats foolish enough, where he will be re-elected.

We’ll see!!!

bflat879 on August 27, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Luckily, I don’t have to worry about polls, Walker does. I sincerely want to see him re-elected but, if the voters in Wisconsin want to go back to higher taxes and all the other burdens the Democrats bring with them, there’s not much we can do about it. I believe Walker has been positive enough and the Democrats foolish enough, where he will be re-elected.

We’ll see!!!

bflat879 on August 27, 2014 at 6:02 PM

YEP!!! If the voters don’t re-elect him, may they enjoy their slavery. Personally, I would LOVE for him to move to TN and run for Governor or Senator. I would 100% support him and work for him!

ladyingray on August 27, 2014 at 6:14 PM

I feel certain that both Walker & Gov. Scott will squeak out wins considering what they’re up against.

Judge_Dredd on August 27, 2014 at 6:19 PM

mypalfish on August 27, 2014 at 5:53 PM
mypalfish on August 27, 2014 at 5:54 PM
A single issue on one poll allows a pollster to expand the polls universe. MU contacted double the number of people they usually do, and they increased the number of hard contacts in that polls universe. In other words, in the recall poll, they did it the old fashion way. You can do that when you money and time. In state wide polling, a pollster has to spread out his(or her)resources carefully. Less over all data over a wider area. That’s why every poll is weighted in some manner. Lack of resources matters. My point still stands.(I am a cheesehead, and an on leave here in Wisconsin. Took the daughter to packers last practice. What a nice group of men.)

flackcatcher on August 27, 2014 at 8:06 PM

On the election it’s self. The Walker team has been ready for this since the recall. They know it’s a knife fight, and have acted accordingly. The key to this is turnout. Can the state GOP ground game turn out the same numbers as during the recall. Can the Dem’s rebound with the big bucks they lost from act 10. And the big X factor, Obama. How much of a help, or more importantly, a drag is he to statewide Democratic candidates. My guess is Walker will win with a strong GOP turnout, coupled with a depressed DEM turnout leaving the GOP in complete control of Wisconsin. People, will not admit this in polls or surveys, but the Wisconsin voter(of both parties) really hate Obamas guts for what he has done to the country. And they will take it out on the state Democratic party. Well, like I said, It’s a guess. We will see.

flackcatcher on August 27, 2014 at 8:32 PM

Great ad. He’s the best thing that’s happened to Wisconsin in quite some time. Best of luck to him.

GOPRanknFile on August 27, 2014 at 9:06 PM

I’ll leave you with Walker’s latest TV ad — a positive, minute-long spot in which the governor personally reminds voters of Wisconsin’s tangible progress over the last four years

If he can keep hammering away at that, I think he’ll be OK. Coupled with a good ground game of course.

ncconservative on August 27, 2014 at 9:48 PM

I can’t understand women who vote for governor based on “social-emotional” things instead of reason and fiscal sanity. Your governor has not got a social-emotional relationship with YOU. “Cares about people like me means what,” duh? What does “like me,” mean?

Fleuries on August 28, 2014 at 12:07 AM

Poll: Walker’s lead grows with registered voters…but he trails among likely voters?

No doubt that the Dems are creating voters or at least ballots as fast as they can.

RJL on August 28, 2014 at 12:39 AM

A poster at the JSonline, (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) has pointed out that this poll is mirroring the recall poll – at this point out from the election in 2012, Barrett and Walker were effectively tied. Walker won by 7.

There is an anger directed at Walker by those who have to pay 15% of their health insurance and the “employee contribution” toward retirement, but that’s a small segment of the population.

Most folks are seeing that Wisconsin is creating real jobs – not the part time jobs of the national “recovery” – and currently leads the Midwest in income growth (#2 if you count from Q1 ’11) – compare that to a drop of 14% under Doyle.

BTW, Walker is every bit as nice in person as he is in this ad. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times.

Daisy_WI on August 28, 2014 at 8:07 AM