Two weeks ago, Scott Walker edged back in front of Democrat Mary Burke by three points — within the respected MU law poll’s margin of error. Welcome to October:

In the likely voter crosstabs, Walker’s lead is actually closer to six points, at 50.5 vs. 44.7 percent (Walker +5.8). Although Republicans’ enthusiasm advantage has receded slightly since the last poll in this series, Walker’s margin is boosted by dominance among men (62/38 — he trails female likely voters by 14 points), and a double-digit lead with independents:

The governor is ahead among voters who don’t live in Milwaukee or Madison and leads with middle class voters. In a victory for ‘vote-suppressing extremists’ or whatever, Wisconsin voters back the state’s new voter ID law by a narrow 30-point margin.  Walker recently rolled out another “controversial” plan for his second term: Drug testing working-age recipients of state benefits.  Democrats have furiously slammed the idea as “blaming the poor,” evidently unaware that most people disagree with them:

By a double-digit margin, Wisconsinites say the state’s budget is in better shape than it was before Walker’s successful reforms (a sizable minority says ‘no difference’), and a healthy majority say the Badger State is on the right track (54/43). Walker’s job approval and personal favorability ratings are running even; Burke’s favorables are tied as well, but 26 percent of respondents said they didn’t know enough to weigh in.  But those are the overall numbers; among likely voters, the governor fares noticeably better (+4.5 job approval, +6 favorability, with Burke -4 on favorability).  Walker continues to win high marks for effective leadership but still faces a deficit on the metric of “caring about people like you.”  Enter his campaign’s latest television ad, featuring a victim of terrible domestic abuse:

Messages: I actually do care, and Democrats’ reprehensible ‘war on women’ attacks are groundless.  All else being equal, if Walker can even slightly nudge the needle among women and on the ‘caring’ question in his direction over the next month, he’ll bury Burke’s chances.  And if the polling trend in this race continues on its current trajectory, the Burke campaign might start demanding that journalists stop talking to voters altogether.