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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Poll: Walker tied with relatively unknown challenger Burke in Wisconsin Gov. race

Mary Burke
Wisconsin Public Radio: A new Marquette University Law School poll shows Gov. Scott Walker would narrowly defeat Democrat Mary Burke in next year’s gubernatorial election.

The poll of 800 registered voters last week shows Walker at 47 percent, and Burke, the former state commerce secretary, at 45 percent, with a 3.5 percent margin of error.

The poll is far from a prediction of what will actually happen in the election. Marquette pollster Charles Franklin says the survey also found that 70 percent of respondents don’t know enough about Burke to like or dislike her. Franklin says that ultimately the results show a sizable number of people know what they have in Walker.
Given the margin of error, this is a statistical dead heat and there will be no celebrating in the governor’s office over it. The campaign hasn’t started, ads haven’t run (at least, none that I’ve heard), most positions haven’t been staked out. Given a choice between Scott Walker and the mystery box, half of Wisconsinites choose the mystery box. Since she’s unknown, that half isn’t so much pro-Burke as anti-Walker.  Some of those going with Walker right now have to be persuadable — it’s just playing the odds — and Walker can’t manage the majority it would take to win a two-person race.

None of which is to say that Walker is headed toward a certain loss, but he should have all the advantages and the polling shows he has none — or if he does, that they’re statistically insignificant. If this latest John Doe probe starts to rock the governor’s boat, he could find himself swamped.

[photo via Burke for Wisconsin]

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