The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Poll: Wisconsin Race For Governor Is The Tightest In The Country

By David Lauter, Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — The race for governor in Wisconsin — featuring incumbent Gov. Scott Walker, who is often mentioned as a potential Republican presidential candidate — remains locked in a dead heat, the state’s leading pollster reported Wednesday.

Walker became a hero to many conservative Republicans and the target of a Democratic recall effort after he won passage of legislation early in his tenure that curtailed collective bargaining rights for public employee unions.

His victory in the recall campaign catapulted Walker into the top ranks of Republican political figures, and he has made little secret of his interest in a possible presidential bid. The state’s sharply polarized politics have been carefully watched by analysts as an indicator of national trends.

Before running for higher office Walker must face voters in November, and the outcome remains very much up in the air, according to the latest Marquette Law School Poll, which has a strong record of forecasting elections in one of the nation’s most closely divided states.

The latest poll shows Walker narrowly trailing his Democratic challenger, Mary Burke, among those most likely to vote, with 49 percent for Burke and 47 percent for Walker. But among all registered voters, Walker has the lead, by a similarly narrow 47 percent to 44 percent. The race has been locked in a dead heat all summer, making it the tightest gubernatorial contest in the nation.

Unlike most other states, Democrats have a slight edge in Wisconsin in the percentage of their partisans saying they are “certain” to vote in November, the poll showed. The two sides were equal in enthusiasm about voting, again a contrast with the GOP edge in most of the country.

The state’s voters remain sharply divided over Walker, with 48 percent having a favorable view of him and 48 percent unfavorable. Overwhelmingly, by 68 percent to 28 percent, voters say he is “able to get things done” — his signature claim. But voters don’t necessarily like what he does. Half the state’s voters say he does not “care about people like you,” with 45 percent saying he does care.

Burke, a former state official and an executive at the Trek bicycle company, which her family owns, is less well known than Walker, but also has roughly equal numbers viewing her favorably or unfavorably.

The Democrat has avoided refighting the union issue, which dominated the recall campaign in 2012. Instead, she has hammered at Walker’s record in improving the state’s economy, saying he has failed to meet the goal he set of creating 250,000 jobs in his first term. Walker now takes credit for having created about 100,000 jobs.

The poll indicates Burke has gained some traction on the jobs argument. Nearly half the state’s voters, 48 percent, say Wisconsin is “lagging” other states in job creation, a number that has grown noticeably during the summer.

The Marquette poll was conducted Aug. 21-24. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for the full sample of registered voters and 4.1 percentage points for the subset of respondents deemed most likely to vote.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

This is the first of what is sure to be way too many campaign columns to come. If you’d like them to land in your email inbox every time I write one, please buy a subscription.

Keep reading...Show less

Tape of home invasion attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul Pelosi

Youtube Screenshot

Video released Friday of the harrowing home invasion and assault that nearly killed then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband in October brought little in the way of self-reflection or regret from far-right Internet trolls and Fox News stars who spent months baselessly insisting that the attack had actually resulted from a gay tryst gone wrong. Instead, the denizens of the right-wing conspiracy theory ecosystem either claimed that the new evidence proved that they were right all along, or used it to float additional conspiracy theories about why it hadn’t been released earlier.

The key facts were available within hours of the October 28, 2022, attack. Law enforcement swiftly alleged that David DePape broke into the Democratic leader’s home in the middle of the night seeking to harm her and pummeled her 82-year-old husband Paul, sending him to the hospital for emergency surgery. Journalists who reviewed DePape’s Internet history subsequently revealed that he had been radicalized online and espoused a wide array of right-wing conspiracy theories, including QAnon.

Keep reading...Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}