The results are in, and Scott Walker’s terrible debate performance cost him his five-point lead in the new Marquette Law School Poll. Democrat Mary Burke is now tied with Walker 47%-47%.
According to the poll,
A new Marquette Law School Poll finds Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke tied in the Wisconsin governor’s race, with 47 percent of likely voters supporting each candidate. Another 4 percent say that they are undecided or that they do not know whom they will support, while fewer than 1 percent say that they will vote for someone else. Likely voters are those who say that they are certain to vote in the November election.
In the previous Marquette Law School Poll, conducted Sept. 25-28, Walker held a 50-45 edge over Burke among likely voters, while 46 percent of registered voters supported Walker to Burke’s 45 percent support.
Among likely voters who think of themselves as independents, Burke receives 45 percent support to Walker’s 44 percent. In the Sept. 25-28 poll, independents supported Walker by 53 percent to Burke’s 40 percent. Partisan voters remain loyal to their parties, with Walker winning 96 percent of Republican likely voters and Burke winning 94 percent of Democrats, barely changed over the past two weeks. Just 4 percent of Republicans are crossing over to vote for Burke while 3 percent of Democrats are voting for Walker.
The poll was taken after Walker delivered what was easily one of the three worst debate performances of the 2014 election. (The other two are Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett bragging during a debate about the number of death warrants he signed that week, and Mitch McConnell managing to botch the standard Republican talking points on Obamacare and climate change). This has not been a good year for Republicans on the debate stage in general, but Walker gave a woeful performance last week that was defensive, uncreative, and completely devoid of energy.
Independent voters who saw the first debate likely fled Walker in droves. Wisconsin is another gubernatorial election where a tea party Republican has fallen flat on his face. Unlike some of the other doomed Republican governors, Scott Walker is still tied in the polls. Every single vote will be critical in determining the outcome.
Scott Walker has managed to blow a five-point lead in two weeks. His campaign is trending downwards. There aren’t enough billionaire Republican dollars out there to convince voters that Gov. Walker’s failed economic record deserves another four years.
Walker’s biggest problem remains that he promised to create 250,000 jobs, and he is nowhere close to that number. In fact, job growth dropped in the state after Walker took office. The Walker campaign has been trying to cherry pick the numbers to argue that the economy isn’t that bad, but Wisconsin voters appear to remain unconvinced.
Burke hammered Walker repeatedly on the economy, and the tactic appears to be working with voters. Momentum is moving Mary Burke’s way, but nothing will be settled until all votes are cast and counted. If the voters do their part, Scott Walker might be out of a job on November 5.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association