New Marquette poll finds Tony Evers leading Scott Walker in governor’s race

September 18, 2018

With seven weeks until Election Day, a new Marquette Law School poll finds Democrat Tony Evers surging ahead of Republican Gov. Scott Walker, 49 percent to 44 percent among likely voters.

The poll also finds Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin expanding her lead on Republican Leah Vukmir, leading 53-42 among likely voters.

Both results show significant movement toward Wisconsin Democrats as the campaign ramps up.

For Walker, the poll contains a slew of red flags. Among independent voters -- a demographic Walker repeatedly has acknowledged he must win -- he trails Evers 52 percent to 32 percent.

Walker’s favorability among likely voters also is significantly underwater, with 45 percent viewing him favorably and 52 percent unfavorably. For Evers, those figures are 40 percent favorable, 29 percent unfavorable.

Lastly, very few voters appear to be available for Walker to persuade. Among likely voters, just 1 percent say they lack a preference or do not lean to a candidate. One cluster of voters that might be up for grabs are the 6 percent that support the Libertarian candidate, Phil Anderson.

In the U.S. Senate race, favorability/unfavorability for Baldwin is 48-40. For Vukmir, it’s 26-38.

For the first time, the poll also surveyed the race for state attorney general. It found Republican incumbent Brad Schimel leading Democratic challenger Josh Kaul, 48-41, with 10 percent undecided.

The poll also found President Donald Trump’s approval rating among registered voters ticking downward, with 42 percent approving and 54 percent disapproving.

The poll surveyed 614 likely voters Sept. 12-16 and has an error margin of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

The previous Marquette poll in August, the first conducted since the primary election, found both the governor and U.S. Senate races were close. It found Evers and Walker tied at 46 percent support among likely voters. Baldwin led Vukmir, 49-47.

Part of the shift may be attributable to a different partisan makeup for respondents to the two polls.

The partisan makeup of the August poll sample, including those who lean to a party, was 45 percent Republican, 43 percent Democratic and 11 percent independent.

For the September poll, it’s 45 percent Republican, 46 percent Democratic and 8 percent independent. That’s more in line with the poll’s long-term partisan sample makeup, which is 43 percent Republican, 47 percent Democratic and 9 percent independent.

Other polls also point to a closer governor’s race but have found Baldwin leading Vukmir by a wider margin. An August poll by Suffolk University conducted for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found Evers leading Walker 46-44, or well within the margin of error. It found Baldwin leading Vukmir 50-42.

The August Marquette poll found President Donald Trump’s approval/disapproval rating at 47 percent/50 percent among likely Wisconsin voters and 45 percent/51 percent among registered voters. In July, the poll found Trump had 42 percent approval and 50 percent disapproval among registered voters.

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