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Scott Walker catches up in Wisconsin polls, while Tammy Baldwin maintains steady lead

October 10, 2018

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has closed the gap with Democratic challenger Tony Evers in a new Marquette Law School poll released Wednesday though Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin still holds a significant lead in her re-election bid.

Wisconsin is a major focus of this year’s election, having gone for Mr. Trump in 2016.

Mr. Walker, a Republican seeking his third term, erased a six-percentage-point deficit from three weeks ago and is now in a virtual tie, earning 47 percent support to Mr. Evers’ 46 percent.

Incumbent Attorney General Brad Schimel, also a Republican, has a 47-43 lead over Democratic challenger Josh Kaul.

But Democrats got good news in the Senate race, where Ms. Baldwin, seeking a second term, has a firm hold, leading Republican challenger Leah Vukmir 53-43.

“It really shows that these are three separate races with different personalities and different issues across them,” said poll director Charles Franklin. “And with really pretty different differences in advertising and perhaps news coverage.”

Mr. Franklin said independent voters shifted towards Mr. Walker over in the past three weeks, while they stuck with Ms. Baldwin, helping explain the two trajectories.

He said they’re reacting to different dynamics such as health care issues in the Senate, versus gas tax policy in the governor’s race.

The candidates are tailoring their pitches to those voters.

“As the campaigns have ramped up their advertising on these issues, you can also see that they’re appealing to the side of these issues that works for their campaign,” Mr. Franklin said. “Almost surely in the hopes of convincing the independents that are convincible and holding the support of their partisans.”

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