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David Obey
Public Policy Polling (pdf). 10/20-23. Wisconsin voters. MoE ±2.9%. (8-12/14 in parentheses):
Russ Feingold (D): 49 (52)
Scott Walker (R-inc): 46 (45)
Undecided: 5 (2)

Tom Barrett (D): 46 (48)
Scott Walker (R-inc): 48 (47)
Undecided: 6 (6)

Peter Barca (D): 42
Scott Walker (R-inc): 48
Undecided: 10

Jon Erpenbach (D): 40
Scott Walker (R-inc): 47
Undecided: 13

Kathleen Falk (D): 41
Scott Walker (R-inc): 49
Undecided: 10

Steve Kagen (D): 39
Scott Walker (R-inc): 47
Undecided: 14

Ron Kind (D): 41 (43)
Scott Walker (R-inc): 47 (46)
Undecided: 12 (11)

David Obey (D): 42 (44)
Scott Walker (R-inc): 47 (47)
Undecided: 10 (10)

The idea of recalling Scott Walker was a pretty appealing one to Wisconsinites at the height of that state's collective bargaining madness: According to PPP, back in May, they approved of the idea of recalling Walker by a 50 to 47 margin, Walker languished with a 43/54 approval, and he lost a hypothetical recall race against Russ Feingold 52-42. August numbers showed slight retreat from that: Walker's approval crept up to 45/53, the recall was disfavored 47 to 50, and Feingold's margin was down to 52-45.

And now, as the acrimony from early 2011 is starting to slip down the memory hole, there's a little bit more retreat: Walker's approval is up to a potentially salvageable 47/51, and the Feingold margin is down to 49-46. (Generic support for the recall actually twitched upward slightly, to 48 for and 49 against.) Independents seem to be the ones who are most losing interest in a recall: Indies are against it 40 to 57 now, as opposed to 46 to 50 in August. That, of course, doesn't mean that it's time for Democrats to back down from the recall; given the closely-divided support, it'd still be a fight at the 50-yard line to turn out the bases. However, it's not looking like the easy lay-up as it appeared when Walker's overreach was fresh on people's minds.

Also, Wisconsin Democrats are running up against the same problem here that Republicans nationwide are experiencing with their attempt to reclaim the presidency: It looks like a tossup when you talk about it in terms of a generic candidate, but things start to look dicier once you start running head-to-heads with actual named candidates, most of whom are at a name rec disadvantage. The only named Democrat who prevails is ex-Sen. Russ Feingold, who has been pretty explicit about his intent to not run for anything in 2012.

Tom Barrett, the Milwaukee mayor and the '10 loser to Walker, runs only slightly behind, while everyone else PPP rounded up—state House minority leader (and long-ago ex-Rep.) Peter Barca, state Sen. Jon Erpenbach, Madison Co. Exec Kathleen Falk, ex-Rep. Steve Kagen, Rep. Ron Kind and ex-Rep. David Obey—hangs further back trailing by mid-to-high single digits. Of that bunch, Erpenbach (the high-profile ringleader of the Senate Democrats' out-of-state flight) and Falk sound the likeliest to run, though the septuagenarian Obey also has reportedly been asking around and sounds energized.


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Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Oct 26, 2011 at 04:26 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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