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T-minus six days, and two polls showed two very disparate portraits about the state of play in the Badger State, as the eyes of the political world are focused on the state of Wisconsin.

While it was eminently predictable that Wisconsin Democrats would blast the new Marquette Law School poll spotting GOP Gov. Scott Walker with a seven-point lead, they did make one argument that I think does carry some weight.

There's plenty of other data, too, as you can see below:

PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:

NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama tied with Romney (46-46)

NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Obama tied with Romney (45-45)

NATIONAL (YouGov/The Economist): Obama d. Romney (46-43)

MISSOURI (PPP): Obama d. Romney (45-44)

WISCONSIN (Marquette Law School): Obama d. Romney (51-43)

DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
CA-PROP 29 (LA Times/USC): Favor 62, Oppose 33

FL-07--R (Conquest Communications for Mica): John Mica 55, Sandy Adams 25

IL-17 (Public Opinion Strategies for Schilling): Rep. Bobby Schilling 51, Cheri Bustos (D) 35

MI-SEN (PPP): Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) 53, Pete Hoekstra (R) 37; Stabenow 53, Clark Durant (R) 31

MI-SEN--R (PPP): Pete Hoekstra 42, Clark Durant 11, Gary Glenn 4, Randy Hekman 4, Peter Konetchy 0

NY-SEN (Quinnipiac): Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) 56, Robert Turner (R) 26; Gillibrand 57, George Maragos (R) 24; Gillibrand 58, Wendy Long (R) 24

OH-SEN (Rasmussen): Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) 47, Josh Mandel (R) 42

WA-GOV (Strategies 360): Rob McKenna (R) 43, Jay Inslee (D) 39

WI-GOV (Lake Research for Greater Wisconsin): Tom Barrett (D) 49, Gov. Scott Walker (R) 49

WI-GOV (Marquette Law School): Gov. Scott Walker (R) 52, Tom Barrett (D) 45

WI-LT GOV (Marquette Law School): Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (R) 46, Mahlon Mitchell (D) 41

A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump...

You could have put a stopwatch this afternoon on how quickly the Wisconsin Democratic Party moved to discredit the Marquette Law School poll showing GOP Gov. Scott Walker up by a fairly steep 52-45 margin over Democrat Tom Barrett.

They even went after the alleged partisan proclivities of Marquette polling chief Charles Franklin, with Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate saying he took a class from Franklin at the University of Wisconsin, and it was clear from that class he leaned to the right. It was an astonishing charge to make, to be sure.

Whatever the merits of that argument, Tate also offered other lines of argument that would be harder to dismiss by Walker supporters. For example, he made the following point, which echoed a point I made last week:

The Walker campaign is pretty quiet about their polling. And if they were ahead by 7 points, I don’t see why they wouldn’t shout it from the rooftops. Because theoretically, that would have a depressing effect on our efforts to get our voters out and raise money.”
This only makes sense. I stand by my speculation from the last week—Team Walker and the RGA probably see their polling right around where the media and public polling lies, or maybe a point or two closer (say...4-6 points). Therefore, there is no percentage in them releasing their numbers.

Democrats, for their part, continue offering internal numbers on a near-daily basis. Today's contribution came from a labor-backed group (Greater Wisconsin), which had the race deadlocked at 49 percent.

In other polling news...

  • There are two "holy crap" polls today, by my estimation, and they split evenly on which party will celebrate or mourn those numbers. Democrats have to be pleasantly surprised to see that, even as Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are near parity in most national polling, Obama actually has moved to even money in Missouri, a state that he couldn't even pull over to his side in 2008. But, alternately, Democrats have to be a little surprised by a GOP internal poll out of IL-17 showing that freshman Bobby Schilling is actually over 50 percent. Now, there are good reasons to question the poll—in a district that went 60-38 Obama in 2008, it is hard to fathom a 51-41 margin between Obama and Romney there today, for example. But even if you retrofit the margins, it still looks like Democrat Cheri Bustos would be trailing in a district that a lot of people assumed would revert back to form (and to the Democrats) this cycle.
  • Two Democratic Senators look in pretty good shape, as new polling gives both Debbie Stabenow (MI) and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) double-digit advantages over the field. One has to wonder if Pete Hoekstra, now that he has gone uber-birther, will start to look like no better than a second or third-tier alternative to the GOP, who once coveted this seat and saw Stabenow as very vulnerable.
  • The House of Ras had Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown with net positive favorabilities (48/42), and his GOP rival Josh Mandel with net negative favorabilities (40/45). And yet the margin between the two candidates, according to the Rassies, is just five points (47-42). That seems ... well ... a bit curious. On the bright side, that is an improvement in the eyes of the Ras, who had the race tied in March and had Brown up by three points in April.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and Daily Kos.

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