Public Policy Polling
Wisconsin state capitol
for Daily Kos. 5/11-13. Likely voters. MoE: ±3.4% (
Tom Barrett (D): 45 (45)
Scott Walker (R-inc): 50 (50)
Hari Trivedi (I): 2 (2)
Undecided: 3 (3)
As you can see, the results from our newest gubernatorial recall poll are identical to those we saw a month ago. Since that time, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett won the Democratic primary but does not appear to be seeing a bounce from that victory. A few things to note:
- There does appear to be an enthusiasm gap that's favoring the GOP right now. Among registered voters (as opposed to likely voters), the race was a point tighter, with Walker up 49-45.
- That said, we had a devil of a time trying to get a separate read on registered voters—98 percent of the people who responded to our poll said they're likely to vote in the June recall. It just seems like if you're picking up the phone to answer a poll in Wisconsin these days, you are keyed in to the local political scene.
- As a consequence, the numbers in the presidential race are far, far closer than anyone expects to see this fall, with Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney just 47-46 among RVs (and the same spread among LVs). But that further buttresses the notion of an enthusiasm gap for the recall, because the June electorate is definitely looking more Republican-friendly than the November one.
- Similarly, the Senate matchups all look worse than they probably are, with Democrat Tammy Baldwin down 4-5 points against all comers (45-41 vs. Eric Hovde, 46-42 vs. Mark Neumann, and 47-42 vs. Tommy Thompson).
- Very few voters are supporting independent Hari Trivedi, but among those who are, their second choice is overwhelmingly Barrett, suggesting that Trivedi is pulling votes away from the Democrat. In a tight race, that could be a difference-maker.
Here's one bright note: The race for lieutenant governor has tightened since April:
Mahlon Mitchell (D): 43 (40)
Rebecca Kleefisch (R): 46 (46)
Undecided: 14 (11)
Mahlon Mitchell, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, has seen his favorables jump from 12-25 to 28-27, while Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch's job approvals have remained largely unchanged. That probably accounts for Mitchell creeping up on Kleefisch.
While it's disappointing to see that the gubernatorial top-line numbers haven't changed, the race is far from over. Democrats now have a three-week sprint to re-ignite the base, and a lot can change between then and now.