Latest MU poll: Races for governor, U.S. Senate are dead heats

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The races for governor and U.S. Senate in Wisconsin appeared to be dead heats, with less than 11 weeks to go before the general election.

The latest Marquette Law School poll, released Wednesday, shows state superintendent Tony Evers in a virtual tie with incumbent republican Scott Walker – 46% each with likely voters.

For the first time this election cycle, a third-party candidate – Libertarian Phil Anderson – was inserted and was pulling in 5%.

Prof. Charles Franklin, the director of the Marquette Poll said as the Nov. 6 general election draws closer, the race between Walker and Evers could be made interesting by the presence of third-party candidates.

"We typically see third parties in the state get between one and maybe 3% of the vote on Election Day,” he said to WEAU 13 News on Wednesday. “So, it's not very much, but as the 2016 election proved for president, margins can be so tight that even small percentages for third-party candidates can be important."

The Marquette Poll defines likely voters as people saying they are certain they will vote.

"I didn't even look at the likely voters,” WEAU Political analyst John Frank said Wednesday after the poll’s release. “The only one that's important to me three months in advance is the people who have the potential of voting, how do they think they're going to vote."

This is where Frank looks at registered voters. With this group, the race remains still close, with Walker up 45%-43% on Evers.

"When we talk about registered voters, those are people whose names actually appear on the roll,” Frank said. “In other words, they have gone through the process of making sure that when November comes around, they are eligible to vote. They've already registered. Likely is an opinion. One is a fact, the other is an opinion."

It's in the race for U.S. Senate where likely and registered voters start to split. With likely voters, incumbent Democrat Tammy Baldwin is up 49%-46% on Republican state senator Leah Vukmir, but up 48%-41% with registered voters.

"Likely voters are more in tune with politics, more interested, they pay more attention. Therefore, they know more about the challengers,” Franklin said. “That helps both Evers and Vukmir tighten their races a little bit, compared to what we were seeing when we were looking at all registered voters."

Franklin said both challengers received some level of a boost after their primary wins, but that was already last week – and there are 11 weeks to go before winners are chosen.

"One of the old adages of politics is that 'One week is an eternity in politics.' Eleven weeks is 11 eternities in politics," Frank said.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republicans in Wisconsin appear to be getting more enthusiastic about the upcoming election.

A new Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday shows that 69 percent of Republicans are very enthused about voting in the November election, compared with 68 percent of Democrats.

That marks the first time this year in Marquette polling that Republican enthusiasm was higher than Democrats, although it is within the poll's margin of error.

The poll shows the race between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Tony Evers to be a dead heat. Both had 46 percent support.

Likewise, the race between Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Republican rival Leah Vukmir is about even, with Baldwin at 49 percent and Vukmir at 47 percent.

The poll surveyed 601 likely voters between the day after the primary and Sunday.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Democrats in Wisconsin say enthusiasm is on their side.

They point to higher turnout than Republicans in last week's primary, a string of recent election wins and the fact that the president's party generally fares poorly in midterm elections.

The latest measurement of how energized Democrats are comes Wednesday, with the release of the first Marquette University Law School poll since last week's primary. It will measure party enthusiasm and show how Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin are positioned 11 weeks before the election.

Previous Marquette polls this year have shown Democrats to be more enthusiastic than Republicans to vote in the fall. In July, 69 percent of Democrats said they were very enthusiastic to vote compared with 62 percent for Republicans.