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Newest Marquette poll shows race for governor is still remarkably close

Chuck Quirmbach, Wisconsin Public Radio

A new Marquette University poll has found that the race for Wisconsin governor remains a strikingly close one.

Among registered voters, Gov. Scott Walker leads Mary Burke 47.5 to 44.1 percent. Among likely voters, Burke leads Walker 48.6 to 46.5 percent. Both leads are within the poll’s margin of error of 3.5 to 4 percent.

Pollster Charles Franklin said that closer to the election, the likely voters category will become more important.

“It's the best indicator a week before the elction,” said Franklin. “The only caveat is, at this point, likely voters can still shift. People can get fired up or people can get discouraged.”

He added: “That’s why the parties are working so hard with their get-out-the-vote efforts and voter contact efforts.”

The poll also found that 48 percent of respondents say Wisconsin is lagging behind other states in job creation, while 42 percent say we're doing as well or better than other states. That gap may potentially bode well for Burke. However, 54 percent also say the state is headed in the right direction, a number that theoretically bodes well for Walker.

Franklin said another big gap is gender-based, “with men going pretty substantially for Burke and women a little less substantially for Burke.” He noted that the gender gap is less wide in the sample of likely voters.

Franklin said he expects interest in the governor's race to grow as more summer vacations end.

The poll quizzed 815 registered voters late last week. Out of those respondents, 600 said they were likely to vote.