The Marquette University Law School Poll released Wednesday shows Gov. Scott Walker leading Democratic candidate Mary Burke 50 to 43 percent among likely voters, outside of the margin of error.
This most recent poll is the final one to be released by Marquette University Law School before the election. It shows improvement for Walker when compared to the previous poll, released Oct. 15, which had Walker and Burke tied with 47 percent of likely voters supporting each candidate.
The Burke campaign said in a press release Wednesday the race has always been close and it’s “going to come down to turnout.”
Among registered voters, Walker leads Burke by a margin of one point with 46 and 45 percent support, respectively.
Michael Wagner, an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UW-Madison, said the likely voter gap represents “a little bit of a change over the last couple of weeks.”
“I think it suggests right now that Republicans are saying they are more committed to going to the polls on election day than Democrats are,” Wagner said.
The governor's race will have significant implications on Walker’s prospects for national office, according to Wagner.
“If [Walker] loses the governor's race here, it becomes way harder to seek the White House,” Wagner said.
A victory, according to Wagner, means Walker can show to conservatives that he has won three statewide elections in a swing state which has been won by Democrats in the last several presidential campaigns. This achievement would add credibility to Walker’s argument for national office.
“That’s a compelling argument to be able to make to Republican activists,” Wagner said.
The Marquette poll also released numbers on the attorney general race that show Republican candidate Brad Schimel tied with Democratic candidate Susan Happ among registered voters, with 16 percent still undecided.
The Schimel and Happ campaigns said in press releases Wednesday they are confident of their own chances.
The margin of error for this most recent poll, conducted between Oct. 23 and 26, is 2.7 percentage points for registered voters and 3 percentage points for likely voters.