New Poll Puts Barrett Ahead by 17 Points Over Falk in Recall Primary

New numbers released by Marquette University have Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett leading former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk among registered voters. Barrett and Walker in a dead heat, poll also shows.

With less than one week to go until the Democratic primary for governor in the recall election, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett leads the field by wide margins among voters who will cast ballots in the primary, according to the latest poll numbers from Marquette University.

His closest rival, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, trails by 17 points; 38 percent to 21 percent. Secretary of State Doug La Follette pulls in 8 percent, state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout comes in at 6 percent, while 19 percent of those polled were undecided.

The margins are wider than they were just a month ago, when Barrett led Falk, 36 to 29 percent. Vinehout and La Follette each were at 8 percent in March.

Against Republican Gov. Scott Walker in a potential June showdown, Barrett leads among all registered voters polled, 47 to 46 percent. Among likely voters, however, Walker gets the nod by a point, 48 to 47.

The other Democratic primary candidates all trail in a contest with Walker among registered voters: Walker leads Falk 49 to 42 percent; and he leads both La Follette and Vinehout at by a 49 to 40 percent. Walker also leads in polls of likely voters by almost identical margins.

Results were released Wednesday at Marquette University during a session of "On the Issues" with Mike Gousha and professor Charles Franklin. The poll was conducted from April 26 to 29 of of 705 registered voters by both landline and cell phone.

A lot has been made recently of the "protest" candidates, Franklin pointed out.

"The numbers show an interesting point about the gap between what political strategists think is a good idea and how voters really feel about it," he said.

Among all voters, a full 59 percent disagree with running "protest" candidates. Those numbers break down to 72 percent Democratic; 54 independent; and 53 Republican.

Barrett leads Falk 40 to 21 percent among men and 36 to 20 percent among women.

Overall,  Barrett does better than Falk in just about every demographic. Falk is strongest with a lead or a smaller margin of deficit among public sector workers in labor unions.

Gousha asked how recall has touched voters' lives, and Franklin had a slide for that question, too.

Since January 2011, pollsters asked, have you done a variety of things? The results are :

  • Talk to family & friends (58);
  • Persuade others (50);
  • Talk w/coworkers (39);
  • Sign petition – including last summer, too (38);
  • Put up a yard sign/bumper sticker (26);
  • Give money (20); and/or
  • Attend rally (18)

What's funny, Franklin added, is that almost one-third of those polled said they've experienced some negative feedback from talking about politics so those conversations have stopped.

An important point he wants people to remember is that these polls are really a snapshot of how voters feel at the time the questions are asked.

"Polling doesn't determine voters' opinions and their votes, it's the voters' opinions and votes that determine the polls," Franklin said. "There's no question this is too close to call and why both sides need to be concerned about voter turnout."

MrsPeel May 05, 2012 at 04:53 AM
@Tom Barrett... no, it's not bad, rather it is quite a meaningless, non-rigourously analyzed collection of opinions. This survey has been referenced elsewhere. CEO magazine doesn’t say much about who the respondents are; do they represent large corporations, small companies, or small businesses? Putting that aside there is some interesting information which can be gleaned from the survey. The ten lowest ranked states for business climate are home to 225 Fortune 500 Companies while the ten highest ranked states are home to only 140 of the Fortune 500, with Texas being the one to pull up the numbers. The fifteen lowest ranked states are home to a total of 256 Fortune 500′s while the top 15 are populated by only 157 of the big companies. So, it would appear that the “perception” of the survey respondents does not match “reality”. One could also draw the conclusion that these people don’t put their “money where their mouth is”. The validity of this survey is at about the same level as the myth that Gov. Walker had anything to do with moving Wisconsin up in the rankings.
MrsPeel May 05, 2012 at 04:59 AM
@Craig... I seriouly doubt that the DNC is providing rides to the polls. Actually it is George Soros who is sending a fleet of limos for that purpose. It's also a bit strange, isn't it, that after spending milllions of dollars on TV spots that Walker is in a dead heat with Barrett? With all the good that he has done for each of us Wisconsin residents one would think that he would be ahead by 20 points or more. It's even more strange as the pollis conducted by the same individual who previously conducted polls while he was supported by the that notoriously leftwing Bradley Foundation. Strange doings here.
ACE May 07, 2012 at 05:40 AM
We vote for Walker in the primary. Isaac Weix too.
Luke May 20, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but I'm in too much of a rush to find out. I just wanted to report that the Milwaukee Journal has endorsed Scott Walker.
Luke May 20, 2012 at 06:01 PM


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »