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Poll: Independents Propel Walker to Lead Over Burke in Wisconsin

Image: Poll: Independents Propel Walker to Lead Over Burke in Wisconsin
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By    |   Thursday, 02 Oct 2014 11:13 AM

The squeaky-close race between Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker and challenger, Madison school board Democrat Mary Burke, is showing its first signs of opening up —  in Walker's favor.

A new Marquette University poll has Walker now leading by five percentage points over Burke among likely Wisconsin voters and the difference seems to be coming not from party faithful but from a sudden shift in independent voters toward Walker, Politico reports.

Poll director Charles Franklin told Politico, "This still qualifies as a very close race," with Walker, considered a possible Republican presidential contender, leading by just a single point, 46 to 45 percent, among registered voters overall and four percent saying they were undecided.

A widening gender gap also may be responsible, with Walker ahead by 28 percent among male voters and Burke by 14 percent among women.

The poll surveyed 801 registered and 585 likely voters between Sept. 25-28.

A roundup of polls, including the Marquette poll, by RealClearPolitics shows Walker with just a 1.8 percent average lead.

The race has featured negativity on both sides, with recent accusations against Burke of plagiarism in copying policy proposals for her jobs plan from other governor campaigns possibly partly responsible for Walker taking the lead, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Burke hit back with a video ad stating, "Scott Walker is attacking my jobs plan, saying it takes ideas from other states. Well, of course it does. As governor, I’m going to take the best ideas wherever I can find them. And if Scott Walker did the same, maybe we wouldn’t be dead last in jobs growth," Buzzfeed Reports.

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Friends of Scott Walker hammered Burke with a TV ad stating, "Mary Burke plagiarized her job plan. Wisconsin deserves better."

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The Republican Governors Association, in a TV ad entitled, "Integrity," stated bluntly, "You can't trust Mary Burke."

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Walker has been embroiled in allegations of campaign finance improprieties in a 2010 recall battle but it remains questionable whether Wisconsin will continue the investigation, with a decision not expected until after the mid-term elections in November, Politico reports.

Burke communications director Joe Zepecki said in a statement, "That this race remains too close to call shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Over the last two weeks, Gov. Walker has stepped up the mudslinging and false, negative attacks in a desperate attempt to distract from his failed record," Talking Points Memo reported.

"I think the headline is that Scott Walker takes the lead, by a small margin, for the first time since May," Franklin Told the Journal Sentinel.

"This race has been tied and inside the margin of error for almost five months now. And this is the first time that we have seen any candidate with even a small but statistically meaningful advantage.

"Whether it persists is, of course, a wide open story."

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The squeaky-close race between Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker and challenger, Madison school board Democrat Mary Burke, is showing its first signs of opening up — in Walker's favor.
Wisconsin, governor, Walker, Burke
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2014-13-02
Thursday, 02 Oct 2014 11:13 AM
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