Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker is in a virtual dead heat with his leading Democratic challenger, Mary Burke, the latest poll shows.
A Marquette University Law School poll
shows Walker leading Burke, 46 percent to 45 percent. Among likely voters, the poll finds, Burke is ahead of Walker 47 percent to 46 percent.
"The bottom line is that nothing has statistically changed from May to July," poll director Charles Franklin told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
"We're seeing a dead heat in the race, well within the margin of error. As the race really heats up with advertising and back and forth, I'd expect to see interesting developments over the next months."
The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points; for the sample of likely voters, the margin is 4.3 percentage points.
The poll, released Wednesday, is the first since the news of Wisconsin prosecutors alleging Walker was part of a "criminal scheme" to coordinate the fundraising activities of conservative groups, The Washington Post
A lawyer for the special prosecutor later acknowledged Walker wasn't a target
of the probe into the alleged scheme, and Walker himself blasted the complaint
as "nothing more than a partisan investigation."
The last Marquette poll in May
– before the fundraising scandal – showed similar results,
with Walker and Burke, a member of the Madison, Wisconsin, School Board, each garnering 46 percent of registered voters included in the survey, the Journal Sentinel reports. Walker led Burke among likely voters, 48 percent to 45 percent.
Walker said he wasn't surprised, the Journal Sentinel reported, expecting the race to be close but believing he'd prevail in the end.
"We believe in the end the grass roots will make the difference," Walker said.
For her part, Burke told the newspaper she was "very glad to be out ahead in terms of likely voters for the first time."
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