Final pre-election Marquette Law School Poll finds Walker leading Burke in Wisconsin governor’s race

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll finds Republican Gov. Scott Walker leading Democratic challenger Mary Burke 50 percent to 43 percent among likely voters in the Wisconsin governor’s race. Another 3 percent say that they are undecided or that they do not know whom they will support, while 1 percent say that they will vote for someone else. Likely voters are those who say that they are certain to vote in the November election.

Among registered voters in the poll, Walker receives 46 percent and Burke 45 percent, with 4 percent undecided and 1 percent saying that they will vote for someone else.

The poll interviewed 1,409 registered voters, including 1,164 likely voters, by landline and cell phone Oct. 23-26. For the full sample of 1,409 registered voters, the margin of error is +/- 2.7 percentage points. The margin of error for the sample of 1,164 likely voters is +/- 3.0 percentage points. This is the final Marquette Law School Poll before the Nov. 4 election.

The previous Marquette Law School Poll, conducted Oct. 9-12, found the race tied among likely voters, with the candidates holding 47 percent each, while 48 percent of registered voters supported Walker to Burke’s 45 percent support.

In the race for attorney general, among likely voters Republican Brad Schimel receives support from 43 percent and Democrat Susan Happ receives support from 39 percent, with 14 percent saying that they are undecided or don’t know for whom they will vote. Among registered voters, both candidates receive 40 percent support, with 16 percent yet to choose a candidate.

Turnout differences
“Shifting turnout intentions have provided most of the dynamics of the race this fall,” said Marquette Law School Poll director Charles Franklin. “While the results among all registered voters have varied between a tie and a 3-point Walker edge, the likely-voter results have ranged from a 2-point Burke advantage to the current 7-point Walker lead.”

In the current poll, 93 percent of Republicans say that they are certain to vote, while 82 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of independents say the same. Two weeks ago 82 percent of Republicans, and 80 percent of both Democrats and independents, said that they were certain to vote. By comparison, in the final Marquette Law School Poll before the 2012 gubernatorial recall election, 92 percent of Republicans, 77 percent of Democrats and 84 percent of independents said that they were certain to vote.

In August, 82 percent of Democrats said they were certain to vote while 77 percent of Republicans said so. In early September this reversed, with 80 percent of Republicans and 73 percent of Democrats saying they were certain to vote. Late in September, 80 percent of Republicans and 77 percent of Democrats said they were certain to vote. Independent intentions held steady in August and September between 67 and 69 percent.

Thirteen percent of registered voters said they had already voted either by absentee or in-person early voting, including 11 percent of Republicans, 16 percent of Democrats and 12 percent of independents.

Gender gap and independent voters
After narrowing to just 2 percentage points in the previous poll, the gender gap in vote choice has returned. Among registered voters, Burke leads 50-40 among women and Walker leads 53-39 among men. Among likely voters, Burke’s lead among women is 49-43 while Walker’s lead among men is 58-36. In the six Marquette Law School Polls since July, Burke has averaged a 49-42 lead among women and Walker a 52-40 lead among men for registered voters. Among likely voters, Burke has averaged a 52-42 lead among women and Walker a 55-40 advantage among men.

Registered voters who described themselves as independents support Walker by 46 percent to 40 percent over Burke. Likely voters who are independents support Walker over Burke by 52 percent to 37 percent. Two weeks ago, among independents, Walker had a 45-42 advantage with registered voters, and Burke had a 45-44 edge with likely voters. In six polls since July, Walker has averaged a 46-42 advantage among registered voters who describe themselves as independents and a 50-42 margin among likely voters in this group.

Ninety-two percent of Republicans support Walker and 88 percent of Democrats support Burke among both registered and likely voters. Over the past six polls, among registered voters, 92 percent of Republicans support Walker and 90 percent of Democrats support Burke. Among likely voters in these polls, 94 percent of Republicans back Walker and 93 percent of Democrats favor Burke.

Images of the candidates
Burke’s favorability ratings have turned down in the latest poll, with 38 percent of registered voters viewing her favorably while 45 percent have an unfavorable view. In earlier polls in September and October, her favorable-unfavorable ratings were 36-35, 36-37 and 40-43. Among likely voters, her current favorable-unfavorable rating is 39-49, with the ratings in the three earlier polls since the beginning of September being, oldest to newest, 41-39, 40-44 and 44-44. Among registered voters, 17 percent lack an opinion of Burke, down from 69 percent in January. Among likely voters, 12 percent say they haven’t heard enough or don’t know their view of Burke.

Walker’s favorable rating in the latest poll is 48 percent, with 47 percent unfavorable, among registered voters. His previous ratings since the beginning of September are 49-45, 47-47 and 48-48. Among likely voters he is currently seen favorably by 51 percent and unfavorably by 46 percent. His ratings among likely voters in the three most recent polls are, in chronological order, 52-46, 52-46 and 50-48.

Asked if “cares about people like you” describes Burke, 47 percent of registered voters say it does, while 41 percent say it does not and 12 percent say they don’t know. The previous poll found 49 percent saying “cares about you” described her while 36 percent said it did not and 14 percent said they didn’t know. Among likely voters, 47 percent say “cares” describes Burke while 43 percent say it does not, with 10 percent saying they don’t know. The previous poll had 52 percent of likely voters saying “cares” described Burke with 37 percent saying it did not.

For Walker, 46 percent of registered voters say “cares about you” describes him, while 50 percent say it does not and 3 percent say they don’t know. In the previous poll, 46 percent said this described him while 50 percent said it did not and 4 percent lacked an opinion. Among likely voters, 49 percent say “cares” describes Walker while 48 percent say it does not. Two weeks ago, 48 percent said this described him while 50 percent said it did not.

When it comes to being “able to get things done,” 42 percent of registered voters say this describes Burke while 41 percent say it does not, with 16 percent saying they don’t know. Two weeks ago, 44 percent said this described her while 38 percent said it did not, with 18 percent unable to say. Among likely voters, 43 percent say Burke can get things done while 43 percent say this does not describe her. The previous poll found 46 percent saying this described her with 39 percent saying it did not.

For Walker, 63 percent of registered voters say he is someone who is able to get things done while 33 percent disagree, with 3 percent unable to say. In the previous poll, 65 percent said he was someone able to get things done while 31 percent disagreed, with 3 percent unable to say. Among likely voters in the current poll, 65 percent say Walker can get things done, with 32 percent saying this does not describe him. Two weeks earlier, 67 percent said this described him while 30 percent said it did not.

Evaluation of conditions in the state
Fifty-one percent of registered voters say the state is headed in the right direction while 44 percent say it is off on the wrong track. Among likely voters, 54 percent say right direction and 42 percent say wrong track.

Asked if “all the changes in state government” over the last few years will make the state better or worse off in the long run, 51 percent of registered voters say better and 42 percent say worse. Among likely voters, 53 percent say better and 40 percent say worse.

Among registered voters, 44 percent say the state budget is in better shape than four years ago, while 27 percent say worse and 23 percent say it is in the same shape. Among likely voters, 48 percent say better, 26 percent say worse and 20 percent say it is the same.

Thirteen percent of registered voters say the state is creating jobs faster than other states, 38 percent say it is doing about the same as other states and 42 percent say Wisconsin is lagging behind other states. Among likely voters, 14 percent say it is creating jobs faster, 38 percent the same and 42 percent say it is lagging behind. Since January, those saying the state is lagging in job creation have varied between 40 and 48 percent of registered voters and between 42 and 51 percent among likely voters. Those thinking it is adding jobs faster or keeping pace have ranged from 41 to 52 percent among registered voters and from 40 to 52 percent among likely voters.

Among registered voters, 49 percent approve of the way Walker is handling his job as governor while 47 percent disapprove. Among likely voters, 52 percent approve and 46 percent disapprove. Two weeks ago, 48 percent approved and 49 percent disapproved among registered voters, while among likely voters 50 percent approved and 48 percent disapproved.

Issues
Public views are wide-ranging across a variety of issues discussed during the campaign and show only slight differences between registered and likely voters. Among registered voters:

  • Sixty percent say the state should accept federal funds to expand Medicaid coverage while 25 percent say it should reject that expansion.
  • Fifty-nine percent say the state should increase support to K-12 schools while 35 percent say current funding is sufficient.
  • Fifty-seven percent support increasing the minimum wage while 39 percent oppose it.
  • Fifty-six percent favor permitting same-sex marriage with 34 percent opposed.
  • Fifty-two percent oppose requiring an ultrasound for a woman seeking an abortion while 41 percent support requiring it.
  • Sixty percent support requiring a photo ID to vote, with 36 percent opposed.
  • Fifty-five percent support requiring drug tests for recipients of food stamps and unemployment benefits while 41 percent oppose such testing.
  • Fifty-four percent say people are unemployed due to a lack of skills while 36 percent say it is due to a lack of jobs.
  • Fifty-four percent have an unfavorable view of existing health care reform and 34 percent hold a favorable view of it.
  • Fifty percent say the limitations on unions due to Act 10 should be retained while 43 percent say collective bargaining should be restored for public employees.
  • Forty-nine percent support expanding private school vouchers statewide with 44 percent opposed.
  • Fifty-six percent say first-offense drunk driving should be a criminal misdemeanor, while 39 percent say it should result in a non-criminal ticket as is currently the law.
  • Forty-two percent support a casino in Kenosha with 37 percent opposed, almost the same as a year ago when 41 percent supported and 38 percent opposed. Support for a casino was as high as 50 percent, with 39 percent opposed, in mid-September.

Supporters of Walker and Burke hold sharply differing views on most of these issues. The greatest difference concerns the issue of Act 10 and collective bargaining. Seventy-nine percent of Burke voters would restore collective bargaining while just 9 percent of Walker supporters agree. Eighty-nine percent of Walker supporters favor requiring a photo ID to vote, a view held by 28 percent of Burke’s supporters. On minimum wage, 87 percent of Burke supporters favor an increase while 28 percent of Walker supporters do so. Eighty-eight percent of Burke supporters, versus 33 percent of Walker supporters, would accept federal funds to expand Medicaid. Eighty-six percent of Burke supporters think state funding for elementary and high schools should be increased, while 32 percent of Walker supporters favor this. On vouchers for private schools, 70 percent of Walker supporters favor expanding the voucher program, compared to 27 percent of Burke backers.

Two issues, approval of a casino in Kenosha and how to penalize first-offense drunk driving, stand out for their small differences between the two candidate’s supporters. Sixty-two percent of Burke supporters and 52 percent of Walker supporters favor criminal penalties for first offense OWI. Among Burke supporters, 39 percent support and 37 percent oppose the casino, while among Walker voters 44 percent favor and 36 percent oppose the casino.

Attorney general candidates
With less than two weeks to go until the election, the candidates for attorney general remain largely unknown to voters. Seventy-one percent of registered voters say they haven’t heard enough of or don’t have an opinion of Brad Schimel, while 68 percent of likely voters lack an opinion. Seventy-two percent lack an opinion of Susan Happ, as do 68 percent of likely voters.

Schimel is viewed favorably by 16 percent and unfavorably by 13 percent of registered voters, compared to poll results of 18 percent favorable and 14 percent unfavorable among likely voters. Happ receives 14 percent favorable and 14 percent unfavorable views among registered voters, while likely voters split, 16 percent favorable and 15 percent unfavorable.

On one issue the candidates have debated, 37 percent of registered voters say the attorney general should appeal when a court strikes down a state statute or constitutional provision while 46 percent say the attorney general should use his or her judgment as to whether an appeal is likely to be successful. Among likely voters, opinion divides almost the same, 38-47 percent.

Party composition of the sample
In this poll, Republicans make up 26 percent of the registered voter sample and 30 percent of the likely voter sample, with Democrats at 32 percent of both registered and likely voters. Independents are 39 percent of registered voters and 36 percent of likely voters.

Over all Marquette Law School Polls conducted in 2014, Republicans have averaged 26 percent of registered and 28 percent of likely voters, while Democrats have averaged 30 percent in both registered and likely voter samples. Independents have averaged 40 percent of registered and 38 percent of likely voters. In the previous poll, conducted Oct. 9-12, Republicans were 28 percent of registered and 29 percent of likely voters while Democrats were 31 percent of both registered and likely voters. Independents were 37 percent of both registered and likely voters.

New Marquette Law School Poll finds ties in Wisconsin races for both governor and attorney general

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll finds Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke tied in the Wisconsin governor’s race, with 47 percent of likely voters supporting each candidate. Another 4 percent say that they are undecided or that they do not know whom they will support, while fewer than 1 percent say that they will vote for someone else. Likely voters are those who say that they are certain to vote in the November election.

Among registered voters, Walker receives 48 percent and Burke 45 percent, with 5 percent undecided and fewer than 1 percent saying that they will vote for someone else.

In the previous Marquette Law School Poll, conducted Sept. 25-28, Walker held a 50-45 edge over Burke among likely voters, while 46 percent of registered voters supported Walker to Burke’s 45 percent support.

The poll interviewed 1,004 registered voters and 803 likely voters by landline and cell phone Oct. 9-12. For the full sample of 1,004 registered voters, the margin of error is +/- 3.2 percentage points. The margin of error for the sample of 803 likely voters is +/- 3.5 percentage points.

In the race for attorney general, among likely voters, Republican Brad Schimel and Democrat Susan Happ each receive support from 42 percent, with 16 percent saying that they are undecided or don’t know for whom they will vote. Among registered voters, both candidates receive 39 percent support, with 19 percent yet to choose a candidate.

Demographic differences
Among likely voters who think of themselves as independents, Burke receives 45 percent support to Walker’s 44 percent. In the Sept. 25-28 poll, independents supported Walker by 53 percent to Burke’s 40 percent. Partisan voters remain loyal to their parties, with Walker winning 96 percent of Republican likely voters and Burke winning 94 percent of Democrats, barely changed over the past two weeks. Just 4 percent of Republicans are crossing over to vote for Burke while 3 percent of Democrats are voting for Walker.

Regionally, Burke leads in the City of Milwaukee (76-21 percent) and in the Madison media market (59-32). Walker leads in the Milwaukee market outside the city (53-40) and in the Green Bay market (58 39). In the rest of the state, Walker leads 51-46 percent.

The gender gap, which was exceptionally strong in the previous poll, has all but vanished in this poll. Among likely voters, men favor Walker by a 48-46 percentage-point margin while women favor Burke 48-47. Among all registered voters, men prefer Walker 49-43 and women are evenly split at 47 percent for each candidate. Since July, Walker’s advantage among men has varied between 11 and 28 percentage points, while Burke’s advantage among women has ranged from 6 to 18 percentage points.

In the 2012 U.S. Senate race between Tammy Baldwin and Tommy Thompson, the gender gap among likely voters also showed substantial variation, with Baldwin’s advantage among women ranging from 2 to 16 points, while men favored Thompson by as much as 19 points and in one poll preferred Baldwin by 2.

Photo ID for voting
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court order issued late on Thursday, Oct. 9, whose effect is to block Wisconsin’s photo ID law for this election, public awareness of what is required to vote shifted rapidly over the four-day period of the poll.

Among likely voters, 82 percent of respondents interviewed on Thursday said that an ID would be required to vote, while 13 percent said it would not and 5 percent said they didn’t know. News of the change in policy spread rapidly after the Thursday evening decision. Among likely voters interviewed Friday through Sunday, 68 percent correctly said no ID would be required, while 26 percent still thought one would be and 6 percent said they didn’t know.

Voters also rapidly learned that the U.S. Supreme Court had entered an order on the issue. Among respondents interviewed Friday through Sunday, 67 percent said they knew the Supreme Court had issued an order while 20 percent believed it had not and 13 percent said they didn’t know.

Fifty-eight percent of likely voters in the poll support requiring a government-issued photo ID in order to vote while 39 percent oppose the requirement.

Gubernatorial debate
Friday night’s gubernatorial debate occurred too late to include most respondents interviewed for this poll. Of the 276 registered voters interviewed Saturday and Sunday, 28 percent say they watched or listened to the debate and an additional 20 percent say they read or heard about the debate afterward.

Among those who watched or read about the debate, 42 percent say Walker did better while 34 percent say Burke did better, 10 percent call it a tie and 12 percent say they don’t know who did better. This is a small sample of those exposed to the debate, with 131 respondents and a margin of error of +/- 8.7 percentage points, making the difference of opinion less than the margin of error. In the still-smaller likely-voter sample of those exposed to the debate, 43 percent think Walker did better, 33 percent say Burke did better, 12 say it was a tie, and 11 say they do not know. For that sample of 119 respondents, the margin of error is +/- 9.2 percentage points.

Images of the candidates
Burke is viewed favorably by 44 percent of likely voters and unfavorably by 44 percent, while 11 percent say that they haven’t heard enough about her or don’t know how they feel. Two weeks ago her favorable rating was 40 percent and unfavorable was 44 percent, while 16 percent couldn’t say.

Walker is viewed favorably by 50 percent of likely voters and unfavorably by 48 percent, with 1 percent not holding an opinion. That compares to 52 percent favorable and 46 percent unfavorable in the previous poll, with 3 percent not holding an opinion.

Asked if “cares about people like you” describes Burke, 52 percent of likely voters say it does while 37 percent say it does not and 10 percent say they don’t know. The previous poll found 49 percent saying “cares about you” described her while 41 percent said it did not and 9 percent said they didn’t know. For Walker, 48 percent of likely voters say “cares about you” describes him, while 50 percent say it does not and 2 percent say they don’t know. In late September, 48 percent said this described him while 49 percent said it did not and 2 percent lacked an opinion.

When it comes to being “able to get things done,” 46 percent say this describes Burke while 39 percent say it does not, with 15 percent saying they don’t know. Two weeks ago, 42 percent said this described her while 40 percent said it did not, with 17 percent unable to say. For Walker, 67 percent say he is someone who is able to get things done while 30 percent disagree, with 2 percent unable to say. In late September, 63 percent said he was someone able to get things done while 35 percent disagreed, with 2 percent unable to say. All figures are for likely voters.

Voter involvement and participation
Partisans of both parties remain highly likely to vote, with 82 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of Democrats saying they are certain they will vote in November. That is up slightly from 80 and 77 percent, respectively, two weeks ago.

Independents have moved sharply up in their reported likelihood of voting, with 80 percent saying they are certain they will vote, up from 67 percent two weeks ago. Independents usually trail partisans in turnout.

All party groups increased their reported enthusiasm for voting over the past two weeks, with 70 percent of Republicans, 66 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of independents saying they are “very enthusiastic” about voting this November. In the late-September poll, 58 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of Democrats, and 44 percent of independents said they were very enthusiastic.

Voters report varying levels of personal political activity. Among all registered voters, 40 percent say they have tried to persuade someone to vote for or against a candidate in the last three months, 15 percent report having put up a yard sign or bumper sticker and 15 percent say they have contributed money to a candidate or party.

Thirty-five percent say they talk to family and friends about politics more than once a week and another 22 percent say they do so once a week; another 17 percent say they talk once or twice a month while 15 percent say a few times a year. Ten percent say they never talk about politics with family and friends.

Talking to co-workers about politics is less common, with 16 percent of those polled saying they do so more than once a week, 16 percent once a week, 14 percent once or twice a month, and 12 percent a few times a year. Forty-one percent say they never talk about politics with co-workers.

The potential downside of political conversation is seen in the 27 percent who say there is someone with whom they’ve stopped talking about politics due to disagreements over the governor’s race. In May 2012, two weeks before the recall, 34 percent said they had stopped talking with someone about politics.

Voters are also on the receiving end of party contacts. Sixty percent of registered voters say they have been contacted by a party or candidate since July 1, and 40 percent say they have been contacted in the last week. Of those contacted, 14 percent say they were contacted only by Democrats, 29 percent only by Republicans and 53 percent by both parties.

Jobs
Among likely voters, 50 percent say the state is lagging behind other states in job creation, 37 percent say the state is keeping pace and 10 percent say the state is adding jobs faster than other states. In late September, 43 percent said that Wisconsin was lagging behind other states in job creation, while 38 percent said that the state was adding jobs about the same rate as other states and 12 percent said faster than other states.

State budget
Forty-five percent of likely voters see the state budget as in better shape than a few years ago, while 28 percent see it as in worse shape, with 24 percent saying it is about the same. In the poll taken two weeks ago, 46 percent said that the budget was in better shape than a few years ago, while 31 percent said worse shape and 18 percent said about the same.

Direction of the state
Among likely voters, 53 percent say that the state is headed in the right direction while 43 percent say that the state is off on the wrong track. In the previous poll, 56 percent said right direction and 42 percent said wrong track.

Among likely voters, 50 percent approve of the way Walker is handling his job as governor while 48 percent disapprove. Two weeks ago 52 percent approved and 47 percent disapproved.

Attorney general candidates and issues
The candidates for attorney general are only gradually becoming better known to voters. Seventy-four percent of likely voters say they haven’t heard enough of or don’t have an opinion of Brad Schimel, down slightly from 80 percent two weeks ago. Seventy-two percent lack an opinion of Susan Happ, barely changed from the 75 percent who said they didn’t have an opinion in late September. Almost all interviews were completed before the Sunday afternoon debate, televised statewide from Marquette Law School, between Schimel and Happ.

Schimel is viewed favorably by 15 percent and unfavorably by 10 percent, compared to 12 percent favorable and 7 percent unfavorable two weeks ago. For Happ, 14 percent have a favorable view and 14 percent unfavorable, versus 11 percent favorable and 13 percent unfavorable in late-September.

Same-sex marriage and other issues
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Oct. 6 effectively allowing same-sex marriage in Wisconsin and several other states, 63 percent of likely voters support legalizing marriage of gay and lesbian couples while 30 percent are opposed. In May, 53 percent of likely voters supported same-sex marriage while 40 percent opposed it.

Likely voters continue to support an increase in the minimum wage, with 61 percent in favor and 35 percent opposed.

Fifty-nine percent of likely voters would like the state to accept increased federal support for expanding the Medicaid program to cover those just over the poverty line, while 30 percent say the state should reject that expansion.

Twenty-five percent of likely voters say they would like to see Scott Walker run for president in 2016 while 40 percent would like to see Rep. Paul Ryan run. Among Republicans, 49 percent would like Walker to run while 44 percent would not. Twenty-two percent of independents would like him to run, with 72 percent opposed. Just 5 percent of Democrats favor a Walker run, with 92 percent opposed. For Ryan, 69 percent of Republicans favor a presidential bid with 23 percent opposed. Thirty-eight percent of independents support a Ryan run, with 53 percent opposed, and 15 percent of Democrats favor a Ryan presidential effort, with 78 percent opposed.

Party composition of the sample
In this particular poll, Republicans make up 28 percent of the registered voter sample and 29 percent of the likely voter sample, with Democrats at 31 percent of both registered and likely voters. Independents are 37 percent of both registered and likely voters.

Over all Marquette Law School Polls conducted in 2014, Republicans have averaged 26 percent of registered and 28 percent of likely voters, while Democrats have averaged 30 percent in both registered and likely voter samples. Independents have averaged 40 percent of registered and 38 percent of likely voters. In the poll conducted Sept. 25-28, Republicans were 28 percent of registered and 31 percent of likely voters while Democrats were 28 percent of registered and 30 percent of likely voters. Independents were 40 percent of registered and 37 percent of likely voters in September.

About the Marquette Law School Poll
The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive independent statewide polling project in Wisconsin history. Beginning in 2012, the poll has provided highly accurate estimates of election outcomes, in addition to gauging public opinion on a variety of major policy questions.

This poll interviewed 1,004 registered Wisconsin voters, by both landline and cell phone, Oct. 9-12, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 3.2 percentage points for the full sample. The sample included 803 likely voters. The margin of error for likely voters is +/- 3.5 percentage points.

New Marquette Law School Poll finds Walker leading in race for Wisconsin governor; attorney general race remains tied

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll in the Wisconsin governor’s race finds Republican Gov. Scott Walker receiving the support of 50 percent of likely voters and Democratic challenger Mary Burke receiving 45 percent support. Another 3 percent say that they are undecided or that they do not know whom they will support, while 1 percent say that they will vote for someone else. Likely voters are those who say they are certain to vote in the November election.

Among registered voters, Walker receives 46 percent and Burke 45 percent, with 4 percent undecided and 1 percent saying they will vote for someone else.

In the previous Marquette poll, conducted Sept. 11-14, Walker held a 49-46 edge over Burke among likely voters and registered voters tied at 46 percent support for each candidate.

The poll interviewed 801 registered voters and 585 likely voters by landline and cell phone from Sept. 25 to 28. For the full sample of 801 registered voters, the margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points. The margin of error for the sample of 585 likely voters is +/- 4.1 percentage points.

In the race for attorney general, among likely voters, Republican Brad Schimel receives support from 41 percent and Democrat Susan Happ from 39 percent, with 19 percent saying that they are undecided or don’t know for whom they will vote. Among registered voters, Schimel receives 37 percent and Happ 37 percent, with 22 percent yet to choose a candidate. Both results are inside the margin of error for the poll.

A large gender gap is present in voting for both governor and attorney general. Among likely voters, Walker leads among men with 62 percent to 34 percent for Burke. Among women, Burke leads with 54 percent to Walker’s 40 percent. With registered voters, Walker leads among men 54-39 percent while Burke leads among women 50-40 percent.

With likely voters in the attorney general’s race, Schimel leads among males, with 49 percent to Happ’s 32 percent, while among females Happ leads, with 45 percent to Schimel’s 34 percent. For registered voters, Schimel leads among men by 44-33 percent while Happ leads among women 41-31 percent.

Walker wins 95 percent of Republican likely voters while Burke wins 94 percent of Democrats. Independents support Walker by 53 percent to Burke’s 40 percent.

Burke holds an edge among likely voters with family income below $40,000 with 53 percent to 43 percent for Walker. Those with family incomes between $40,000 and $75,000 lean to Walker over Burke by 50 percent to 46 percent. Among families with incomes over $75,000, Walker receives 53 percent to Burke’s 42 percent.

Regionally, Burke leads in the city of Milwaukee 69-24 percent and in the Madison media market 66-31 percent. Walker leads in the Milwaukee market outside the city by 62-32 and in the Green Bay market 52‑43. In the rest of the state, Walker leads 58-39 percent.

Photo ID for voting
Following a federal appeals court ruling in September permitting the state to enforce a law requiring a government-issued photo ID in order to vote, poll respondents remain supportive of the requirement—though not all know that such an ID will be required in order to vote this November.

Sixty-three percent of registered voters favor requiring a photo ID while 33 percent are opposed. In the Marquette Law School Poll taken Sept. 11-14, just before the court ruling permitting the enforcement of the photo ID requirement, 61 percent favored and 35 percent opposed the requirement.

A fifth of registered voters have not learned that a photo ID will be required this November. Twenty percent say that voters will not have to show an ID, while 71 percent say that they will have to show an ID. Among likely voters, 18 percent think that no ID will be required while 75 percent say it will be.

Awareness of the ID requirement is highest among supporters of the requirement, with 76 percent of them knowing that an ID will be required this November while 17 percent think that it will not be. Among opponents, 65 percent know that a government-issued photo ID will be required this November while 26 percent think it will not.

Democrats are least likely to be aware of the requirement, with 65 percent aware and 27 percent not aware. Seventy-one percent of independents know that they will need an ID while 20 percent do not. Republicans are most aware of the ID requirement, with 79 percent aware and 15 percent not aware.

The youngest voters are less aware of the requirement, with 65 percent of 18-29 year olds aware of it and 26 percent not aware. Among those 30-44, 16 percent do not know of the need for an ID, while 20 percent of 45-59 year olds and 21 percent of those over 60 do not know.

Among likely voters, i.e., those certain that they will vote in November, 18 percent are unaware of the ID requirement. Among those who are registered but think that there is some chance they won’t vote, 25 percent are unaware that they will need an ID.

Twenty-one percent of men and 20 percent of women are unaware of the requirement.

Regional differences in awareness of the ID requirement are slight. Although sample sizes are small, 18 percent in both the city of Milwaukee and the suburban counties of Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee are unaware of the requirement. The more rural parts of the state show a slightly higher (22 percent) rate of unawareness of the requirement. None of the regional differences are statistically significant.

Among registered voters, 1.3 percent say that they do not have a currently valid photo ID.

Burke jobs-plan copying and latest jobs report
Just over half of registered voters, 54 percent, say that they have read or heard about recent news reports that the Burke campaign copied parts of a jobs plan from the campaigns of other Democratic candidates, while 45 percent say that they have not heard of this story. A similar number (53 percent) say that they have read or heard about recent news reports that ranked Wisconsin 33rd of 50 states in job creation, while 46 percent say that they have not heard of this report.

The impact of these two news stories has differed slightly. Eighteen percent say that the Burke jobs plan story makes them less likely to vote for her, while 73 percent say that it makes no difference and 7 percent say that it makes them more likely to support her. For the story on ranking in jobs growth, 26 percent say that this makes them less likely to vote for Walker, 65 percent say that it makes no difference and 8 percent say that it makes them more likely to vote for him.

Sixty-three percent of Republicans say that they have heard of the Burke jobs plan story, while only 47 percent of Democrats say this. Fifty-four percent of independents have heard of the story. Conversely, Democrats are more likely to hear of the state’s job ranking, with 58 percent having heard of this story compared to 46 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of independents.

Partisan differences also appear in the reaction to the two stories. Thirty-three percent of Republicans say that the Burke story makes them less likely to support her, as do 16 percent of independents and 5 percent of Democrats. This reaction was reversed on the jobs ranking, with 45 percent of Democrats saying that this story makes them less likely to support Walker while 28 percent of independents and 6 percent of Republicans say this.

Jobs
Perception of job growth in Wisconsin remains about evenly divided, with 45 percent saying the state is lagging behind other states, 38 percent saying the state is about keeping pace and 10 percent saying the state is adding jobs faster than others. This question was asked earlier in this survey (i.e., in the phone calls) than the item asking about awareness of the recent news report ranking job growth.

In mid-September, 42 percent said that Wisconsin was lagging behind other states in job creation, while 37 percent said about the same rate and thirteen percent said faster than other states. In August, 48 percent said Wisconsin was lagging, 34 percent said it was moving at the same rate as other states and 8 percent said it was creating jobs faster than other states.

Drug testing for unemployment and food stamps
Fifty-six percent of registered voters support drug testing for recipients of unemployment benefits and food stamps, while 41 percent think such testing would “be a waste of money with little impact.” Support for testing is strongest among Republican voters by a 78-20 percent margin, while independents support testing by 50-46 percent and a majority of Democrats oppose testing (40 percent in support and 55 percent in opposition).

Among young voters, age 18-29, opinion is evenly split 50-50, while those age 30-44 favor testing 53-44 percent, those age 45-59 favor it 59-39 and those age 60 and over support testing 59-34. A majority in some places opposes testing: in the city of Milwaukee 55 percent oppose and 44 percent favor, and in the Madison media market 56 percent oppose and 42 percent favor. In other regions of the state majorities support drug testing, with the Milwaukee media market outside the city favoring it 63-33, Green Bay 65‑32 and the rest of the state 56-41.

State budget
Forty-one percent of registered voters see the state budget as in better shape than a few years ago while 30 percent see it as in worse shape, with 23 percent saying about the same. In the poll taken two weeks ago, 41 percent said that the budget was in better shape than a few years ago, while 27 percent said worse shape and 25 percent said about the same. In January 2014, 49 percent said better, 20 percent said worse and 26 percent said the same shape.

Direction of the state
Among registered voters, 54 percent say that the state is headed in the right direction while 43 percent say that the state is off on the wrong track. Earlier in the month 54 percent said right direction and 42 percent said wrong track.

Among registered voters, 48 percent approve of the way Walker is handling his job as governor while 49 percent disapprove. Two weeks ago 49 percent approved and 46 percent disapproved.

Images of the candidates
Burke is viewed favorably by 36 percent of registered voters and unfavorably by 37 percent, while 26 percent say that they haven’t heard enough about her or don’t know how they feel. Two weeks ago her favorable rating was 36 percent, unfavorable was 35 percent, while 29 percent couldn’t say.

Walker is viewed favorably by 47 percent and unfavorably by 47 percent, with 6 percent not holding an opinion, compared to 49 percent favorable and 45 percent unfavorable in the previous poll, with 5 percent not holding an opinion.

Asked if “cares about people like you” describes Burke, 46 percent say it does while 38 percent say it does not and 15 percent say they don’t know. The previous poll found 48 percent saying “cares about you” described her while 34 percent said it did not and 17 percent said they didn’t know. For Walker, 44 percent say “cares about you” describes him, while 54 percent say it does not and 2 percent say they don’t know. In mid-September 47 percent said this described him while 50 percent said it did not and 3 percent lacked an opinion.

When it comes to being “able to get things done,” 40 percent say this describes Burke while 38 percent say it does not, with 21 percent saying they don’t know. Two weeks ago, 44 percent said this described her while 35 percent said it did not with 20 percent unable to say. For Walker, 62 percent say he is someone who is able to get things done while 36 percent disagree, with 2 percent unable to say. In mid‑September, 64 percent said he was someone able to get things done while 31 percent disagreed, with 5 percent unable to say.

Attorney general candidates and issues
The candidates for attorney general remain unknown to more than 8 in 10 voters. Eighty-five percent of registered voters say they haven’t heard enough of or don’t have an opinion of Brad Schimel, almost unchanged from 86 percent two weeks ago. Seventy-nine percent lack an opinion of Susan Happ, which is an increase from the 73 percent who said they didn’t have an opinion in mid-September.

Schimel is viewed favorably by 9 percent and unfavorably by 6 percent, compared to 8 percent favorable and 6 percent unfavorable two weeks ago. For Happ, 8 percent have a favorable view and 11 percent unfavorable, versus 12 percent favorable and 14 percent unfavorable in mid-September.

Registered voters continue to support an increase in the minimum wage, with 59 percent in favor and 36 percent opposed.

Sixty-one percent would like the state to accept increased federal support for expanding the Medicaid program to cover those just over the poverty line, while 27 percent say the state should reject that expansion.

About the Marquette Law School Poll
The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive independent statewide polling project in Wisconsin history. Beginning in 2012, the poll has provided highly accurate estimates of election outcomes, in addition to gauging public opinion on a variety of major policy questions.

This poll interviewed 801 registered Wisconsin voters, by both landline and cell phone, Sept. 25-28, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points for the full sample. The sample included 585 likely voters. The margin of error for likely voters is +/- 4.1 percentage points.

Clarification on margin of error in the Marquette Law School Poll

In the original version of this press release concerning the Marquette Law School Poll, the margin of error for Scott Walker’s five-percentage-point margin over Mary Burke was not clearly explained.

The margin of error for likely voters is 4.1 percentage points. The original release said “This is the first time since March a candidate has held a lead outside the margin of error among likely voters.”  While the margin is greater than the margin of error, a proper statistical test for the difference of two percentages is the difference in percentages divided by approximately twice the margin of error.

This is because the leading candidate could theoretically be as low as 4.1 points below the sample estimate while the trailing candidate could be 4.1 points above the sample estimate. Therefore, with a 4.1-percentage-point margin of error, a lead of approximately 8.2 points would be required to attain the standard .05 level of statistical significance.

These issues do not affect the statement that Walker receives 50 percent support and Burke 45 percent support among likely voters in the poll.