Scott Walker leads in new Wisconsin recall poll

at 09:04 PM ET, 04/16/2012

A new automated survey from a Democratic polling firm finds that Gov. Scott Walker (R) has a narrow lead over both of his likely rivals in Wisconsin’s June recall election.

According to Public Policy Polling, Walker leads Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) 50 percent to 45 percent and former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk (D) 50 percent to 43 percent.

That’s a shift in PPP polling from February, when Barrett had a slim lead over Walker while Falk tied the incumbent.

Pollster Tom Jensen explained that it was the organization’s first to use a likely voter screen for this race.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker greets supporters after the first of six campaign stops across the state Tuesday, April 10, 2012, in Dane, Wis. (Scott Bauer - AP)

“We found with almost all of the recall elections last summer that the electorate just wasn't as Democratic as 2008,” he said. Moreover, “[I]ndependents have flipped from our last poll, from supporting Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett by 12 to going for Walker by three.”

Only three percent of the 1136 likely voters surveyed were undecided.

Wisconsin Democratic Party spokesman Graeme Zielinski suggested Walker’s head start in television advertising was a factor but that “after $12 million in advertising ... he remains at a number dangerous to incumbents.”

The poll was taken from April 13 to 15; the margin of error is 2.9 percent. Robopolls cannot capture cell-phone only voters; 25 percent of Wisconsin adults lived in cell phone-only households as of early 2010. 

Every recall election survey shows a race that is very close and — despite the low number of undecideds — volatile.

A recent Marist poll found a generic Democrat with a very slim lead over Walker. A Marquette Law survey in mid-March found Walker with a slim lead over Barrett and Falk.

 
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