WI Gubernatorial Race Analysis: New Poll Puts Walker Way Up
The latest Rasmussen Reports poll finds Scott Walker leading his Democratic challenger, Mayor Tom Barrett, by nine points.
By, Deputy Policy Director, PAI.
With less than two weeks left, before the highly anticipated midterm election, on November 2, 2010, Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker holds a commanding lead over his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor, Tom Barrett.
The most recent Rasmussen Reports poll, conducted on October 13, 2010, finds that Walker has increased his lead over Barret from 8% on October 1 to 9% on October 13, 2010. This one percent increase is significant because it shows that Walker’s support is increasing in the final days of the campaign. In most races, the frontrunner’s lead often begins to dissipate in the days leading up to the general election, but the Wisconsin gubernatorial race has yet to mirror that trend.
Rasmussen Reports finds Scott Walker leading Tom Barrett, 51% to 42%, at the time of this writing. On October 1, Walker led Barrett by smaller margin—50% to 44%. Walker’s upsurge is attributed to his willingness to refrain from visceral character attacks against Barrett and his penchant for highlighting his plan for economic recovery.
Conversely, while Walker has begun embracing “feel good” campaign advertisements, Tom Barrett has remained on the attack. As a result of Walker’s willingness to remain positive and focus on his plan for economic recovery, his support among leaners and Independents has increased.
Additionally, Barrett’s combative demeanor and negative campaign advertisements have played a role in shaping the public’s perception of him. Rasmussen finds that just 47% of the electorate has a favorable opinion of Barrett, while 48% view him unfavorably. In contrast, 57% of Wisconsinites have a favorable opinion of Scott Walker, while 38% have an unfavorable opinion of him.
Rasmussen has moved this race into the “Leans Republican” category for just the second time in this lengthy and arduous election. In late September, the race was categorized as “Leans Republican” but Barrett’s late surge in early October prompted Rasmussen to once again categorize this race as a “Toss-up.” Now, with 11 days left until the general election, and Scott Walker’s margin of victory increasing, Rasmussen has once again categorized the Wisconsin gubernatorial race as Leans Republican.
Walker’s high personal approval rating, coupled with his willingness to shun negative campaign advertising in the waning days of the campaign, will propel him to victory on November 2, 2010.
The margin of error for this poll remains the same as the two previous polls, +/-4 percent. Furthermore, Rasmussen once again resorted to surveying a paltry sample of the Wisconsin electorate; 750 likely voters. For the sake of brevity the author will forgo discussing the inaccuracies of such a small sample size and the surveying of likely, rather than registered voters. Despite the small sample size used by Rasmussen their results are nearly identical to the other polls that have been conducted.
For the first time since the inauguration of the Wisconsin Gubernatorial Showcase, PAI is going to provide the voters with a breakdown of the other polls that have been conducted recently on the Wisconsin gubernatorial race.
For more information on the Wisconsin gubernatorial election, visit the Rasmussen website:
Wisconsin Gubernatorial Polls
Rasmussen, October 13, 2010 (750 LV)
Scott Walker 51%
Tom Barrett 42%
Reuters/Ipsos, October 8-10, 2010 (451 LV)
Scott Walker 52%
Tom Barrett 42%
CNN/Time, October 8-12, 2010 (931 LV)
Scott Walker 52%
Tom Barret 44%
Wisconsin Policy Research/St. Norbert College, October 12-15, 2010 (402 LV)
Scott Walker 50%
Tom Barrett 41%
Walker’s average lead, as calculated by Real Clear Politics, is +9.0. In order to find the average, one must add the sum of all the numbers and then dividing that sum by the total numbers in a given set. In so doing, the reader’s calculation will match that of Real Clear Politics, +9.0.
Key: LV=Likely voters. The number of likely voters is determined by the number of residents surveyed by the various polling agencies. A higher sample size equates to more reliable information.