3rd Time Around

We Ask America  jumps back into conducting public polls this week in a handful of Midwestern states…starting with one of our favorites: Wisconsin.

Wisconsin’s political scene simply doesn’t follow conventional wisdom. The state’s electorate, which has earned a reputation of progressive and independent thought, have endured a somewhat tumultuous recent political past. Current Gov. Scott Walker (R) promised when he was first elected in 2010 to be a force to be reckoned with. That was an understatement. Supporters liked Walker’s take-no-prisoner approach to challenging public-sector unions, but his actions enflamed his detractors who came fairly close to recalling him in 2012. Walker prevailed, but continues to be a galvanizing national figure.

This time around, Walker faces Democrat Mary Burke, a former TREK bicycle executive and State Secretary of Commerce. Burke doesn’t provide the same type of easy contrast that Walker was able to use in the past against his opponents. The race has gotten increasingly nasty, with much of the clamor coming from outside political forces. Like all governors from both political parties, Walker ticks people off daily with decisions he must make as a sitting chief executive…although he seems to have mitigated his bull-in-the-china-shop ways. But Walker fell short on some lofty job-creation promises–perhaps due to factors out of his control–and he’s wearing the collar for that among other challenges he faces.

Burke isn’t getting by easy either. Since she has a record of public service, political pathologists have found plenty of things to talk about from her past stint as Commerce Secretary and she’s getting labeled as an outsourcer for sending jobs to China at TREK.

So, is Wisconsin prepared to elect Scott Walker for a third time in four years, or will Mary Burke be able to succeed where others have failed?

We asked 1,170 likely voters whether they preferred Republican Scott Walker, Democrat Mary Burke or a third-party candidate for Wisconsin governor. Here’s what they said:

Poll type: Automated - Date: 9/3/2014 - Participants: 1,170 Likely Voters - Margin of Error: ± 3%
 WALKERBURKE3RD PARTYUNDECIDED
All Voters44%48%2%6%
***BY GENDER***
Women39%54%2%5%
Men49%43%2%6%
***BY PARTY***
Republicans90%6%2%2%
Democrats5%89%2%4%
Independents44%44%3%9%

With so much talk about the effect that President Obama had on the ballot in 2012, we followed up our head-to-head question asking whether they generally approve or disapprove of the job the President is doing. It could be an important factor for those of you in the election turnout pool. Here’s what they said:

 APPROVEDISAPPROVENEUTRAL
All Voters44%48%8%
***BY GENDER***
Women48%44%8%
Men35%57%8%
***BY PARTY***
Republicans8%91%1%
Democrats80%10%10%
Independents35%54%11%

With the volatility of the Wisconsin gubernatorial campaign sure to escalate, we’ll be back in a few weeks to see where matters stand.