MU Law School Poll: Gov. Walker leads Barrett, 52%-45%

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MILWAUKEE -- A new Marquette University Law School poll of likely voters shows Gov. Scott Walker's lead over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is 52% to 45%. The poll has a margin of error of four points, and was released Wednesday, May 30th -- with less than a week to go until the June 5th recall election.

Marquette officials say the seven-point difference between Gov. Walker and Barrett is statistically unchanged from the six-point difference two weeks ago.

This latest Marquette University Law School poll was taken May 23rd through 26th. Most of the polling was done before last Friday's gubernatorial debate.

Among Lt. Governor candidates, incumbent Republican Rebecca Kleefisch holds a 46% to 41% lead over Democratic challenger Mahlon Mitchell.

The poll also shows perceptions on Wisconsin jobs have shifted to more people thinking we’ve gained jobs, compared to the results two weeks ago. 50% of voters say Gov. Walker would be better at creating jobs; 43% say Barrett would do a better job.

The Marquette University Law School poll tested sentiments on a variety of issues. Voters favor both increased taxes on wealthy and limits on state spending. 75% favor increases in employees paying a share of the cost for health and retirement; 25% oppose the idea. 29% favor cuts in education while 67% oppose cuts.

When asked whether they were "absolutely certain" they would vote on June 5th, 92% of Republicans said yes -- 77% of Democrats said yes.

Wednesday, Barrett released the following statement in response to this latest poll: "Over the past five days, a series of polls have been released to the public on the campaign for Wisconsin governor. Most of them show the race either tied or separated by just a couple of points. This includes a poll released today that shows the race in a dead heat, 49%-49%. Only the MU poll is an outlier. The MU poll predicts the electorate to resemble 2010, which is reflected by its undersampling of younger voters, and an oversampling of some of the reddest counties in the state. Yet given the high enthusiasm on both sides, not just on one as was the case in 2010, this expectation is not credible. Quite simply, the results reported today by MU do not sufficiently record surging Democratic enthusiasm. This race will be close, and Tom Barrett will win on June 5th because he will put Wisconsin first, truly focus on jobs, and restore trust and integrity to the governor’s office."

In Appleton Wednesday, Gov. Walker said: "People have asked me about the polls. The only poll that matters is the one taken next Tuesday June Fifth. For us, for anybody who cares that making sure the power at the state and the local level is firmly in the hands of the taxpayers and not in the hands of limited special interest, we need to get out and vote," Gov. Walker said.

On the presidential front, 51% of likely voters they favor President Obama in the November election. 43% say they favor Republican Mitt Romney. Two weeks ago, it was a dead heat.

The Marquette University Law School poll was expected to provide a comprehensive, independent survey of voter attitudes in Wisconsin. It is the largest independent polling project in state history.

Marquette Law School Poll Director Charles Franklin says other internal polls show closer results. Democrats released a poll they commissioned with a company called "Lake Research Partners" showing a 49% to 49% split between Barrett and Walker - a dead heat.

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