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In all his years of opinion polling, Scott Rasmussen has never seen an election so polarising.”The intensity of the opinion is unbelievable,” Rasmussen said in a phone interview Thursday.
Such is the case in the Wisconsin recall election of Gov. Scott Walker, which has ramped up in the past week. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett entered the race last week — he was Walker’s opponent that narrowly lost to him in the 2010 election. He joins three other Democratic candidates.
The key top line numbers here: If the special election were held today, 52 per cent of Wisconsin voters surveyed would not vote for Walker. But almost as shocking are the polarising views that Wisconsin voters have of Walker. An astounding 88 per cent of voters have a strong opinion of him, one way or another. Specifically, 46 per cent strongly disapprove and 42 per cent strongly approve.
“We sometimes have people who are very unpopular and build up very strong negatives,” Rasmussen said. “We sometimes have governors who are very well liked. But to have basically nine out of 10 voters in the state have a strong opinion one way or the other for the governor is just amazing.”
A key note regarding the first metric. Rasmussen did not account for the four specific Democratic candidates in the race. Barrett and former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk have been billed as the two front runners. State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout and Secretary of State Doug La Follette also have announced their intention to run.
But typically, matching up against specific candidates would alter the results a bit. For example, President Barack Obama polls better against the individual GOP candidates than he does against a theoretical, general Republican challenger.
One thing is for sure: The next two months (the recall election is expected to come on June 8) are going to come down to the wire.
“It’s going to be a close election. There’s going to be a lot of intensity on it,” Rasmussen said.
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