Tom Barrett, the Milwaukee mayor challenging Gov. Scott Walker in the Wisconsin recall election, appears to have some new hope in a Public Policy Polling survey released just after midnight on Monday. Barrett’s down just three points, up from a five-point deficit in the last PPP poll and a seven-point deficit in a Marquette Law School poll released last week. (Just a guess, but the Wisconsin Democratic Party probably won’t hold a press call to dispute these results.)
Photo: Public Policy Polling
Moreover, PPP finds that there’s even more reason for optimism for Barrett’s camp, which is riding a bit of momentum off President Bill Clinton’s rally in support of the mayor last Friday.
For one, Barrett is winning among Independent voters at a 48 to 46 per cent clip. (Worth noting that in the Marquette poll, Walker trounced Barrett among indies, 45 to 31.) Another is that PPP, which leans left, actually oversampled Republicans and conservatives in this poll.
The real electorate that shows up at the polls probably won’t be 40 per cent conservative and 26 per cent liberal, which is what PPP sampled. So PPP’s Tom Jensen surmises that if the same electorate that showed up to vote in the 2008 presidential election makes its way to the polls this time around, Barrett would actually win, 50 to 49.
Still, Scott Walker’s Intrade odds of winning the recall election stand at a rock solid 93 per cent today. That’s even up 2 per cent. Why? As Jensen writes of Barrett, “The reason he continues to trail overall is that Republicans are more excited about voting in Tuesday’s election than Democrats are.”
So Democrats, after the union effort that led to a million-plus signatures to recall Walker, are actually less fired up than Republicans who want him to stay in office.
Also, there’s the fact that Barrett hasn’t really gained since the last PPP poll. Here are the topline results from the May 15 PPP poll, which the polling agency did for the Daily Kos:
Photo: Public Policy Polling
Yes, there’s another candidate in that poll. This time, PPP just decided to drop the independent Hari Trivedi altogether. And that’s significant. The Daily Kos offered a take back with their poll on how Trivedi could significantly affect the race — by taking away votes from Barrett.
Very few voters are supporting independent Hari Trivedi, but among those who are, their second choice is overwhelmingly Barrett, suggesting that Trivedi is pulling votes away from the Democrat. In a tight race, that could be a difference-maker.
So, despite the fact that PPP says Barrett’s upset chances “look better than they have in a long time,” nothing has really changed in the last two weeks. And there have been a flurry of other polls in that same time span that give Walker an average 6.4-point lead heading into the election tomorrow.
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