UPDATE: Burke, Walker remain in dead heat in Governor's race - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Burke, Walker remain in dead heat in Governor's race

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MADISON (WKOW) -- For the first time in his reelection bid, Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) finds himself trailing in a poll to challenger Mary Burke (D).

The Marquette University Law School poll conducted from July 17-20 shows Burke with a 47-46 percent lead over Gov. Walker among 549 likely voters polled statewide.  Walker holds a 46-45 percent lead over Burke among a larger sample of 804 registered voters.

Supporters greeted the Governor with a round of applause at a Republican Party of Wisconsin campaign field office in Madison on Wednesday afternoon, moments before he found out the race has tightened up even more.
Still, Gov. Walker remains optimistic.

"We believe though the grassroots will make the difference," said Gov. Walker.  "That people going door to door, making contacts with their neighbors will ultimately be the factor in this election and we think there's a clear choice."

Mary Burke was not public during the day, but her campaign spokesperson said the poll clearly shows voters are leaning in a new direction.

"They're responding to Mary's plan to create jobs and grow the economy, which is based on her experience in the private sector, so it's a very exciting day here," said Joe Zepecki, Burke's campaign spokesperson.

Zepecki said he also believes voters don't like the way Governor Walker is attacking Burke for her relationship to Trek Bicycle, the family business where she worked as an executive.

"That's what career politicians do when they don't have a record to run on is they attack and try to mislead voters.  I think what today's results show is that voters are seeing through that," said Zepecki. 

But the Governor says he's only trying to make sure voters know the full story when it comes to Burke's association to Trek.

"She didn't just work there.  This is a company that ultimately took taxpayers money at the state level, which she personally profits from, that sent jobs overseas to places like China, where the average hourly wage is less than two dollars per hour," said Gov. Walker. 

On Wednesday, 27 News reported Gov. Walker's most recent campaign finance report shows he took in $68,500 dollars in donations from American corporations that have outsourced jobs overseas.

When asked about that on Thursday, the Governor said he never claimed to have a problem with outsourcing in general, only Burke's hypocrisy on the issue.

"Two weeks ago, before any of my ads, before any of my arguments came out, you all reported it," said Gov. Walker, referring to a story 27 News broke on July 9 about two companies receiving tax credits from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and later outsourcing Wisconsin jobs.  "The Burke campaign came out and attacked two companies.  The premise of their argument was there were companies taking taxpayers money and then sending jobs overseas.  To me, I think the voters have every right to question the hypocrisy of the campaign that says that, even while they know Mary Burke - their very own candidate - personally benefits from a company that has repeatedly done that."

Zepecki dismissed that argument.

"I don't know what the Governor's talking about there.  Mary's very proud of her track record of success, helping to grow Trek into a great Wisconsin company with nearly a thousand jobs right here.  She has been talking about her experience at Trek, because that experience is going to translate into jobs for Wisconsin when she's Governor," said Zepecki.


MADISON (AP) -- The latest Marquette University Law School poll shows Gov. Scott Walker in a dead heat with Democratic challenger Mary Burke.

The poll released Wednesday showed Walker with 46 percent among registered voters, compared with 45 percent for Burke. That is within the poll's 3.5 percent margin of error.

Among likely voters, Burke leads 46 percent to 45 percent. But that is also within that question's 4.3 percentage point error margin.

The poll shows Burke is gaining ground with the coveted independent voters. In May, Walker led independents 49 percent to 40 percent. This month his lead shrank to just 45 percent to 44 percent.

The latest poll of 804 registered voters was done between July 17 and Sunday.
  • Which candidate would you like to see win Wisconsin's race for governor?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    (D) Mary Burke
    360 votes
    (D) Brett Hulsey
    22 votes
    (R) Scott Walker
    190 votes
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