Political ads create confusion for voters - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Political ads create confusion for voters


Eau Claire (WQOW) - The campaign for governor comes to Eau Claire. Democratic candidate Mary Burke made a stop here Thursday morning, and once again she focused on jobs. You've probably seen the battling television ads from Burke and Governor Walker, each paints a different picture of where Wisconsin is headed.

No matter which side you're on, political ads often contradict each other. So how can Wisconsin be both the worst in the Midwest in job growth and the third best?

"The answer is that you're talking about two different numbers in terms of job growth. Walker's numbers are based on a survey done by the census, and Burke's numbers are based on a survey done by the Bureau of Labor statistics," said Geoff Peterson, UW-Eau Claire Political Science Professor.

"The survey that Walker is citing contacts about 3.5 to 4 percent of the businesses in the state on a monthly basis to ask them about employment numbers. Burke's survey contacts a much larger pool of businesses, but does it on a quarterly basis rather than on a monthly basis," added Peterson.

Burke was in Eau Claire Thursday talking to members of the Chamber of Commerce. Later she talked about the differences in the ads.

"Well they aren't the same set of numbers at all, and in fact the numbers in terms of being dead last in the Midwest are based on 96% of employers reporting. It takes the time period in which Governor Walker has been governor. And the numbers that he is using are cherry picking," said Mary Burke, Democratic candidate for Governor.

"If you talk to economists and political scientists who track this, I think the numbers that Burke is citing are the ones that are generally considered to be the gold standard for generating unemployment numbers. And they are in fact numbers that Governor Walker used in the past if you look back at the recall election," Peterson said.

One thing is certain: we have not heard the last on this issue, as both sides battle for your vote.

We did reach out to Scott Walker's campaign for a response. They sent us a letter which reads in part:

“While Mary Burke belittles the Wisconsin comeback, governor walker remains focused on creating greater opportunity and prosperity for every Wisconsinite. The governor's policies have aided in the creation of more than 100,000 new jobs and the lowest unemployment rate since 2008, which has made Wisconsin 3rd in the Midwest for private sector job creation.”

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