Marquette Law Poll: Race for Wisconsin governor remains a toss-up

The voting has begun in Wisconsin but the governor's race remains a toss-up. A new Marquette Law School poll shows the lead has changed once again.

In August - right after Democrat Tony Evers won the crowded primary - he was dead even with Republican Scott Walker at 46 percent.

In September, Evers jumped five-point point lead 49 percent to 44 percent.

Now, Walker is up by one point 47 percent-46 percent among likely voters but it's still a statistical toss up.

"It's the classic low ceiling high floor support for Walker," said Professor Charles Franklin with the Marquette Law School Poll. "With very high partisan attachment for or against him and that leads to the voters who are most likely to be effected by the campaign or change their minds, the independents.

There was a huge swing with independents. Walker went from down 20 points last month - to down only six points this month.

Did the divisive partisan battle over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh motivate voters?

"The evidence is mostly of higher polarization," said Franklin. "Republicans mostly moved toward Kavanaugh and Democrats mostly moved against but most of that movement was people coming out of being undecided to being for or against him based on their partisanship."

Democrat Tammy Baldwin holds onto a double digit lead over Republican Leah Vukmir 53 percent to 43 percent.

The poll was done before the two candidates clashed in the TODAY'S TMJ4 debate Monday night. A hot topic in the race and debate is pre existing health conditions.

78 percent of voters say requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions is very important to them.

"I think it is very clear why Democrats, in particular, are talking about pre existing conditions and saying that coverage is threatened, " said Franklin, "and why Republicans are very much on the defensive about it insisting that no matter what happens to ACA - they will do something to protect this."

The latest MU Poll numbers shows why gas taxes and school funding are two big issues in the governor's race.

61 percent of voters polled say they do not support a fee increase to make roads better, while 32 percent say they support an increase.

"It's clear that if the question should we spend more on schools, the answer is yes and that probably favors Evers," said Franklin. "But should we raise gasoline taxes - the answer is a solid no and that is something the Walker campaign has seized on."

The poll also shows Democrats continue to be more enthusiastic about this year's election.

"The thing that we see with enthusiasm is Democrats have generally had an advantage all year," said Franklin, "though the size of the enthusiasm advantage has varied. Right now it's about a seven point advantage which is a decent advantage."

Marquette University Law School says there will be one final poll released before the Nov. 6 election.

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