Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett appears headed to an easy win in the Democratic primary next week for the right to face incumbent governor Scott Walker in a recall election in June.
The latest Marquette Law School poll gives Barrett a healthy 17 point lead:
With less than a week until the primary in the historic Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election, a new Marquette Law School Poll shows Tom Barrett leading Kathleen Falk 38 percent to 21 percent, with 8 percent for Doug La Follette and 6 percent for Kathleen Vinehout. In a June general election between Barrett and Governor Scott Walker, Barrett leads by one percentage point, 47-46, among all registered voters, while Walker leads by one percentage point, 48-47, among likely voters. Both results are well within the margin of error of the poll. Walker leads former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk 49 percent to 42 percent among registered voters and 49 percent to 43 percent among likely voters.
Looking ahead to the November election, President Barack Obama leads former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney 51 percent to 42 percent, a small change from the 48-43 matchup in March just prior to Romney's win in the Wisconsin Republican primary.
The Democratic primary margin has widened since the March 22-25 Marquette Law School poll, in which Barrett held 36 percent to Falk's 29 percent with La Follette and Vinehout at 8 percent each. A significant number of Democratic primary voters are still undecided, 19 percent in the latest poll, up slightly from 17 percent in March. Undecided voters were asked which candidate they lean towards. Including those leaning voters, the primary results become Barrett at 45 percent, Falk at 23 percent, La Follette at 8 percent and Vinehout at 8 percent, with 9 percent still saying they are undecided.
Likelihood of voting makes little difference for the Democratic primary. Among likely voters Barrett has 38 percent to Falk's 20 percent with La Follette at 8 percent and Vinehout at 7 percent.
Barrett lost to Walker in the 2010 gubernatorial election.
Walker is in better shape now than he was when the recall was first announced. But with tens of millions in outside union money pouring into the state, the governor is hard pressed to keep pace. By election day in June, he will likely have been outspent by his Democratic rival, despite him tapping his own network of outside money sources.