Democratic prospects for recalling Scott Walker are looking like even money right now, an improvement for the party since PPP's last poll in October when Walker led most of his potential opponents.
Walker continues to be unpopular with only 47% of voters approving of him to 52% who disapprove. Pretty much all Republicans approve of him and pretty much all Democrats disapprove, but what turns the scales against him is that he's at just 43/55 with independents.
Walker trails both of his most likely opponents in the recall election by narrow margins. Tom Barrett would lead 49-46 in a rematch of their 2010 contest, and Kathleen Falk has a 48-47 advantage. These numbers represent positive movement for both Barrett and Falk who trailed by 2 and 8 points respectively on PPP's last poll of the race.
There is one potential Democratic candidate who would have a sizeable lead if he changed his mind about running in the recall election, and that's Russ Feingold. Feingold would start out with a 52-45 advantage over Walker, including a 57-39 lead with independents. His 2010 loss seems to have softened feelings toward Feingold in Wisconsin. He now has a 55% favorability rating, with only 36% of voters seeing him negatively. That's better than his numbers ever were last cycle.
We tested 5 other Democrats against Walker and found close races involving all of them. Ron Kind would lead by a point at 46-45. Doug LaFollette would trail by a point at 46-45. David Obey and Kathleen Vinehout would each have 2 point deficits at 47-45 and 46-44. And Jon Erpenbach would trail by 3 at 47-44.
We looked at a couple different variations of the Democratic primary. We didn't test Feingold in either because it seems pretty safe to say that if he decided to run he would coast to the nomination. If Tom Barrett ran he would be the strong front runner, pulling 45% to 18% for Kathleen Falk, 14% for Doug LaFollette, and 6% for Kathleen Vinehout. If he stayed out of the race Falk would be the leader among the most likely candidates, at 41% to 23% for LaFollette, and 13% for Vinehout.
Recalling Scott Walker is still not going to be easy for Democrats. Based on what we saw last summer I'd say that a tie in the polls probably ultimately means a win for the incumbent. But Barrett and Falk's chances are at least looking better than they did four months ago...and if Feingold could be coaxed to change his mind he'd be the clear favorite.
Full results here