PPP's newest Wisconsin poll finds a close race, with Scott Walker leading his Democratic challenger Mary Burke 48/45. Walker's 48% is exactly the same as what we had in our September poll of the state, while Burke's seen a slight uptick in her support from 42% on our previous poll.
Burke's increased support is likely a function of her name recognition increasing significantly over the last seven months. In September only 39% of voters had an opinion about her but that has spiked to 71% with voters pretty evenly split on her- 36% rate her favorably, 35% unfavorably. Burke's been able to consolidate Democratic support as she's become better known with 86% of her party base behind her now compared to 75% on the poll in the fall.
Nevertheless Walker has shown that he will be tough to beat. 50% of voters approve of him to 47% who disapprove and he has the Republican base on complete lockdown with 93% supporting him to only 4% who are for Burke. That puts Burke in a position where she would have to win independents by a good margin to overtake Walker and while she does have a narrow 46/44 advantage with them on this poll that's not enough.
Looking forward to the 2016 Senate election, Democrats at least for now are pretty well positioned to put Ron Johnson out of office after just one term. Johnson has only a 34% approval rating to 36% of voters who disapprove of him, and even after more than 3 years in the Senate 30% don't know enough about him to have formed an opinion.
Russ Feingold would lead Johnson 47/41 in a hypothetical rematch of their 2010 contest, including a double digit lead with independents at 47/34. Despite his loss last time around, Feingold remains largely popular in the state with 46% of voters rating him favorably to 36% who have an unfavorable opinion. Johnson would hold a 41/39 lead in a potential contest with Ron Kind but the undecideds skew strongly Democratic, likely owing to Kind currently having only 38% statewide name recognition.
-Democrats have a slight edge on the generic legislative ballot at 45/41, including a 40/28 advantage with independents. Those numbers show that Walker is receiving some support from folks who are otherwise inclined toward voting Democratic this fall.
-Wisconsin voters are closely divided on Tammy Baldwin's job performance with 42% approving of her to 41% who disapprove. It's interesting to note 13% more voters have an opinion about her than Johnson even though he's been in the Senate 2 years longer.
Full results here