Nearly 40 percent of Democratic voters remain undecided in their party's primary race for governor, according to a new Marquette University Law School poll.
Since the last Marquette poll was released about a month ago, the field has tightened from 10 candidates to eight, all of whom appeared onstage together in a televised debate last week. Candidates also submitted their fundraising reports for the first half of the year on Monday.
Thirty-eight percent of Democratic voters still haven't decided who to support in the Aug. 14 primary election, according to the poll, conducted July 11-15.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers continues to lead the Democratic field, with 31 percent of primary voters backing him. Evers is also still the most well-known candidate, but 60 percent of registered voters don't know enough about him to have an opinion.
No other Democratic candidate has topped 10 percent in the Marquette poll. Tied at 6 percent each are state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma, and Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin President Mahlon Mitchell.
Milwaukee attorney Matt Flynn is supposed by 5 percent of Democratic voters, followed by Madison Mayor Paul Soglin at 4 percent. Former state Rep. Kelda Roys, D-Madison, and political activist Mike McCabe, each garnered 3 percent. Corporate attorney and political newcomer Josh Pade netted 0 percent.
Evers' lead was the only measure that outpaced other candidates beyond the margin of error, which was 6.6 percent for questions about the Democratic primary field.
Shortly after the poll results were released, Flynn's campaign announced that it plans to launch the first television ad of the Democratic primary this week. It frames Flynn as the only military veteran in the race and the only candidate "taking a stand to stop the Foxconn deal."
Campaign manager Bryan Kennedy said the ad will air in four Wisconsin markets starting Friday.
Among voters surveyed in the Marquette poll, 46 percent don't believe the state's Foxconn deal will be worth the cost, while 39 percent think it will at least be worth what the state is investing.
Of the eight candidates, Roys had the most cash on hand according to her campaign finance report, filed with the state on Monday, with $667,762 in the bank. Flynn had $403,463 in the bank, and Mitchell had $368,065. Evers had $307,112 in his coffers. All of the top four fundraising candidates have loaned themselves at least $100,000 except for Mitchell, who has received a significant portion of his funding from union political action committees.
Trailing behind in fundraising were McCabe, who had $68,228 on hand; Soglin who had $57,800; Vinehout, who had $21,338; and Pade, who had negative $23,075.
The July poll did not include any head-to-head matchups with Democratic candidates against Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who is seeking a third term in November. Last month, Walker led within the margin of error against every Democratic candidate.
Among registered voters, 47 percent approve of Walker's job performance, while 45 disapprove.