One week after celebrating a landslide victory over Kathleen Falk in the Democratic gubernatorial recall primary, Tom Barrett faces a painful reality: Polls show he trails Gov. Scott Walker by almost the same margin that separated him from Walker in the November 2010 governor's race.
The latest Marquette University Law School poll, conducted by visiting professor Charles Franklin and released Wednesday, shows Walker ahead of Barrett 50 percent to 44 percent, with only 3 percent undecided.
The Marquette poll is by no means an anomaly. It is consistent with a poll released Tuesday by Public Policy Polling -- a Democratic firm -- that showed Walker up 50 percent to 45 percent. In fact, a PPP poll from mid-April, which also pitted Barrett against Walker, yielded the exact same results.
Similarly, Rasmussen Reports, a conservative-leaning pollster, came out with a poll last week that showed Walker leading by five points.
Thirty-seven percent of those polled disapprove of Walker’s policies, while 22 percent approve of his policies but do not favor the way in which he implemented them. However, of these 59 percent of voters who apparently have some problem with the governor, a number of them believe the recall election against him is not justified.
The few undecided voters left will be the target of tens of millions of dollars of political spending in the next three weeks, by the candidates and independent political groups. However, the key strategy for both campaigns will likely rest on getting out the base.