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Poll: Democrats unsure who to support for governor

Almost half (44 percent) of Democrats are undecided about who to support for governor in the August primary.

Almost half, 44 percent, of Democratic voters aren’t sure who they will support in this summer’s gubernatorial primary, according to the latest Marquette Law School Poll.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers received the most support, 18 percent, among the top nine Democrats who were mentioned in the poll, but two-thirds of registered voters said they hadn’t heard or didn’t know enough about him to form an opinion.

Poll director Charles Franklin emphasized there’s still a lot of time between now and the Aug. 14 primary.

“We don’t know how these races are going to come in when folks don’t know who these people are,” Franklin said.

The other candidates named in the poll were:

  • Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, 9 percent
  • Former Democratic Party of Wisconsin chairman Matt Flynn, 7 percent
  • Former Wisconsin Democracy Campaign executive director Mike McCabe, 6 percent
  • Sen. Kathleen Vinehout of Alma, 5 percent
  • Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin President Mahlon Mitchell, 4 percent
  • Rep. Dana Wachs, 4 percent
  • Milwaukee businessman Andy Gronik, 3 percent
  • Former Rep. Kelda Roys, 0.3 percent

Evers is the only candidate who has won statewide office, having been elected head of the Department of Public Instruction three times since 2009, and he also raised the most in individual donations last year.

Soglin, whose multiple stints as mayor date back to the 1970s, joined the race in January and didn’t report any fundraising numbers for last year.

Mitchell ran for lieutenant governor during the 2012 recall election and raised the most including support from unions. Wachs and Gronik raised the most last year including personal loans.

Flynn, who led the party in the early 1980s and has unsuccessfully run three times for Congress, reported having the most cash on hand at the end of last year.

A significant percentage of respondents didn’t know enough about those candidates to form an opinion.

The poll included 318 registered Democratic voters with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 7.1 percentage points. Among all 800 registered voters who were asked about the candidates, there was a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.5 percentage points.

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