It’ a barn burner. With less than two weeks to go before midterm elections, Wisconsin’s electoral environment continues to be firmly split down the middle. Polling indicates there are very few “ticket splitters” in either Democrat or GOP camps, with the most polarizing election of all being the gubernatorial race.
There are very few people in Wisconsin without an opinion regarding current governor Scott Walker. This election’s major theme centers around the question: “Is Wisconsin on the right track, or is it time for a change of direction?” Walker and his opponent Mary Burke are currently locked in a dead tie, each with 47% of the vote, according to a Marquette University Law School poll. This is an interesting result because the “right track” number, Wisconsinites who feel Wisconsin is moving in the right direction, hovers near 54%. Generally, an incumbent Governor’s percentage of the final vote synchs up with the “right track” number. So who will win in the end? It all depends on turnout. If turnout resembles a typical Wisconsin mid-term election, Walker will win. Early voting appears to indicate that turnout is slightly lower than the last recall election. If voter turnout expands to look more like a Presidential election, Mary Burke will most likely win, considering Wisconsin has voted Democrat in the past two Presidential elections However, it is worth noting that Wisconsin voted for President Barack Obama, whose national approval rating is currently ranked at 35% favorable and 65% unfavorable. Obama’s current reputation might affect Democratic races nation-wide, at all levels of government, and in Wisconsin.
Much like Wisconsin’s gubernatorial race, the race for Attorney General is also tied up, according to the same Marquette University Law School Poll. Brad Schimel and Susan Happ both have 42% of the vote, with 16% of voters saying they are “undecided”. Because this race has been run on “law and order” issues and comparisons of prosecutorial records, it appears Schimel has the edge.
The legislature will remain in Republican hands. The state senate will likely come back with a 19-14 majority. It is possible the state assembly may add to its’ current majority.