The challengers in both the guv and U.S. Senate fields are largely unknown two months before the primary, according to the latest Marquette University Law School Poll.
The survey, the second of the year conducted by pollster Charles Franklin, found in both races, around one-third of respondents remain undecided in both primaries, while large majorities of registered voters say they don’t know enough or have no opinion of the candidates.
Among the Dem guv candidates, State Superintendent Tony Evers remains the frontrunner with 25 percent of respondents saying they have a favorable opinion of him. Sixty-one percent didn’t know enough about him or had no opinion.
Support for the other candidates didn’t break 10 percent. Milwaukee attorney Matt Flynn, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and activist Mike McCabe were all at 7 percent. State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, of Alma, had 5 percent. No other Dems beat 5 percent.
The poll also pitted each candidate against Gov. Scott Walker. Just two candidates — Evers and former state Rep. Kelda Roys — were matched up against the full sample of respondents. Evers, Franklin says, was picked because he finished first in the last poll in March, while Roys was selected because she finished first in the WisPolitics.com straw poll at the state Dem Party convention. The other Dem matchups were asked of half the sample.
Overall, Walker’s support ranges from 44 to 49 percent, while Dems’ range from 36 to 44 percent when going head-to-head. In Walker’s matchup with Evers, Walker earned 48 percent to Evers’ 44 percent, the highest total among all Dem guv candidates. Roys had 40 percent to Walker’s 48 percent.
McCabe, meanwhile, had the closest margin at 2 percentage points: 42 percent to Walker’s 44 percent.
In the Republican U.S. Senate field, 37 percent of respondents support former Marine Kevin Nicholson while 32 percent back state Sen. Leah Vukmir. Thirty percent don’t know, 1 percent didn’t answer and 1 percent backed someone else.
The results, Franklin said, shows the Dem and GOP state conventions didn’t seem to boost either Roys or Vukmir, who won the state GOP endorsement in the U.S. Senate race.
In a head-to-head matchup with U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, the Madison Dem logged 50 percent to Nicholson’s 39 percent, with 7 percent undecided and 4 percent who chose neither.
Against Vukmir, Baldwin got 49 percent of the vote to the Brookfield Republican’s 40 percent, while 8 percent were undecided and 4 percent selected neither.
The primary is Aug. 14.
The survey of 800 registered voters was conducted from June 13-17 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. The poll used live interviewers, who conducted 60 percent of the surveys via cell phones.
See more of the results: