The most recent polling data out of the state of Wisconsin shows a contentious gubernatorial race. In fact, the race is so close that no one knows for sure at this point who’s going to win.
“This race could clearly tip either direction based on our data,” said Charles Franklin, pollster and head of the Marquette University Law School poll.
The data from that latest poll — released on Tuesday just one week out from election day — shows a tie between current Republican Gov. Scott Walker and his Democratic challenger, State Superintendent of Public Schools Tony Evers. Walker polls with 47 percent of the state backing him for a third term in office, while Evers also garners 47 percent, according to reporting from the Wisconsin State Journal.
Franklin noted that his university’s poll stands in contrast to other polling that’s out there, said polls indicating that Evers is the favorite in the race. An NBC News/Marist poll from the start of this month, for example, showed the Democrat as high as 10 points ahead of Walker.
Yet Franklin notes the closeness of this race isn’t just because of statistical models. Each candidate received “exactly the same number of respondents” choosing to support one candidate or the other, he said.
The race between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Tony Evers is locked in a dead heat less than a week before Election Day. https://t.co/9WfjpTg839— Chris Juzwik (@juz44) October 31, 2018
Three percent of respondents indicated that they preferred Libertarian Party candidate Phil Anderson. Another 1 percent of voters said that they were undecided, while 1 percent refused to answer with their preferences.
Wisconsin is a traditionally “purple” state. It’s not uncommon for voters to cross over their picks for elected office, voting for a Democrat in one race while preferring a Republican in another.
That’s evident in other data from the Marquette Law School poll. While the gubernatorial race is anyone’s guess at the moment, in the race for U.S. Senate voters have pretty much made up their mind. Current Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, leads her Republican opponent, State Sen. Leah Vukmir, by a substantial margin of 54 percent to 43 percent.
In 2016, Wisconsin voters also selected a Republican presidential candidate as its preference for the first time since Ronald Reagan, picking Trump as the winner of the state’s 10 Electoral College votes by a small margin. Trump took note of his historic win after the election, although he incorrectly stated that he was the first Republican to win the state since Dwight Eisenhower.
In fact, while the state has primarily voted for Democrats since 1988, it has selected the Republican candidate in election years 1956, 1960, 1968, 1972, 1980, and 1984.