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New MU Law poll reports Walker holds 47 percent of voters

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About 47 percent of Wisconsin voters support Republican Gov. Scott Walker while only 41 percent support the presumptive Democratic nominee Mary Burke, according to the most recent Marquette Law Poll released Monday.

The poll measured opinions of 802 registered voters statewide, with interviews conducted from Jan. 20-23. The results have a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

The poll chiefly focused on the 2014 governor’s race. Mike Gousha, distinguished fellow in law and public policy at the Marquette Law School, said he thinks college students should involve themselves in order to understand how each candidate’s views will affect them.

“I think there are certain issues that are universal, but for young folks, there are other things (like) issues that deal with student debt,” Gousha said. “(See) if candidates are talking about that. If not, it’s not a bad idea to talk to them about it.”

Burke, a member of the Madison School Board, was not well-known by 70 percent of participants, but Gousha said he sees this as common.

“I think (voters) tend to focus on elections in the months immediately prior to those elections, so I think most people are concerned about other things right now,” Gousha said. “They’ll begin to focus in, I think, after summer.”

Charles Franklin, professor of law and public policy and director of the Marquette Law School Poll, said approximately equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans were part of the 70 percent.

“She traveled the state and has done a lot of meetings in towns and cities around the state,” Franklin said. “But the (election) advertising has not yet cranked up.”

In the months leading up to the election, Franklin said he thinks students should be proactive and use their free time to research the gubernatorial candidates.

“You might look to the (law) poll to have a sense of what other people are thinking, but the far more important thing is to go read a newspaper, or listen to radio or watch television and learn something about the candidates and what the issues are,” Franklin said.

Job creation will be a major issue during the election processes, according to the poll, as well as the minimum wage. Twenty-five percent of law poll participants are in favor of keeping minimum wage at $7.25 an hour, while 23 percent expressed interest in raising it to $9 an hour.

Fifty-six percent of participants disapproved of the Affordable Care Act, while 35 percent approved of it.

The poll participants’ outlook is mostly positive. When asked what track they think Wisconsin is on, 54 percent said the right track, while 40 percent disagreed.

This is the 19th law poll Franklin conducted.

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