PPP Poll: Walker: 50, Barrett: 47

Daniel Doherty

6/4/2012 12:06:00 PM - Daniel Doherty

The PPP pollsters assert that the race between Scott Walker and Tom Barett is “tightening,” but is that necessarily the case?

PPP's final poll on the Wisconsin recall finds Scott Walker ahead, but also a race that's tightening. Walker leads Tom Barrett 50-47. That's down from 50-45 on a PPP poll conducted three weeks ago and it's also down from a 52-45 lead that Walker posted in a Marquette Law poll released last week.

Barrett is actually winning independent voters by a 48-46 margin. The reason he continues to trail overall is that Republicans are more excited about voting in Tuesday's election than Democrats are.

Ed Morrissey takes issue with PPP’s faulty analysis:

PPP compares itself to Marquette as a way to argue for a changing electorate too, but that’s a false comparison. One can make comparisons within a survey series for that kind of argument, as PPP also does when noting the change from the 50/45 from three weeks ago in its own polls, but a comparison against another pollster as a series is invalid. It’s worth pointing out, too, that even within the PPP series, a chance from 50/45 to 50/47 is statistical noise, well within the margin of error. It’s basically no change at all.

It’s also worth mentioning that the latest PPP poll omits a third recall candidate – Independent Hari Triveda – who was included in the Daily KOS/Public Policy Polling survey conducted last May. In short, since Barrett is reportedly winning independent voters, this convenient omission is perhaps one reason why Scott Walker appears to be losing steam. Even so, as PPP notes, Walker has a solid 51/47 approval rating and is steadily gaining support among three important demographics: men (52-42), whites (52-46), and seniors (58-39). Voters in the Milwaukee suburbs, too, prefer Scott Walker by a (72-29) margin. This is good news.

On the other hand, given the fact election officials estimate at least 2.6 million people will participate in the recall process (or in other words 500,000 more ballots will be cast on Tuesday than during the November 2010 election), it’s impossible to predict with certainty the outcome. Fortunately, however, according to Americans For Prosperity (AFP) President Tim Phillips, who spent last week in Wisconsin building support at the grassroots level for Team Walker, voters are growing increasingly receptive to the governor’s reforms.

As I've traveled across Wisconsin, I've found that the vendetta from the government unions is no longer wearing well. Instead, Wisconsinites are considering whether or not the budget reforms passed by Governor Walker are making their lives better. And, we're finding that the answer is a steady "yes" from Milwaukee to Wausau to La Crosse and all over the state.

It's easy to see why - Walker's reforms have wiped out a $3.6 billion budget deficit while actually creating a $154 million surplus. By government workers contributing a small amount to their benefits – just like in the private industry - millions of taxpayer dollars have been saved in every city across the state.

Moreover, for the first time in 12 years, local property taxes have gone down for families and businesses. In fact, every Wisconsin citizen can now go to ISaveWithAct10.com and see just how much money they’ve saved. I proudly thank the Dane County Tea Party for the hard work they’ve done to create this, right in the belly of the beast in Madison.

Most important – and inconvenient for the Left - has been the recent news that Governor Walker's reforms have helped create an atmosphere where over 23,000 private sector jobs have been created. All these success are due to the leadership in Wisconsin because truly, without these reforms, Wisconsin would be drowning in debt, unemployment, high taxes, and low educational standards.

As we’ve argued many times, the outcome of the Wisconsin recall election will reverberate throughout the nation. That being the case, we’ll have full election coverage starting tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Update: A WeAskAmerica poll dropped today showing Scott Walker leading Tom Barrett by 12 percentage points. That said, it’s important to take these numbers with a grain of salt.

Those surprising results would project at a 56-44 final win for Walker. HOWEVER, while Walker continues to lead Barrett, we once again caution readers that this is an extremely difficult election to predict. Turnout is king in all elections, and it may be even more important in this one. Wisconsin’s labor movement is keen to get as many of the anti-Walker voters to the polls as possible and have displayed the ability to rally their troops effectively. And Wisconsin regulations allow Election Day voter registration with a minimum of residency documentation–something that has both sides whispering of potential abuse from their opponents.