Marquette poll: Walker still leads Burke

The Marquette University Law School’s latest poll shows Gov. Scott Walker leading challenger Mary Burke 48% to 41%. These numbers are essentially unchanged from the previous Marquette poll, which was conducted in January before both campaigns began a significant advertising push. That poll showed Walker leading by a similar margin, 47% to 41%.

Conducted March 20-23 and released today, the most recent poll was the result of interviews with 801 Wisconsin registered voters contacted through both cell phones and landlines.

The poll also showed that Walker’s approval rating has dropped 4% since January, when 51% approved of the governor’s job performance and 42% disapproved. Today, 47% approve, 47% disapprove, and 5% aren’t sure.

Based on likability, 49% of respondents view Walker favorably, while 47% have an unfavorable opinion of him.

And while more than two-thirds of voters say they’ve read or heard about the release of 27,000 emails from Walker’s office when he was Milwaukee County executive, only 43% of those who are aware of the emails said they have a less favorable view of Walker, while 53% said the emails made no difference.

Burke still faces an uphill climb. Nearly two-thirds (59%) of state respondents aren’t familiar enough with her to form an opinion, but that number is down from 70% in January. Of those who are familiar, 19% view her favorably while 22% do not. (The survey was conducted before she released her job growth plan.)

Other nuggets of information culled from the survey:

Fifty-four percent of respondents say the state is headed in the right direction, while 42% say it’s going downhill. (In January, those numbers were 54% and 40%, respectively.)

Respondents favor the $500 million tax cut enacted by the Legislature by a 55% to 34% margin.

Sixty-three percent of respondents support a minimum wage hike, while 33% oppose.

Forty-two percent are in favor of legalizing marijuana and 52% are opposed.

Forty-eight percent of respondents approve of gay marriage, while 24% favor civil unions. Another 24% believe gay couples should have no legal status. That’s down slightly from January, when 53% supported gay marriage, 24% approved of civil unions, and 19% favored no legal status.

With respect to the Affordable Care Act, 39% favor the health care law, while 50% hold an unfavorable opinion.