In its first poll for the 2014 governor’s race in Wisconsin, Rasmussen Reports found that Republican Gov. Scott Walker is tied with Democratic challenger Mary Burke.
Rasmussen reported that Walker and Burke, a Madison School Board member and former executive at Waterloo-based Trek Bicycle, each earned 45 percent support in its poll of 500 likely Wisconsin voters.
The latest poll indicates the race may have tightened since more than 28,000 pages of documents and emails related to a now-closed secret John Doe investigation into Walker’s former aides and associates were released by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.
The Rasmussen poll found that while Walker and Burke are in a dead heat, 5 percent of the respondents said they would like some other candidate in the race and another 5 percent were undecided.
Rasmussen Reports, which is operated by conservative Scott Rasmussen, is often criticized by Democrats and liberal activists who say its results favor Republicans. Field work for the poll was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research LLC.
A January poll by Marquette University Law School and pollster Charles Franklin had penned Walker with a 47 to 41 advantage over Burke. Franklin’s poll interviewed 802 Wisconsin registered voters, but it was taken before the release of the court documents.
The tightened Rasmussen poll will certainly be a harbinger of what’s to come next: troves of dollars from national special interests on both sides attempting to win the contested race.