With Scott Walker running scared, we're upgrading the Wisconsin governor's race to 'tossup' status
Fresh off his dominant victory in last week's Democratic primary in Wisconsin, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers has released a new poll from PPP giving him a 49-44 lead over Republican Gov. Scott Walker. The survey, which was conducted in the two days after the primary, is very similar to PPP's prior poll for Evers, taken in May, that has him up 49-45. It's also considerably closer—but likely far more realistic—than a Marist survey last month that found Evers ahead by a giant 54-41 margin.
Republicans haven't bothered to respond with any contrary data, but Walker did try to pre-butt any Democratic polling ahead of the primary. «You could have Daffy Duck on the ballot for the Democrats,» Walker argued, «and they’ll start out with at least 48 percent of the vote.» Thing is, though, Walker's been on the ballot three times, and his Democratic opponents have won 46, 46, and 47 percent of the vote, so no one, not even Daffy Duck (D) has ever managed 48 percent against him.
Walker's been voluble in his panic this year: After Democrats won a special election on dark red turf in January, Walker tried to cancel another set of special elections—but Democrats won another one anyway. The primary should have him worried, too, since 54 percent of all ballots were cast on the Democratic side. Walker still has access to endless money, and naturally his allies have gone on the attack, viciously so. But with all signs showing the Midwest snapping back toward Democrats this cycle, Evers has a strong shot, so we're changing our rating on this race from Lean Republican to Tossup.