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A New Poll Soothes Republican Nerves in Wisconsin

Why Scott Walker's base worries so much about voter fraud–and will worry less today.
MUNICIPAL DEBT
Photograph by Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

The panic over Governor Scott Walker's re-election odds began with one poll. In mid-October, the rarely wrong Marquette Law School survey found Walker tied with Democratic challenger Mary Burke, whom some Republicans had considered mortally wounded by a scandal over a jobs plan riddled with self-plagiarism by a consultant. This kicked off a cycle of Walker panic, of feuding with a Republican Governors Association that he wanted more ad money from, and of Democrats from Bill Clinton to Barack Obama hitting the state to campaign for Burke.

Today's Marquette poll, the final one before the election, finds Walker up 1 among registered voters but up 7–his best lead since spring–among likely voters. The big lead has everything to do with the expected electorate, which resembles the 2010 pool more than the 2012 pool that gave the president and Senator Tammy Baldwin easy wins.