First, let’s look at the toplines in the Burke-Walker Governor’s race:
Marquette Likely- Walker 50.5%- Burke 44.7%
Marquette Reg.- Walker 46.4%- Burke 45.1%
Gravis- Burke 50- Walker 45%
Quite a wide disparity in itself- No poll is within 4.5% of each other. So what’s going on here? Going inside the numbers will tell the story.
Party ID (with Leaners in MU Poll)-
Marquette Likely- Republican +4.6%
Marquette Reg.- Democrat +0.4%
Gravis- Democrat +1%
Interesting- let’s check out some other demos.
Marquette Likely- 18-49 41.4%, 50-64 31.2% 65+ 27.4%
Marquette Reg.- 18-49 46.7%, 50-64 28.5%, 65+ 24.8%
Gravis 18-49 48%, 50-64 31%, 65+ 20%
Race (of those giving an answer)
Marquette Likely- White 90.5%, African-American 4.5%, Hispanic/Latino 3.0%
Marquette Reg- White 89.2%, African-American 5.8%, Hispanic/Latino 4.8%
Gravis- White 84.9%, African-American 6.5%, Hispanic/Latino 3.2%
As an interesting addition to this- UW-Madison just came out with a report today on the rapidly increasing Latino population throughout Wisconsin, so go with the Marquette registered voter model’s larger Hispanic numbers on this one.
Marquette Likely- Bachelor’s+ 37.9%, AA/Some College 32.7%, HS diploma or less 28.7%
Marquette Reg- Bachelor’s+ 32.1%, AA/Some College 32.4%, HS diploma or less 34.4%
Gravis- Bachelor’s+ 54%, AA/Some College 30%, HS diploma or less 17%
There’s a definite link between the difference in demos in this survey, and the outcome. The Marquette Law “likely voter” list has the oldest, whitest most Republican electorate, and Walker does best in that one. The Gravis sample has a younger, more racially diverse Dem electorate, and Burke is winning in that one. The registered voter one is mostly in between, with a slight edge to Walker’s electorate, and it’s basically even.
The 5% difference in party ID explains a lot of the 4.5% difference in Scott Walker's lead between the "likely" and "registered" polls from Marquette. What's interesting is if you go inside the cross-tabs of the Marquette Poll you’ll see the difference in poll sample bear out between "registered" and "likely" voters across numerous categories. I’m also going to add gender, as the responses are interestingly different, even though the percentage of respondents is mostly the same in all three polls (51-53% female)
Age 18-44 Walker 47.5-46.2 LV, Burke 47.5-40.7 RV
Age 45+ Walker 52.1-44.2 LV, Walker 50.2-43.8 RV
Male- Walker 61.9-33.9 LV (!), Walker 54.2-39.1 RV
Female- Burke 54.5-40.2 LV, Burke 50.4-39.5 RV
Bachelor’s+ Burke 48.3-44.9 LV, Burke 47.0-44.4 RV
AA/Some College- Walker 54.3-41.1 LV, Walker 50.9-41.0 RV
HS diploma or less- Walker 52.9-45.2 LV, Burke 48.1-43.9 RV
White- Walker 52.9-42.6 LV,Walker 49.9-41.9 RV
African-American- Burke 91.3-0 LV (!), 91.3-0 RV (!)
Hispanic/Latino- Walker 55.0-42.3 LV, Walker 48.4-41.0 RV(?)
Other- Burke 60.7-39.3 LV, Burke 72.4-27.6 RV
Look at the change you get from “likely” voters to “registered” voters. Walker loses support across the board except among women, and those with bachelor’s degrees or above (and he still loses both demographics). These crosstabs and differences in sample make a clear point. If the electorate in November is overwhelmingly older, white, male, and with more Republicans coming to the polls, then Scott Walker will probably win. If it’s younger, more diverse, with more women, and with Dems turning out, then Burke will likely win.
Which means TURNOUT! TURNOUT! TURNOUT! The GOPs have been cranking up their fauxtrage machine in recent weeks, and it is reflected in their advantage in the Marquette Poll’s (too tight?) likely voter screen. The Marquette Poll was taken at a relative low point in Burke’s campaign, with Dan Bice and the GOP-aganda machine pumping the “copied job plan” story. The question is, can the Dems respond in kind, and get their voters fired up to go to the polls (and what the hell are they waiting for)? With Burke’s strong ad that just came out answering that non-story, the rising anger over voter ID from Dem-leaning groups, and Walker's
With that in mind, it makes sense to me to use the “registered voters” numbers from the Marquette and Gravis polls if you want any idea where things stand, because I’d bet that’s going to be more like the group casting ballots in November than the “GOP +4.6” that was in the Likely voter Marquette poll. This seems to be anyone’s game with a month to go.