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Marquette University Poll: Scott Walker 46%, Mary Burke 47%

2:49 PM, Jul 23, 2014 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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A new poll from Marquette University shows Wisconsin governor Scott Walker locked in a tight race with Democrat Mary Burke, a former state Secretary of Commerce and member of the Madison school board. Among registered voters, Walker leads Burke 46 percent to 45 percent, with 8 percent undecided and 1 percent preferring another candidate. But among likely voters, Burke leads Walker 47 percent to 46 percent. 

The last Marquette poll, conducted in May, showed Walker leading Burke 48 percent to 45 percent. Walker was recently subjected to a round of negative reports in the news media regarding a campaign finance investigation that was shut down by two different judges because the investigation lacked merit. But the new poll does not indicate that that's an issue hurting Walker, as a solid majority of voters say the investigation is "just more politics" rather than "really something serious":

In the wake of the release of court documents concerning an investigation by prosecutors into possible campaign finance law violations, known as a “John Doe” proceeding, 75 percent of voters say they have heard or read about the investigation while 24 percent say they have not. Of those who have heard, 54 percent say it is “just more politics” while 42 percent say it is “really something serious.” In October 2012, 76 percent had heard of a “John Doe” investigation at that time, with 46 percent saying it was “just more politics” and 45 percent saying it was “really something serious.”

One bright spot for the Walker campaign is that his Democratic opponent remains largely unknown: "Burke still remains unfamiliar to nearly half of Wisconsin voters, as 49 percent say they either haven’t heard enough about her or don’t know if they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of her. In May, the number was 51 percent." That means Walker and his allies still have time to define Burke when the TV ad war really picks up this fall.

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