October 28, 2014


$16 million in ads later, not much has changed in Walker-Burke race (Craig Gilbert, 10/27/14, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Roughly $16 million has been spent in the Wisconsin governor's race on broadcast TV ads, most of them attacking the other side's candidate. 

But if those ads are changing minds, it's awfully hard to tell.

Wisconsin voters have remained almost perfectly divided over Gov. Scott Walker and Mary Burke for months, no matter what has happened in the race, no matter what has happened in the state, no matter what has happened in the world, no matter what the campaigns have said or done. [...]

Burke and her allies have spent $8.2 million on broadcast TV, Walker and his allies $7.4 million, according to the Center for Public Integrity. That has produced a far more level playing field than the 2012 recall fight when Walker dramatically outspent his opposition.

"It's evidence the campaigns have been pretty balanced, with neither one putting through an argument that has really penetrated outside their base and beyond a majority," says Charles Franklin, who conducts the Marquette University Law School Poll.

Of those $16 million in ads, about three-quarters have contained attacks on the other side's candidate.

Yet Walker's "negatives" -- the share of voters who view him unfavorably -- have scarcely budged all year. That number has been firmly stuck at 47% or 48% in six of the seven polls Marquette has taken since March.

An incumbent not being able to walk over a Democratic opponent this year is embarrassing.

Posted by at October 28, 2014 3:36 PM

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