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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Even Lt. Gov. Lawton beats the pants off of Walker, Neumann

by folkbum

There is no serious indication that Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle is not running for re-election. There's also not any serious indication that he is, for that matter; I think we have all just been assuming that he will.

Research 2000, for Daily Kos (so, salt grains perhaps necessary), not only polled the Doyle match-ups against his likeliest opponents (Scott Walker, Tosa Ranger and Mark (Nickname Needed) Neumann--not to mention fantasy candidate Tommy! Thompson); they also polled Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton:

Barbara Lawton (D) 44
Scott Walker (R)   35
Undecided          21


Barbara Lawton (D) 43
Mark Neumann (R)   35
Undecided          22


Barbara Lawton (D) 44
Tommy Thompson (R) 46
Undecided          10

I have to say, that's not bad for someone that the rightie bloggers insist is the least popular woman in state politics!

The full breakdown, including Senate numbers and fav/unfav for everybody polled, is here, and Lawton again proves remarkably popular for someone with a relatively low profile. If she could boost her numbers just among Democrats, for example, she would be almost as popular as Doyle, and more popular than Neumann. (She's already more popular than Walker, with a 35% favorability rating, over Walker's 33%.)

No one, of course, is more popular than Tommy!, but that's probably because absence has made our hearts fonder. And, after all, he was in charge during the 1990s boom time, and we'd give anything to return to that boom.

But the real story is Walker and Neumann, with their low scores, and low numbers against both Doyle and Lawton. And, yes, both guys hold Doyle and Lawton under 50%, which is generally a sign of weakness in an incumbent; and, yes, Walker still has 51% of the people in the state who have no opinion of him, so he has room to grow.

However, this poll confirms what even the right-tackular MacGuyver Institute poll suggested a couple of months ago: Doyle, though not the most popular guy in what should be a horrible set of circumstances for any sitting governor, is starting from relative strength against two weak opponents. The polling really does look like it did four years ago, and Doyle coasted to victory in 2006. Republicans need either better candidates or better lines of attack that anything they've used so far.

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