The February Rasmussen look-in at the Wisconsin governor’s race holds good news for Scott Walker, and not-as-good news for Mark Neumann and Tom Barrett. The raw numbers:
- Walker 49%, Barrett 40%, undecided 10%, other 1% (compared to 48% Walker/38% Barrett/12% undecided/1% other last month)
- Neumann 44%, Barrett 42%, undecided 10%, other 4% (compared to 42% Neumann/38% Barrett/13% undecided/7% other last month)
The reason why I call it good news for Walker despite a narrowing of the lead by a percentage point is two-fold:
- He is now, within the margin of rounding, only one percentage point of hitting a majority, with his margin over Barrett twice the margin of the 4.5-point error.
- His Favorability Index (the very-favorable less the very-unfavorable, taken from Rasmussen’s Presidential Approval Index) went up from +14 (29% very favorable/15% very unfavorable) last month to +18 (32%/14%). Significantly, he is the only candidate whose very-unfavorable percentage dropped.
Neumann has a harder road given a more-significant narrowing of his lead over Barrett. However, not only does he still have said lead, his Favorability Index improved from -1 (10% very favorable/11% very unfavorable) last month to +4 (18%/14%).
Barrett shares that same +4 Favorability Index (22% very favorable/18% very unfavorable), an improvement from his +2 (19%/17%) last month. That is buoyed by an improvement in the views of both Gov. Jim Doyle (overall approval margin up from -26 to -20, Approval Index up from -31 to -24) and President Barack Obama (overall approval margin up from -8 to -5, Approval Index up from -20 to -11).