WI-Gov Garin-Hart-Yang for Tom Barrett (May 2012)


TO: FROM: DATE: RE: Interested Parties Frederick Yang May 24, 2012

1724 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20009 Tel: (202) 234-5570 Fax: (202) 232-8134 www.hartresearch.com

Latest Poll Results in the Wisconsin Governor’s Race

The findings of our just-completed poll (conducted May 22 and 23) show that Mayor Tom Barrett has closed the gap and now trails Governor Walker by just a slim 50% to 48%, confirming the momentum that was reported in the ‘We Are Wisconsin’ statewide poll results released on Tuesday (Barrett 47%, Walker 50%). Like the ‘We Are Wisconsin’ poll data, our data show a highly polarized electorate, but with Tom Barrett making notable gains among independent voters. One key reason for the shift in dynamics is the commercials that started running just last week defining Scott Walker’s record finally have begun to permeate the electorate. Walker’s negatives are climbing (48% positive, 46% negative), while Tom Barrett has managed to IMPROVE his image (albeit incrementally) despite the weeks of Walker (AND RGA) attack ads. The ads questioning Governor Walker’s role in the John Doe investigation clearly are affecting his standing among voters AND the trial heat. For example, Barrett now leads by six points on being honest and trustworthy (Barrett was TRAILING by three points two weeks ago) and he leads by five points on caring for people (after being tied two weeks ago). Among Wisconsinites who are familiar with the John Doe situation, the race is a flat-out dead heat. While the earned and paid media campaigns are tremendously effective (and represent a major factor in the Mayor’s improved showing), the race will be decided by turnout. And on this score, our poll results again provide encouraging news for the Barrett campaign: among voters who say they are 100% certain to vote on June 5, the race is tied at 49% apiece. And Mayor Barrett has a solid lead among non-2010 voters. This memorandum is based on a representative sample of 635 likely Wisconsin voters conducted May 22 and 23, 2012. The margin of error for this survey is +3.9 percentage points.

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