MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Both candidates for governor came to Milwaukee at the same time on Thursday -- underscoring how turnout in the state's biggest city could determine the outcome of the election. The election could come down to a small amount of voters, and what they think about the economy.
Both Gov. Scott Walker and Mary Burke agree that the most important issue in the election is job creation. Whichever candidate can convince the small sliver of undecided voters, that their leadership will improve the economy is likely to win.
But what the candidates can't agree in is the economic data. It's as if the candidates are living in alternative realities.
For Scott Walker, the outlook is rosy.
"We rank fourth in the Midwest for private sector job creation," said Walker.
For Mary Burke, the picture is bleak.
"Our economy is dead last in the Midwest for ten Midwestern states.
So who is right?
Mary Burke is using the "gold standard" of completed labor statistics from March of 2011 through March of 2014 -- a time during which Wisconsin was last in the Midwest, but the statement is somewhat misleading because it ignores Walker's full term, which started in January of 2011, and it ignores the last 7 months.
"Most of those undecided voters are confused, they hear my opponent repeat the same charge that The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Politifact has proven to be false about where we rank," said Walker.
Walker is arguing that the latest monthly jobs report, a common indicator used by economists, shows that Wisconsin has improved to fourth in the Midwest. That is also true, but it's also somewhat misleading because those are estimates based on a survey of a small percentage of state employers, not the complete data that Mary Burke is citing.
"Wisconsin has incredible potential, and that's what gets me excited every day about being governor, because we can be a leading economy but we have to do what's necessary to turn this around, and right now Governor Walker doesn't have a plan and he certainly doesn't have a track record to be able to do it," said Burke.
On Friday, former President Bill Clinton will be in Milwaukee campaigning for Mary Burke. Then next week, it will be President Obama will be at North Division High School on Tuesday, October 28th.
Governor Walker says he'll have some high profile help on the campaign trail, too -- with congressman Paul Ryan and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie likely to join him over the final eleven days of the campaign.