Marquette University poll shows Walker, Obama ahead

MILWAUKEE -- A Marquette University Law School poll shows voters favor Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker by six points, over four potential Democrats in the recall election. However, for a potential presidential race, President Obama is leading Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney by eight points. This indicates Wisconsin may be a purple state.

The director of the Marquette poll, professor Charles Franklin, says voter polls aren't necessarily designed for prediction, but rather, a chance to ask those voters who are on the fance where they stand. "I think what we're seeing is actually a split in the public. When we talk about this being a 50-50 state, it's not 50-50 on everything. We're at the beginning of the beginning of the campaign, and this poll doesn't tell us what the end is going to be at all. It just tells us where we're starting out," Franklin said.

In this latest poll, 701 people were randomly questioned over the telephone - both landlines and cell phones, regarding where they stand on policy issues that have been prominent in political debates. "I think our poll helps illuminate that aspect of public opinion that otherwise gets crammed into the 'us versus them,'" Franklin said.

Even voters who lean to a particular party didn't always side with that party, according to the poll. For example, the poll found that 74 percent of people favored public employees paying more for pension and health benefits, but only 29 percent favored reductions in state aid to public schools. "It shows that the public is a lot more open-minded about what policies work, than the sort of narrow purely partisan opinion would suggest," Franklin said.

Out of the poll's sample, the majority of voters considered themselves independent, with the majority leaning toward the Democratic side. Marquette says it will conduct more of these polls, up until the election.

To view the complete Marquette University poll, click here.