The final square off: Scott Walker and Mary Burke meet one last time

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Friday will be the final time Governor Walker and Mary Burke will square off before the election. A week after their first debate, the two will meet again -- this time the debate is in Milwaukee.

It was just one week ago both candidates were meeting for their first televised debate. Tonight it's a different city, and a different setting.

Both Mary Burke and Scott Walker will answer questions in Milwaukee in front of a panel of local television journalists. Among them is FOX6 News' very own Ted Perry.

The latest Marquette Law School poll has this race in a dead heat. Both candidates are getting support from 47% of likely voters -- 4% remain undecided.

During the last debate in Eau Claire, topics like job creation, the voter ID law, and Act 10 all came up from the panel.

FOX6 News asked local radio host Erin Toner, who is moderating the debate, how the panalists came up with tonight's topics.

"We were lucky to have been able to see the debate in Eau Claire.  We know what was asked then.  We didn't want to ask the exact same questions.  There were some big topics that can't be ignored.  You'll hear some of the same themes - we had a meal and talked about the topics we knew we had to cover," said Toner.

This debate is also reaching a national audience, it will also be broadcast tonight on C-SPAN -- and don't be surprised if many of the questions directly impact residents in Milwaukee.

The format was nearly identical to what we saw last week. Candidates were asked a question, and given 90 seconds to respond -- and 30 seconds for rebuttal.

They may have been standing in front of a panel of local television journalists, but Scott Walker and Mary Burke were both in the figurative "hot seat." Throughout the hour, topics often reflected issues important to Milwaukee voters.

FOX6 News' very own Ted Perry asked, "Can you declare if you'll use your clout to use fund arena."

Scott Walker and Mary Burke responded.

"Need to make sure Milwaukee is a thriving community, and keep young people here," said Burke.

"I don't support sales tax or new tax. We should look at actual value from the team of the state," said Walker.

Moderated by WUMW Radio Host Erin Toner, the panelists made a conscious effort to ask questions that weren't brought up during the first debate last week. Even so, front and center were questions about jobs and the economy.

"The unemployment rate is the lowest, my opponent -- that's not the recipe for going forward," said Walker.

"When we're in the bottom five in the country, not good enough -- keep good people in our workforce," said Burke.

As a component of that, both were asked where they stand on the stalled Kenosha casino project.

"We're going to take the full amount of time that we need to create a win-win," Walker said.

"I've said if it shows in creates a significant number of new jobs -- I would approve that casino," Burke said.

Before closing the night, discussion circled back to two controversies leading up to the election: The Governor's failure to live up to his 250,000 jobs pledge, and Burke's copy and pasted jobs plan.

"I sat down with a number of people, and the consultant that I used, I cut ties with when I realized that he had used similar ideas and other economic development plans," Burke said.

"I set high, I set a big goal, 250,000 jobs to make up for those jobs lost and beg for the future. Because I believe for the people of this state, I believe in Wisconsin," Walker said.

Both debates were sponsored by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association. FOX6 News is told it was up to the candidates to decide where the debates would be held. Both parties agreed on the markets of Milwaukee and Eau Claire as being host cities.

The panelists made a conscious effort to ask questions that weren't previously asked during the first debate.