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Posted:  |  Updated: 06/04/12 02:03 PM ET

PPP's Final Wisconsin Poll Shows Scott Walker Edging Tom Barrett

WASHINGTON -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) holds a narrow lead over his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, in the run up to Tuesday's recall election, according to the final poll on the race conducted by Public Policy Polling, a firm affiliated with the Democratic Party.

PPP's automated, recorded-voice survey, conducted among 1,226 likely voters over the weekend, puts Walker at 50 percent support, 3 percentage points ahead of Barrett's 47 percent.

Fifteen surveys on the recall election have been released over the past month, and while most have produced close results, all but one have given Walker the advantage. Independent polls have generally given Walker a bigger lead than the handful of publicly released internal polls sponsored by the Barrett campaign or its Democratic allies.

In the past week, a Marquette University Law School poll gave Walker a seven-point lead, 52 percent to 45 percent, while an internal poll conducted for the Barrett campaign by the Democratic firm Garin-Hart-Yang showed Walker leading by just two points, 50 percent to 48 percent. The latest effort from PPP, which also polls for Democratic clients but did not have a campaign or party sponsor for this survey, is closer to the Barrett campaign poll.

With all polls included, including the internal surveys by the Democrats, the HuffPost Pollster chart of all available Wisconsin surveys gives Walker a lead of 2.8 points (50.3 percent to 47.5 percent). With the Democratic campaign polls excluded, however, Walker's lead grows to 3.9 points (50.6 percent to 46.7 percent).

More on the history of the race to recall Walker:

Wave Election Sweeps In Conservatives
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In 2010, a surge of Tea Party momentum and backlash against Democrats helped elect conservatives including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who became the state's first Republican governor since 2002.

Walker promised to cut taxes and create 250,000 new jobs, but a deeper look into his past also showed a politician who had inflamed tensions with unions before.

The Washington Post reports on his time as Milwaukee County Executive, during which the collective bargaining rights of unions already appeared to be one of his most ambitious targets:

During his eight-year tenure in Milwaukee County, Walker never raised property taxes. He cut the county workforce by 20 percent, improved its bond rating and gave back hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own salary as part of the effort to trim spending. But he also saw his relations with local unions deteriorate.

Union leaders say Walker never negotiated in good faith and had a singular solution to every budget problem: cut. Under his watch, the county privatized public jobs, laid off workers and placed others on furlough.


Walker argued that collective bargaining was the biggest hurdle to balancing the budget and that unions had little incentive to give ground because they almost always prevailed in arbitration. He said that the cuts he proposed were intended to prevent layoffs and accused union leaders of being uninterested in compromise.

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