Although I think polls 9 months out from an election are meaningless because there's a lack of name recognition, awareness, and a lot can happen, here are the results from recent PPP polls:
Raleigh, N.C. Ė Wisconsin voters are split down the middle in terms of whether to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, 49%-49%, but a closer look at prospective matchups suggests that Walker is headed for the battle of his political life to survive a recall challenge. Walkerís approval rating sits at 47% approval and 52% disapproval.
With the exception of former Senator Russ Feingold, who would beat Walker 52-45, Walker either wins or loses to a slate of prospective challengers by +/- 3% points. The kicker is that many of Walkerís prospective opponents are far less known than he is, suggesting his challengers may make up even more ground as the electorate gets to know them. Mayor of Milwaukee Tom Barrett is leading Walker 49-46, with a favorability rating of 41/33 and 27% of voters not sure about him. Kathleen Falk leads Walker 48-47, with a 31/42 favorability rating and 27% of voters not sure about her. Walker leads former Congressman David Obey, 47-45, but 43% of voters donít know enough about Obey to register an opinion on his favorability one way or the other. Similarly, Walker leads Jon Erpenbach 47-44, but 59% arenít sure about Erpenbach. The same is true of Peter Barca (Walker wins 48-46, but 57% donít know Barca), Ron Kind (Kind wins 46-45 despite 57% of voters not sure about him), Doug LaFollette (Walker beats him 46-45 with 49% of voters not sure about him), and Kathleen Vinehout - Walker beats her 46-44 with a full 60% of voters not knowing enough about Vinehout to form a favorable or unfavorable opinion of her.
PPP finds that a match up between Tammy Baldwin and Tommy Thompson for the Senate in Wisconsin would be a toss up. Baldwin leads Thompson 46-45 in this month's poll, continuing a pattern of tight numbers in the contest. When PPP last polled Wisconsin in October Thompson was ahead 46-44. This seems like a race that's likely to remain closely contested all throughout the year.
There are no overwhelmingly popular candidates in this race. Thompson's favorability rating is 41%, with 42% of voters seeing him unfavorably. He's popular with Republicans but his crossover appeal is not what it once was. Only 17% of Democrats see him positively and his 41/42 spread with independents matches his overall numbers. Those aren't the kinds of numbers that let him win 60% in his last race for Governor.