Major races are too close to call

Recent survey shows candidates are neck and neck

Major races are too close to call

Story by Ellis Williams, Sports Editor

With Election Day tomorrow, the state governor’s race between Republican Scott Walker and Democrat Mary Burke is too close to call according to a recent survey conducted by UW-Eau Claire journalism research methods students.

Burke is ahead by one percentage point, but the survey of 108 randomly selected Eau Claire residents has a margin of error of 9.4 percentage points.

Like the governor’s race, the data gathered from the survey show the Wisconsin attorney general’s race, the 3rd Congressional District race and the Eau Claire County sheriff’s race are too close to call.

The data for the attorney general race say Democratic candidate Susan Happ holds 24 percentage points while Republican candidate Brad Schimel has 25 percentage points.

The data for the 3rd Congressional District race show Republican candidate, Tony Kurtz has 35 percentage points while Democratic candidate Ron Kind has 31 percentage points, and the Libertarian candidate Thomas A. Nelson has 12 percentage points.

In the Eau Claire County sheriff’s race, Ron D. Cramer holds 36 percentage points and Marcel Thoma has 14 percentage points while 50 percent of respondents said they were undecided.

Despite the lack of conclusiveness in the major races, certain trends can be distinguished from the data regarding the most important issues for Eau Claire residents on election day and the type of schools the people of Eau Claire believe should receive public funding.

The data show 48 percent of Eau Claire residents say education is the most important issue to them when deciding their vote. While 36 percent say unemployment should be at the top of Wisconsin’s legislative agenda.

Of the survey takers who said their household income was less than $30,000 a year, 52 percent were in favor of raising Wisconsin’s minimum wage.

It was not only the lower class that said the state’s minimum wage should be increased as 53 percent of households that brought in more than $90,000 a year were also in favor of the raise.

Over the past two years, Wisconsin has seen millions of taxpayer’s money spent on voucher schools and the data show that Eau Claire residents do not want to see their money put toward private schools any longer.

When surveyors were asked what do they prefer for public funding of Wisconsin schools, 64 percent said the state should only fund Wisconsin’s public school systems.

Candidate’s stances on both unemployment and education are going to be two issues that will drive voters decisions on election day and ultimately will decide the winners in the major Wisconsin state races.