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Polls show many voters still don't know the candidates

35% say they don't know enough about Mary Burke

Polls show many voters still don't know the candidates

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - Candidates running in the November election are preparing for their final 10 weeks on the campaign trail.

But the latest Marquette Law School poll shows some have more work ahead of them than others.

The poll shows who's ahead and who's trailing, but for some of the candidates it shows the voters don't know enough about them.

With a little more than two months before the election, local political parties are ready to change that.

"There hasn't been a lot of reason why the average voter would pay a lot of attention," said UW-L Political Professor Joe Heim. Summer has historically been a time when people tune out of politics, and the latest poll shows this year was no exception.

Take the race for Attorney General, about 75% of voters say they don't know enough about either candidate. "Even though you see a lot of ads in the summer, the average public almost turns a lot of that stuff off," said Heim.

But as Summer turns to Fall, the candidates will try to change that. Especially in the race for Governor, where 35% of voters say they don't know enough about Mary Burke.

With a race in a dead heat, both parties see that number as a good sign. "Mary Burke started perhaps with very little name recognition among people and has really in just a short few months has gained a great deal of prominence," said La Crosse Democratic Party Chair Vicki Burke. "I wish people knew more about Mary Burke," said La Crosse GOP Chair Bill Feehan, "I think the more people learn about Mary Burke, the better it is for Governor Walker."

An unknown candidate can either define themselves in a good way, or be defined by their opponent in a bad way. That's why both parties have a plan for the next ten weeks.

"We have people coming in to volunteer, making phone calls, knocking on doors," said Feehan. "We do canvassing on the weekend and we're here during the day too where people have the ability to come in and do phoning," said Burke.

In the end, after all that work, voters might need just a few minutes. "If you have 2 candidates in front of you, I would bet you in 10 minutes you would know who you favor, so it doesn't take huge amount of exposure before you figure out who you want," said Heim.

Voters seem to be getting to know Burke, in the last poll almost half of voters said they didn't know enough about her. Governor walker has stayed pretty consistent, around 4%.

The Gubernatorial debates are scheduled for October.

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