New Poll Shows County Executive Race Close
Poll Shows Abele Highly Unpopular, Larson within Striking Distance
Milwaukee – According to a new poll, Abele remains deeply unpopular with Milwaukee County voters and Chris Larson is competitive despite being heavily outspent. Only 33.6% of voters say that Abele deserves re-election while 43.4% say that someone new should be elected.
Over half the voters (52.2%) feel that Milwaukee County is moving in the wrong direction. Only 30.4% feel that it is moving in the right direction. Abele also had high unfavorable ratings (34.6%).
The initial head to head comparison has Abele with a slight lead over Larson 35.6% to 23.4%. But 38.9% of voters were undecided and roughly half of the voters have either never heard of Larson or don’t know enough to have an opinion about him.
Abele has outspent Larson roughly 30-1, $1.8 million to $60,000.
As voters heard both positive and negative messages about the candidates – using language deployed by both campaign – they moved strongly toward Larson, with the exception of Republican voters and self-identified conservatives.
Dan Cohen, who conducted the poll, states that the poll shows Larson doesn’t need to match Abele’s spending to win, he only needs enough resources to introduce himself, tell his story, and make the case for election.
Campaign manager Josh Kilroy noted that “this matches what we are hearing at the doors and on the phones with voters. Voters feel Abele is out of touch and respond well to Larson’s proven concern for working families here in Milwaukee County.”
Larson, a state senator since 2011, is known for his strong advocacy for living wage jobs, worker’s rights, the environment, and a strong public transit system.
The poll, done by Connection Strategies for the Larson campaign between January 13 and January 17th, had 419 respondents representing the demographic and geographic distribution of voters from actual recent elections. The margin of error of the poll is plus or minus 4.8%.
The pollster, Dan Cohen, is available to the press to answer any questions about the poll.
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