According to results released Wednesday, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker received the vast majority of the votes in a Republican gubernatorial straw poll — a non-binding gauge of public opinion — at the annual Fall Fest in Burlington.
The poll was conducted at the event Oct. 3 by the Republican Party in Wisconsin’s first congressional district and volunteers from College Republicans at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, according to District GOP Chair Tyler August.
August said the 1st District GOP had a table inside the tent where they handed out ballots listing the three declared Republican gubernatorial candidates: Walker, former Congressman Mark Neumann and Appleton businessman Mark Todd. After the people completed voting, they received a hand stamp to make sure they did not vote multiple times.
The poll ran from the beginning of the event to just after it ended, according to August.
Walker received over 95 percent of the votes in the poll, which August attributed to the strong grassroots support Walker has garnered.
“I’m not really surprised by it,” August said. “[The results] came right around the same percentage he got at the state Republican convention last May on the WisPolitics straw poll.”
Jill Bader, campaign spokesperson for Walker, said in an e-mail to The Badger Herald that this poll shows how more and more Wisconsinites are responding positively to Walker’s campaign platform.
“This overwhelming victory is another example that Scott’s message of limited government, personal freedoms and economic growth is growing support,” Bader said.
Neumann, however, questioned the reliability of the poll because neither he nor his staff was aware it was being conducted.
“I was at the thing the entire time and … circulated multiple times talking with people, and there was no straw poll that I saw,” Neumann said.
Neumann added that those who conducted the poll, including August, are open supporters of Walker’s gubernatorial candidacy.
August refuted this claim, saying the table was right inside the tent and it was mentioned at the podium a few times. He added he was unsure how Neumann was unaware of the poll but said it could be because he was busy circulating among the crowd.