A survey released Wednesday by the St. Norbert Survey Center shows the race for Wisconsin attorney general is tight among Democratic candidates.
Although significantly ahead of their Republican challengers, incumbent Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager and Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk remain in a dead heat, according to the survey conducted by Wisconsin Public Radio and the St. Norbert Survey Center.
With a five percent margin of error, Lautenschlager and Falk's general public support rates both came in at 24 percent.
Those rates jumped to 36 and 26 percent for Lautenschlager and Falk, respectively, when the respondents were limited to identified Democrats.
The St. Norbert Survey Center, with funding from WPR, conducted the survey from March 29 to April 7, and polled 400 residents across the state.
According to Wendy Scattergood of the St. Norbert Survey Center, the survey conductors performed an accurate and independent study.
"We never do polls that are contracted by somebody who's running [for office] or by someone who has some sort of vested interest," she remarked.
Additionally, Scattergood said the survey conductors made phone calls based on a computer-generated list of resident names to ensure a random sample.
If residents were not available to comment, she added, they were called again so as not to deviate from the completely random list.
Scattergood added the St. Norbert Survey Center, which conducts surveys twice each year, has a "good track record" and is a credible source of state opinion.
The Lautenschlager and Falk campaigns seemed to agree, as each argued the survey results pointed in its favor.
Lautenschlager's spokesman Dan Bachhuber said in a release that the survey proves a strong public support for the incumbent.
"Democrats in particular want to keep an attorney general who has proven herself as a fighter for Wisconsin residents," he said. "This survey clearly shows that Wisconsin residents value [Lautenschalger's] work for them."
But Falk's campaign, in a release, viewed the survey results differently, pointing to them as a sign of the incumbent's weakness.
"For an incumbent to fail to get past 40 percent in a general election matchup is a sure sign of trouble," Falk's spokeswoman Melissa Mulliken said.
The survey also polled residents about the gubernatorial race, compiling results that show the general public favors Democratic incumbent Gov. Jim Doyle over challenger Rep. Mark Green, R-Wis.
Doyle and Green garnered support from 43 and 35 percent of the respondents, respectively.
A separate question asking whether respondents know the gubernatorial candidates show 40 percent have not heard of Green, while only 2 percent have not heard of Doyle.
The St. Norbert Survey Center, which began these surveys in 2001, will conduct another this October.