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Expert predicts few GOP crossover votes in Wisconsin recall primaries

Expert predicts few GOP crossover votes in Wisconsin recall primaries

By Jay Sorgi. CREATED May 8, 2012

MILWAUKEE - According to a professor who has conducted polls with the Marquette Law School on the gubernatorial recall race, few Republican-leaning voters are expected to cross over party lines and vote for a Democratic candidate in Tuesday's recall primary.

"I don't think it's going to be a very large issue," said
Marquette University visiting professor Charles Franklin, who also teaches at the University of Wisconsin.  He talked on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."

"Conservative talk radio people are basically telling Republican voters to get out and vote for Scott Walker."

Franklin also says that the wide poll margins in recent weeks make him think that there's less temptation for Republican supporters to vote for a weaker-perceived candidate.

"It's also the case that if there were a narrower race between (Milwaukee Mayor Tom) Barrett and (former Dane County Executive Kathleen) Falk on the Democratic side, it would be more than a temptation for Republicans to cross over to vote for the person they think would be the weaker candidate against Scott Walker," said Franklin.

"It appears from the polling that Barrett's going to win by a fairly large margin, so that reduces the incentive to try to throw a monkey wrench in the process."

Franklin explained why he thinks Barrett was able to build a double-digit polling lead on Falk in the Marquette University Law School polls.

"I think Barrett had a much wider statewide name recognition.  Remember, he ran against Scott Walker in 2010," said Franklin. 

"Falk's not an unknown political person, but did not have the visibility of Barrett.  Even before Barrett was introduced, if you look at the Marquette poll in March, he had favorable evaluations, and Falk in the most recent Marquette poll...has had negative evaluations."

Franklin also believes that Barrett is perceived as more middle-of-the-road than Falk.

"Barrett cuts a fairly moderate image.  Just to look at him and talk to him, you may or may not agree with all his policy decisions, but he seems to be a nice guy.  I think he's simply, in many ways, the more attractive candidate."