Mary Burke, a millionaire former executive at Trek Bicycles, is not your typical Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate—at least not for Democrats. But whatever leeriness progressives once had of Burke has worn off as her campaign has gained momentum. On Thursday, Democracy for America, the 50-state group pulled together by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, endorsed Burke’s campaign against Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
“From his failure to deliver on the 250,000 jobs he promised voters to his efforts kick the poor off Badgercare and end collective bargaining, Scott Walker's years in office have been an unmitigated disaster for Wisconsin working families,” said Jim Dean, chair of Democracy for America. “After working for years to defeat him, Democracy for America members in Wisconsin and across the country can't wait to knock on every door and make every phone call necessary to send Mary Burke to Madison and end Scott Walker's political career once and for all."
If you can’t tell, the endorsement is less pro-Burke and more anti-Walker. That’s because progressives still have not forgiven Walker for breaking the unions’ ability to collectively bargain in Wisconsin, and for winning an expensive recall attempt. Still, the intensity of the left’s hatred for Walker did not overcome his voter strength in the low turnout election of the recall.
Unfortunately for Burke, it's rare that hatred of the other guy ever wins an election completely. A new Marquette poll, the gold standard of Wisconsin surveys, released Wednesday found Walker still leading Burke 47.5% to 44.1% among registered voters, within the poll’s margin of error of plus of minus 3.5 percentage points.