MADISON, Wisconsin — Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke made their final attempts Monday to win over what few undecided voters remained in Wisconsin's hotly contested governor's race, traversing the state in the final hours before polls open.
The governor's race, in which Walker appears on the ballot for the third time in four years, attracted the most attention of all campaigns in Wisconsin in this year's midterm election. The only other statewide contest was for attorney general, where Republican Brad Schimel faces Democrat Susan Happ.
About 100 supporters showed up at Walker's first rally Monday at Brooks Tractor, a heavy equipment sales and rental business in the Madison suburb of Sun Prairie. Walker's supporters chanted "four more years" as his campaign coach bus rolled through a huge garage door into the facility's shop.
Burke began Monday in Eau Claire before making stops in Superior, Stevens Point, Green Bay, and planned to end the day in Madison. A former Trek Bicycles executive and state Commerce Department secretary, Burke is trying to win her first statewide campaign by knocking off Walker and derailing any chance he has of running for president in 2016.
Walker was also spending time in Eau Claire and Green Bay on Monday, in addition to Onalaska and Mosinee before ending in the Republican stronghold of Waukesha.
Both sides see turnout as key to deciding the race, which polls had shown was tied or nearly even from May through mid-October. But a Marquette University Law School poll released on Wednesday had Walker up by 7 points, with just 3 percent undecided. The poll had a 3-point margin of error.
For Burke to win, turnout will have to be high in Democratic strongholds, particularly Milwaukee, to blunt Republican support in suburban counties and other parts of the state. The closer turnout is to 2012 levels, the better Burke's chances. Walker was first elected in 2010, when turnout was about 50 percent, and again in the 2012 recall when turnout was nearly 58 percent.
The state Government Accountability Board predicts turnout on Tuesday will be 56.5 percent of the voting-age population.
The other hot contest was for attorney general to replace Republican J.B. Van Hollen, who is not seeking a third term. The winner serves as the state's chief law enforcement officer, overseeing the state Department of Justice.
Last week's Marquette poll showed Schimel, the Waukesha County district attorney since 2006, with a slight lead over Happ, the Jefferson County district attorney since 2008.
Schimel planned to spend Monday campaigning in La Crosse, Eau Claire and Wausau before joining Walker in Waukesha. Happ planned to visit Democratic field offices in Milwaukee.
Voters will elect all 99 state Assembly members and fill 17 of 33 state Senate seats. Republicans currently control both chambers, and are expected to easily hold their advantage in the Assembly.
That has shifted attention to the Senate, where Democrats have a longshot chance of regaining control if they can win three open seats currently held by Republicans — the 17th District in rural southwestern Wisconsin, the 19th District in the Fox Cities and the 9th District in Sheboygan.
Other contests to watch include the U.S. House race in the 6th District, which stretches from Lake Michigan west to Columbia, Marquette and Waushara counties. Voters there will send a new face to Congress after Republican Rep. Tom Petri announced his retirement. Conservative GOP state Sen. Glenn Grothman is running against Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris, a Democrat who describes himself as fiscally conservative.
There is one statewide ballot question, which asks whether the Wisconsin Constitution should be amended to prevent the state transportation fund from being raided for other spending needs.
Associated Press writer Todd Richmond contributed to this from Sun Prairie.
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