Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has opened a 7-percentage-point lead in his hard-fought reelection race, according to a new Marquette University poll.


The poll gives Walker a 50 percent-43 percent lead among likely voters over Democratic businesswoman Mary Burke. It indicates Walker has momentum, because the same poll two weeks ago showed the race tied. 

Other polls since then have shown the candidates within 1 point of each other.

Walker is a possible 2016 presidential candidate, if he can survive the race. He has been a target for national Democrats, since he gained fame for his clashes with public sector unions in 2011 and victory in a recall election in 2012.  

The poll indicates Democrats could be having turnout problems. It finds 93 percent of Republicans say they are certain to vote, compared with 82 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of independents. The Republican figure is up 11 points from two weeks ago, while the Democratic figure has risen only 2 points. 

President Obama was in Wisconsin on Tuesday to rally Democrats for Burke. 

"If you just sit home and complain, then of course, nothing is going to change,” Obama said. “I can’t change it on my own.”

The gender gap had almost disappeared in the poll two weeks ago, but is showing up strongly again. Burke leads by 6 points among women, and Walker leads by 22 points among men.