Most polls show Doyle up over Green by a few percent right now. I thought it might be interesting to look at Doyle's approval rating and see how he's doing. This data is from Survey USA which has been doing a monthly tracking poll on Doyle for about a year and a half. Keep in mind that this is a poll of the voting-age public, not registered or likely voters.
Overall Doyle looks weak. He's at 49% approve and 45% disapprove, which puts him thirty-second out of the fifty governors. The chart above shows how Doyle's numbers have changed over time. With the exception of a brief bounce this past April, Doyle's approve numbers have bobbled in the mid to upper forties,
But it's not quite as bad as it looks for Doyle. His approval is lowest among young people, just 43% from ages 18-34, but gets higher as people get older, reaching an impressive 59% for the 65+ crowd. And the older you are, the more likely you are to vote. I haven't run through the numbers, but this is a very strong effect and if this poll included only likely voters Doyle's approval would probably be four or five percent higher, putting him above the 50% danger point. I'll get into the age factor more in a future post.
Doyle is at 60% approval with moderates, and they make up almost half the sample, but are probably less likely to vote than either liberals or conservatives. It's hard to say from the Survey USA data how likely voters will break along ideological lines in this election, but the gay marriage amendment is going to pull out the extremes, and that effect probably hurts Doyle because many more people in Wisconsin consider themselves conservative than liberal.
The thing to watch is the next set of numbers from Survey USA, which will come out in a few days. As with any tracking poll, the real value is seeing the trends, and if Doyle manages to keep going in the same direction as he has been for the past couple of months, it will bode well for the election.