MILWAUKEE -

Gov. Scott Walker has a 7-point lead over Democratic rival Tom Barrett among likely voters a week before the recall election, according to a Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday.

The poll found 52 percent said they would vote for Walker, while 45 percent said they would back Barrett, Milwaukee's mayor.

The poll's margin of error is 4 points.

Democrats refuted the Marquette University Law School numbers, saying their polling shows the race in a dead heat.

The poll was taken May 23-26, with most interviews completed before last Friday's first gubernatorial debate.

The 7-point advantage for Walker was statistically unchanged from a poll done two weeks ago.

"The campaign itself doesn't seem to be fundamentally altering voters' differences very much, but that's why this turnout game is so important," Marquette Law School Poll Director Charles Franklin said.

The two candidates, who vied to be governor of Wisconsin in 2010, are competing again in the recall election set for June 5.

The poll also found Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch had 46 percent and Democratic challenger Mahlon Mitchell had 41 percent, with 11 percent not expressing a preference.

Walker continues campaigning at businesses across Wisconsin, making his case that the state's economy is headed in the right direction under his leadership.

The Marquette University Law School poll shows that 50 percent of respondents believe Walker will do a better job with the economy than his Democratic opponent, Barrett. Only 43 percent thought Barrett would do a better job.

Barrett's campaign released a statement disputing the findings of the Marquette University Law School poll. The campaign said the MU poll is an outlier when compared to other recent polls, most of which show the governor's race either tied or separated by just a couple of points.

The Barrett campaign also pointed out a poll released Wednesday shows the race in a dead heat at 49-49 percent.

"The MU poll predicts the electorate to resemble 2010, which is reflected by its undersampling of younger voters and an oversampling of some of the reddest counties in the state," said Phil Walzak, communications director for Barrett's campaign. "Yet given the high enthusiasm on both sides, not just on one, as was the case in 2010, this expectation is not credible.

"Quite simply, the results reported today by MU do not sufficiently record surging Democratic enthusiasm. This race will be close, and Tom Barrett will win on June 5 because he will put Wisconsin first, truly focus on jobs, and restore trust and integrity to the governor's office." 

Hoping to surge their energy with less than a week to go, Democratic supporters welcomed Barrett to Madison's Majestic Theater on Wednesday.

While Barrett took the stage and talked about the need for more transparency from the governor's office, his supporters were looking into and questioning how the latest Marquette University poll collected its stats.

"Polls call people who voted before," said Barrett supporter David Boetcher. "They're not talking to the people who suddenly have seen what's happened in the past year and are a lot more energized to actually vote than they've ever been before."

Meanwhile, Walker spent some of his time in Janesville, visiting ag company Mid-State Equipment.

"I think it's wonderful (Walker) came down here, and he was here to talk about agriculture in the state of Wisconsin, and that's what we're all about here. We're an ag business, and it's good he's promoting it," Mary Goad said.

Walker's supporters are feeling confident about the governor's lead in the Marquette University poll.

Franklin, who oversaw the poll, said a single-digit lead for Walker is pretty consistent across most independent polls.