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Wisconsin Polling Update; 9th MU Law School Survey of 2020

Quick Hits on the Poll

President Donald Trump Favorability -10%
  • Favorability 44% (Was 42% in first Oct. poll)
  • Unfavorability 54% (Was 53% in first Oct. poll)
President Donald Trump Job Approval -5%
  • Approve 47% (Was 44% in first Oct. poll)
  • Disapprove 52% (Was 52% in first Oct. poll)

Former Vice President Biden Favorability +3%
  • Favorability 49% (Was 48% in first Oct. poll)
  • Unfavorability 46% (Was 45% in first Oct. poll)

 

General Election Matchup
MU Law Polls Only:
  • Trump 43% v. Biden 48% (Oct.#2) LV
  • Trump 41% v. Biden 46% (Oct.) LV
  • Trump 43% v. Biden 47% (Sept.) LV
  • Trump 44% v. Biden 49% (August) LV
  • Trump 44% v. Biden 50% (June) LV
  • Trump 45% v. Biden 49% (May) LV
  • Trump 45% v. Biden 48% (March) RV
  • Trump 46% v. Biden 46% (February) RV
  • Trump 45% v. Biden 49% (January) RV
LV= Likely Voters RV= Registered Voters
Bold= leader | ___= tied
Governor Tony Evers Favorability +4%
  • Favorability 47% (Was 47% in first Oct. poll)
  • Unfavorability 43% (Was 40% in first Oct. poll)
Governor Evers Job Approval +7%
  • 50% Approve (Was 52% in first Oct. poll)
  • 43% Disapprove (Was 42% in first Oct. poll)

Sen. Ron Johnson Favorability +2%
Note 34% of Registered Voters did not register an opinion
  • Favorability 38% (Was 35% in first Oct. poll)
  • Unfavorability 36% (Was 31% in first Oct. poll)

Sen. Tammy Baldwin Favorability +8%
Note 24% of Registered Voters did not register an opinion
  • Favorability 44%(Was 41% in first Oct. poll)
  • Unfavorability 36% (Was 35% in first Oct. poll)

 

Background on the survey

Marquette University Law School Poll Director Charles Franklin released the 9th Wisconsin statewide survey of 2020. Below please find the methodology of the poll as released by the Law School in their press release:
About the Marquette Law School Poll
This poll interviewed 806 registered Wisconsin voters by landline or cell phone, Oct. 21-25, 2020. The margin of error is +/-4.3 percentage points for the full sample. There are 749 likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points.
The partisan makeup of the sample, including those who lean to a party, is 45% Republican, 44% Democratic and 9% independent. The partisan makeup of the sample, excluding those who lean to a party, is 30% Republican, 29% Democratic and 40% percent independent.
Results can be found here:

Race for President

President Trump’s Job Approval
In their 24th survey released since Donald Trump was sworn in as president, the MU Law School poll found that 47% of registered voters approve of the job the president is doing and 52% disapprove of the way he is handling the job, a net -5% approval. President Trump’s net -5% job approval is down slightly from the -8% in early October and the -10% in both the August and September surveys.
The intensity of those who strongly disapprove of the job President Trump is equal to those who approve of the job the president is doing; 47% Strongly Disapprove to 47% Total Approve.
How the President is handling issues:
Economy:
The economy remains the one issue area surveyed that registered voters have a net positive approval of the President, however that margin narrowed slightly in the latest poll. When asked whether registered voters approve or disapprove of President Trump’s handling of the economy, 51% Approve and 48% Disapprove, a net +3% approval. His approval in handling the economy has been consistently at or above 50% since May, but his net approval is down slightly from +6% in early October.
Protests:
When asked whether registered voters approve or disapprove of the way President Trump is handling the protests, 40% Approve of the way he is handling the protests and 54% Disapprove, a net -14%. The President’s approval moved remained largely the same since early October when it was 37% approve and 54% disapprove., a net -17%.
Coronavirus Pandemic:
When asked about President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, 40% Approve and 58% Disapprove of the job the President has done in handling the pandemic, a net -18%. In the two previous surveys his net approval was -15% approval.
Trump Favorability
In the latest Marquette University Law School poll President Trump’s favorability rating narrowly remained in double digit negative favorability for the fifth survey in a row. However, Trump received his highest favorability rating since May at 44% Favorable.
Biden Favorability
For two surveys in a row, former Vice President Joe Biden has received a slight net favorability among registered voters in the Marquette poll, a net +3%, the same net favorability he received in early October.
Compared to 2016

Heading into the 2016 Election, Wisconsin Registered Voters had an overwhelmingly negative view of both candidates; Clinton (-13%) and Trump (-29%). This cycle, the candidates are viewed more favorably, especially among members of their own party. Trump’s favorability is 11% better than it was at this point in 2016 and his unfavorability is 8% less. Biden has 5% higher favorability than Clinton had at this point in 2016, and his unfavorability is 8% less.

In 2016 75% of Democrats had a favorable opinion of Clinton and 19% had an unfavorable. In 2020, 93% of Democrats have a favorable opinion and 3% have an unfavorable opinion.

In 2016 65% of Republicans had a favorable opinion of Trump and 28% had an unfavorable opinion. In 2020, 88% of Republicans had a favorable opinion of Trump and 11% have an unfavorable opinion.

The partisans are more comfortable with their party’s candidates, but impressions of Trump among Independents has remained the same since 2016 and Biden is seen favorably by independents and much more favorably than Clinton;

  • 2016 Independents on Clinton: 24% Favorable |70% Unfavorable
  • 2020 Independents on Biden: 52% Favorable | 37% Unfavorable

 

  • 2016 Independents on Trump: 34% Favorable | 55% Unfavorable
  • 2020 Independents on Trump: 35% Favorable | 57% Unfavorable
Compared to previous Presidents

The MU survey asked voters opinions on the two previous presidents; President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush;

  • President Obama;
    • 61% Favorable
    • 36% Unfavorable
  • President Bush;
    • 55% Favorable
    • 31% Unfavorable

Vice Presidential Candidates

Vice President Mike Pence rated a 44% Favorable-45% Unfavorable (-1%) in the latest MU Law School poll, maintaining the same net -1% approval he received in the early October poll.

Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris had an 8% increase in favorability in the latest poll, now at 45% Favorable-41% Unfavorable, a net +4% favorability.

2020 Presidential Election

Since March, former Vice President Biden has maintained a small lead over President Trump, +5% in the latest survey among likely voters, 48% to 43% with Libertarian Jo Jorgensen receiving 4%.

 

Looking at the Marquette Poll in comparison to other polls released the week leading up to its release as well as a comparison to all Wisconsin presidential polls in 2020:

 

 

Coronavirus

State Response

Governor Evers handling of the pandemic:
Governor Evers continues to get net positive approval for his handling of the pandemic, a +7% net approval in the latest survey with 50% approving of his handling of the pandemic and 43% disapproving. The Governor’s approval though has tightened over the last several surveys, dropping below double-digit approval for the first time in the Marquette survey.
Masks and other COVID related issues;
Masks:
In the first October survey, Professor Franklin asked whether voters agree or disagree with requirements to wear masks in public, 72% said they agree that masks should be required in public places, while 26% disagree with the requirement.
This survey asked whether voters personally wear masks in public;
  • 64% said they always wear a mask in public
  • 20% said they wear a mask most of the time
  • 12% said they do so only now and then
  • 3% said they never wear a mask in public
Restaurants:
52% say they are comfortable eating inside at a restaurant and 47% said they are uncomfortable doing so. This is largely unchanged from June when 49% were comfortable and 49% were uncomfortable.
Safer-At-Home:
When asked to look back at the closing of schools and businesses in the Spring was an appropriate response at the time, 68% said it was the appropriate response and 26% said it was an overreaction. Opinions on this action have remained largely unchanged since May when voters responses were 69% appropriate and 26% overreaction.
Worried About COVID-19
The percent of those who are worried about personal risk from COVID-19 has remained largely the same since May and has not seen an increase in concern given the increases in cases over the last two months.

Public Policy Issues

Protests/BLM movement/Police
The MU Law School Poll asked several questions about the protests that have taken place since the death of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement and police;
Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement
Do you have a favorable or unfavorable view of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement?
  • Favorable- 47%
  • Unfavorable- 39%
Attitudes on the BLM movement have remained largely unchanged since August, for the last two months at 49% Favorable-37% Unfavorable. In June the BLM movement had a 59% Favorable-27% Unfavorable rating.
Police
Do you have a favorable or unfavorable view of the police?
  • Favorable- 80%
  • Unfavorable- 12%
Attitudes on the police were 73% Favorable-18% Unfavorable in early October.
Mass Protests
Do you approve or disapprove of the mass protests that have been held since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis?
  • Approve- 49%
  • Disapprove- 45%
In June the protests had 61% approval and 36% disapproval, but that approval dropped to a more divided 48% Approve and 48% Disapprove in August, and where it remained in September. In early October was 47% Approve-48 Disapprove.

State Politics

Governor Tony Evers Favorability:
In the latest MU Law School poll Governor Evers net personal favorable rating continued to stay positive, however it has shrunk signficantly from the high double-digits he has received for the majority of the pandemic. 47% Favorable-3 Unfavorable, a net +4% favorable.
Governor Tony Evers Job Approval:
Similar to Governor Evers’ personal favorability, his job approval has remained positive (+7%) but has lessened to the lowest it has been since November 2019; 50% Approve-43% Disapprove.
Legislature’s Job Approval:
For the first time since May, the Marquette poll has registered voters to rate the Legislature’s job performance and for the first time this session the Legislature had a higher disapproval rating than approval rating. 36% of voters approve of the way the Legislature is handling its job and 50% disapprove.

Other State Issues

Direction of the Economy:
Respondents remain optimistic about the outlook for the economy;
Looking ahead, over the next year do you expect the economy to get better, get worse, or stay about the same?
  • Get Better: 45% (was 43% in first Oct. poll)
  • Get Worse: 13% (was 18% in first Oct. poll)
  • Stay the Same: 22% (was 25% in first Oct. poll)

Federal Delegation

Sen. Ron Johnson Favorability +2%
Note 26% of Registered Voters did not register an opinion
  • Favorability 38% (Was 35% in first Oct. poll)
  • Unfavorability 36% (Was 31% in first Oct. poll)

Sen. Tammy Baldwin Favorability +8%
Note 19% of Registered Voters did not register an opinion
  • Favorability 44% (Was 41% in first Oct. poll)
  • Unfavorability 36% (Was 35% in first Oct. poll)

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