Mapping the 2020 Vote Preference of Each Marquette Law Poll Respondent

Each dot on this map is a (weighted) interview with a Wisconsin registered voter conducted by the Marquette Law Poll from May to September, 2020. Dots are randomly distributed within the zip code (or county if unavailable) where the respondent lives.

You can view an interactive version of this map here. Please remember that dots are randomly placed within zip codes.

We talked to 3,219 people across our May, June, August, and September surveys. Pooling these together, 47% supported Biden; 42% supported Trump; and the remainder either supported someone else, weren’t sure, or didn’t plan to vote.

Maps like these are a useful antidote to the kind of choropleth maps that shade counties entirely one color or another. Even the most Republican counties are home to lots of Democrats; likewise, plenty of Republicans live in heavily Democratic cities of Madison and Milwaukee.

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What method will Wisconsinites use to vote in November?

Voters in Wisconsin can choose from three widely accessible means of voting. In addition to voting in person on election day, they can vote by mail or vote in-person at an early voting location. (Technically, this kind of early voting is called “in-person absentee” voting in Wisconsin.)

Historically, voting in-person on election day has been the most popular means of casting a ballot in Wisconsin. That changed abruptly when the spring 2020 election was controversially held at the height of the initial COVID-19 shutdown. Ninety percent of voters voted at their polling place on election day in the 2016 spring contest. Just 29 percent did so in 2020. Instead, 59 percent voted by mail and 12 percent voted early in person.

It’s a safe bet that absentee and mail voting will also increase in the general election this fall. President Trump has speculated on numerous occasions that mail voting will be used fraudulently—a view uniformly contradicted by Republican, Democratic, and nonpartisan election administrators alike. Nonetheless, the growing controversy over mail-in ballots may have changed some people’s minds.

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Tony Evers’ Pandemic Popularity Boost is Over

Early in the COVID-19 shutdown the Marquette Law School Poll documented an exceptional degree of unity among Wisconsin voters, as the pandemic broke through Wisconsin’s thick partisan divide. In late March, more than 8-in-10 Republicans and Independents, along with 95 percent of Democrats, supported the state’s mandatory social distancing measures. First-term governor Tony Evers benefited from this groundswell of public support. His overall approval rating jumped from 51 percent at the end of February to 65 percent a month later. Most remarkably, Evers’ approval rating grew 19 points with Republicans.

Those days are over.

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