2020 News

Faculty & Staff
The New York Times

Dr. Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law Poll, participated in a Q&A assessing why pollsters missed the mark in the 2020 presidential election — particularly understating support for President Donald Trump. “I’m inclined to think we’re seeing a phenomenon of some fairly small segment — 3 or 4 percent, maybe, of Trump supporters — who systematically decline to do surveys altogether,” Franklin said. “That would fit with the notion that some segment of his supporters are pretty anti-press, anti-polls and in a lot of ways anti-conventional political engagement.”

Story appeared in the New York Times, Nov. 11, 2020

Similar story appeared in USA TODAY, Nov. 11, 2020

Franklin also spoke with WUWM-FM (89.7) for a Nov. 10 story about trends in Wisconsin this election cycle.

CBS 58

Dr. Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law Poll, and Mike Gousha, distinguished fellow in law and public policy, discussed how things panned out in Wisconsin during the presidential election. Franklin said projected President-Elect Joe Biden got enough votes to turn the state blue but flipped only two counties. “If you draw a diagonal from Green Bay to the Iowa/Minnesota corner, southeast of that diagonal, most of the counties have been moving in a Democratic direction," Franklin said. Gousha added that one reason for polls being off by an average of nine points could be that a certain segment of those who voted for President Donald Trump are tough for pollsters to track down.

Story aired on WDJT-TV (CBS 58), Nov. 9, 2020

Franklin spoke with several other news outlets for various stories, including a Nov. 3 Washington Examiner story about voter turnout, polls that missed the mark and tight races becoming a trend in Wisconsin. 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

John D. Johnson, research fellow in the Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education, discussed how efforts to lift voter turnout in Milwaukee fell flat despite record participation in Wisconsin as a whole, and how support for Biden was less than expected. "Joe Biden did only marginally better in Milwaukee than Hillary Clinton did,” Johnson said, adding that poor turnout in the city raises questions about the level of enthusiasm for Biden in Milwaukee, especially in majority-Black neighborhoods in the city’s north side.

Story appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nov. 7, 2020

Similar story appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal, Nov. 8, 2020

Faculty & Staff
CBS 58

Dr. Paul Nolette, chair and associate professor of political science in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, and Prof. Atiba Ellis, professor of law, discussed the obstacles at play with regard to President Trump’s legal strategy to win the presidential election, as well as how the 2020 election is different from the contested election in 2000. Nolette said President Trump is down tens of thousands of votes in several states, but Florida (in 2000) was separated by a few hundred. Ellis added that many of President Trump’s allegations of fraud don’t point to specific examples or are nitpicking over a small number of votes. “There’s a lot of suits about technicalities," Ellis said. "Several of them have already been dismissed. The courts, particularly the Supreme Court, are not going to get involved unless there are enough votes on the table to actually swing the election.”

Story aired on WDJT-TV (CBS 58), Nov. 6, 2020

Nolette also spoke with several other news outlets for various stories, including a Nov. 9 NPR interview about Joe Biden being named the projected president-elect.

Ellis also spoke with several other news outlets for various stories, including a Nov. 4 WRAL-TV (NBC 5, Raleigh) story about efforts to challenge the results of the election and how they likely will not change the outcome. 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Mike Gousha, distinguished fellow in law and public policy, and John D. Johnson, research fellow in the Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education, co-wrote an article about how metro Milwaukee is worse off than it was in 1980 when considering one key measure: median household income. “In real dollars, adjusted for inflation, households today in our metropolitan area earn less than they did 40 years ago,” they wrote. “Some of the decline can be traced to events in the first decade of the 21st century. Times were tough for the average American household. The nation experienced two economic downturns, including the Great Recession of 2008.”

Column appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Oct. 30, 2020

Gousha and Johnson’s research was also featured in a series from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about Milwaukee household income, which continued on Oct. 30.


Dr. Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law Poll, discussed those who choose not to disclose their choice in presidential candidate in polling. Franklin said that in the most recent Marquette Law Poll, those who refused to disclose their vote preference were split evenly between those who had a favorable opinion of Biden, those who had a favorable opinion of Trump and those who had either favorable or unfavorable opinions of both candidates.

Story appeared on Politico, Oct. 30, 2020

Franklin also spoke with several other outlets for various stories, including an Oct. 30 New York Times story about how President Trump was revisiting his 2016 campaign plan in the final days leading up to the election. 

Faculty & Staff
Urban Milwaukee

John Johnson, research fellow in the Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education, was cited for his analysis of Black voters in Milwaukee during the 2014 and 2018 mid-term elections. Johnson’s analysis showed turnout in the city’s majority-Black wards increased from 64.5% in the 2014 to 68% in 2018. 

Story appeared in Urban Milwaukee, Oct. 26, 2020 

Faculty & Staff
Christian Science Monitor

Prof. Atiba Ellis, professor of law, shared his thoughts on President Trump’s calls to supporters to “go into the polls and watch very carefully” on Election Day, and the impact it could have on voters. “In a sense, these calls could be heard as proverbial dog whistles for signaling (Trump) supporters to intimidate Blacks and Latinos in particular,” Ellis said.

Story appeared on the Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 23, 2020

The New Yorker

Dr. Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law Poll, discussed changes in the Wisconsin electorate, the state of the presidential race, his thoughts on why the latest poll shows President Donald Trump trailing former Vice President Joe Biden. Franklin said the “overwhelming polarization that Wisconsin experienced during the Obama years, only got stronger in the Trump years.” 

Story appeared in the New Yorker, Oct. 21, 2020

Faculty & Staff
Wisconsin Public Radio

Dr. Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law Poll, discussed the inaccuracies of political polling during the 2016 election as well as some of the new factors various polls are taking into consideration this time around. "Errors can occur," Franklin said. "It's a very good lesson to us all not to exaggerate the accuracy of polling." Franklin added that the Marquette Law Poll underestimated the turnout in the Republican strongholds in Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties. "There's a lot of people who came home to Trump in the end and that partly goes to people who were undecided, especially in that region.” 

Story aired on Wisconsin Public Radio, Oct. 19, 2020

Franklin also spoke with WISC-TV (CBS 3) for an Oct. 19 story about the changing political demographics in the suburbs.