All posts by Charles Franklin

New Marquette Law School Poll finds some issues less divisive amid continuing partisan divide

MILWAUKEE — Just as there is a partisan split at the top of Wisconsin’s state government, partisan divisions remain a key fact of public opinion in Wisconsin, according to a new Marquette Law School Poll. 

The first poll since the November election finds voters split generally along party lines on state issues such as whether Wisconsin should drop out of a lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act, often known as Obamacare, increase the minimum wage or prioritize increasing school spending over holding down property taxes.

However, opinion on some issues was less divided, including support for having legislative district boundaries be determined by a nonpartisan commission, support for increases in state funding for special education and support for Wisconsin’s accepting federal money to expand Medicaid.

In other state issues: Determining a plan to pay for road improvements that attracts majority support remains a challenge. And many voters have not yet reached an opinion, favorable or unfavorable, on new Gov. Tony Evers or other new statewide officeholders.

On national issues, a majority oppose a border wall with Mexico, and more voters blame President Donald Trump than congressional Democrats for the partial shutdown of the federal government. A majority also say there is not enough cause to begin impeachment hearings against Trump.

The poll was conducted January 16-20, 2019. The sample included 800 registered voters in Wisconsin, interviewed by cell phone or landline, with a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percentage points. Ten questions were asked of half the sample. Questions on Form A have a sample size of 399 and a margin of error of +/- 5.5 percentage points. Questions on Form B have a sample size of 401 and a margin of error of +/- 5.5 percentage points. The half-sample items are listed at the end of this release.

Forty-eight percent of registered voters think that Wisconsin should withdraw from a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, while 42 percent think that the state should continue to participate in the suit. Nine percent say they do not have an opinion.

A majority, 62 percent, say the state should accept federal funds to expand Medicaid, which is called Badgercare in Wisconsin, while 25 percent oppose the expansion, and 12 percent say they do not know.

Views on the Affordable Care Act lawsuit are sharply divided along partisan lines, with 75 percent of Republicans and independents who lean Republican (hereafter “Republicans including leaners”) saying the state should continue in the lawsuit, while 20 percent want the state to withdraw. Among Democrats including leaners, 11 percent would continue in the suit, while 81 percent want the state to withdraw. Among independents who do not lean to a party, 32 percent want to continue and 39 percent want to withdraw from the suit. Twenty-four percent of independents say they have no opinion on the lawsuit, as do 5 percent of Republicans including leaners and 7 percent of Democrats including leaners.

Partisans are less divided on expanding Medicaid. Among Republicans including leaners, 43 percent say the state should expand Medicaid coverage while 41 percent reject the expansion. Among Democrats including leaners, 88 percent support the expansion while 7 percent oppose it. Among independents who do not lean to a party, 55 percent support the expansion while 28 percent oppose expanding Medicaid. Seventeen percent of independents and 16 percent of Republicans including leaners say they do not have an opinion, while 5 percent of Democrats including leaners are without an opinion.

Fifty-five percent of respondents prefer increasing spending on K-12 public schools, while 39 percent say they prefer reducing property taxes. Sixty-two percent of Republicans including leaners prefer reducing property taxes, while 32 percent support increased school spending. Among Democrats including leaners, 18 percent prefer reduced taxes, while 76 percent favor additional spending on schools. Thirty-six percent of independents prefer lower taxes and 57 percent prefer increased spending on schools.

Majorities across partisan groups support a major increase in state aid for special education. Overall, 73 percent favor such an increase, with 20 percent opposed. Among Republicans including leaners, 62 percent support and 30 percent oppose increased aid for special education. Among Democrats including leaners, 89 percent support and 7 percent oppose more spending for special education. Among independents, 65 percent support and 25 percent oppose more such spending.

Voters are reluctant to raise taxes and fees for roads and highways. Fifty-two percent prefer to keep gas taxes and fees where they are, while 42 percent favor increasing taxes and fees to pay for increased spending on roads. Among Republicans including leaners, 69 percent oppose a tax and fee increase for highway spending, while 27 percent favor such an increase. Thirty-six percent of Democrats including leaners oppose raising taxes and fees to increase spending on roads, while 58 percent favor it. Among independents, 51 percent oppose a tax and fee increase and 34 percent support an increase.

Fifty-five percent of respondents say that they support increasing the minimum wage in Wisconsin, while 39 percent oppose raising it. Thirty-two percent of Republicans including leaners favor an increase, while 64 percent are opposed. Among Democrats including leaners, 82 percent favor raising the minimum wage and 9 percent are opposed. Fifty percent of independents favor an increase and 43 percent are opposed.

Criminal justice reform

Voters are willing to consider releasing some prisoners before they have completed their full sentence, but support depends on how much of the sentence has been served. Half the sample was asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statement, “Once a prisoner has served at least half of their sentence, they should be released from prison and given a less costly form of punishment if they can demonstrate that they are no longer a threat to society.” The other half of those polled were asked a question that specified release after two-thirds of the sentence was completed. For those asked about release after half of the sentence was served, 42 percent agreed with early release while 43 percent opposed early release. When the time served was set at two-thirds of the sentence, 51 percent supported early release and 34 percent were opposed.

Redistricting

Seventy-two percent of voters say they prefer redistricting of legislative and congressional districts to be done by a nonpartisan commission, while 18 percent prefer redistricting be done by the legislature and governor. Majorities in each partisan group favor a nonpartisan commission for redistricting, with 63 percent of Republicans including leaners, 83 percent of Democrats including leaners, and 76 percent of independents favoring a nonpartisan commission. Less than 30 percent of each group preferred redistricting be done by the legislature and governor, with support for the current system coming from 27 percent of Republicans including leaners, 10 percent of Democrats including leaners, and 10 percent of independents.

Marijuana legalization

Fifty-nine percent of respondents say that use of marijuana should be made legal, while 35 percent oppose legalization. When this question was last asked in September 2014, 46 percent favored legalization and 51 percent were opposed.

An alternative wording of the question produced similar results. When asked if marijuana should be “fully legalized and regulated like alcohol,” 58 percent favored legalization and 36 percent opposed.

Lame-duck legislation

Fifteen percent of voters strongly approve of the limits placed on the governor and attorney general by the lame-duck session of the legislature, with 16 percent approving somewhat. Forty-one percent strongly disapprove and 14 percent disapprove somewhat. Fourteen percent lack an opinion.

Concerning former Gov. Scott Walker’s decision to sign the lame duck legislation, 18 percent strongly approve, 15 percent somewhat approve, 11 percent somewhat disapprove and 41 percent strongly disapprove. Fourteen percent lack an opinion.

After leaving office, Walker said in interviews that he might consider a future run for office in Wisconsin. Thirty-seven percent say they would like to see him run for governor or senator in 2022, while 53 percent say they do not want him to run.

Cooperation between governor and legislature

Forty-seven percent say that Gov. Tony Evers is trying to cooperate with Wisconsin legislative leaders, while 25 percent say Evers really is not interested in cooperating. Twenty-eight percent say they do not know.

Twenty-two percent of respondents say Wisconsin legislative leaders are trying to cooperate with Evers, while 46 percent say the leaders are not really interested in cooperating. Thirty-two percent say they do not know.

National issues

Forty-four percent of respondents favor building a wall along the border with Mexico, while 51 percent oppose the wall. In March 2017, when the question was first asked, 37 percent favored and 59 percent opposed building a wall. When asked most recently, in August 2018, 41 percent favored and 54 percent opposed building a wall.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents support the partial shutdown of the federal government over the issue of funding a border wall, with 66 percent opposed to the shutdown. Fifty-five percent of Republicans including leaners support the shutdown, while 41 percent oppose it. Five percent of Democrats including leaners support the shutdown, while 92 percent oppose it. Among independents, 25 percent support the shutdown, with 69 percent opposed.

Respondents were asked, “Regardless of how you feel about the shutdown, who do you think is most responsible for it?” Forty-three percent say Trump, 7 percent say Republicans in Congress, 34 percent say Democrats in Congress and 14 percent say all are equally responsible.

Opinions of President Trump

Forty-four percent approve of the job Trump is doing as president, while 52 percent disapprove. When last asked October 24-28, 2018, 47 percent approved and 50 percent disapproved.

Forty-two percent say the phrase “cares about people like me” describes Trump, while 55 percent say this does not describe him. When last asked in August 2018, 39 percent said “cares about people like me” described Trump and 57 percent said it did not.

Thirty-one percent say “honest” describes Trump, while 62 percent say this does not describe him. When last asked in June 2017, 35 percent said “honest” described Trump and 59 percent said it did not.

Twenty percent say Trump has changed the Republican party for the better, 44 percent say he has changed it for the worse, and 31 percent say he has not changed the party either way. In late October 2018, 28 percent said he had changed the party for the better, 47 percent said he had changed it for the worse, and 21 percent said he had not changed the party either way.

Asked if there is “enough cause right now” for Congress to begin hearings on whether to impeach Trump, 33 percent say there is enough cause and 59 percent say there is not enough cause to begin hearings.

Among all registered voters, 27 percent say they would definitely vote to reelect Trump if the 2020 elections were held today, 12 percent say they would probably vote to reelect him. Eight percent would probably vote for someone else and 49 percent would definitely vote for someone else.

Democratic presidential primary outlook

Democrats and independents were asked about eight announced and potential candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination. With more than a year to go until the Wisconsin presidential primary, many of these candidates are little known to voters.

For each candidate, respondents were asked if this would be a top choice for them, an acceptable choice, someone they would not support, or if they did not know enough about them yet. The results are shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Opinion of potential Democratic candidates

  Top Choice Acceptable Not support Not heard enough
Joe Biden 32 44 16 7
Bernie Sanders 23 38 28 9
Elizabeth Warren 15 36 17 30
Kamala Harris 8 23 11 54
Cory Booker 8 24 8 56
Beto O’Rourke 12 21 8 56
Amy Klobuchar 5 20 8 62
Julian Castro 4 16 10 65

State of the state

Fifty-seven percent of Wisconsin registered voters see the state as headed in the right direction, while 33 percent think the state is off on the wrong track. In late October 2018, 55 percent said right direction and 40 percent said wrong track.

In the first Marquette Law School Poll since he took office, Evers’ job approval among registered voters stands at 39 percent, with 22 percent disapproving and 38 percent saying they do not have an opinion.

The Wisconsin legislature has a 52-percent approval rating, with 31 percent disapproval and 16 percent without an opinion.

Evers is viewed favorably by 41 percent and unfavorably by 24 percent. Another 28 percent say they have not heard enough about him, and 6 percent say they do not know.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is viewed favorably by 13 percent and unfavorably by 17 percent, with 59 percent saying they have not heard enough about him and 11 percent saying they do not know.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is viewed favorably by 24 percent and unfavorably by 19 percent, with 47 percent saying they have not heard enough about him and 10 percent saying they do not know.

For Attorney General Josh Kaul, 16 percent have a favorable view and 7 percent have an unfavorable view. Sixty-seven percent say they have not heard enough about him and 10 percent say they do not know.

For Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, the numbers are 16 percent favorable, 7 percent unfavorable, 67 percent who say they have not heard enough about him, and 9 percent who say they do not know.

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive statewide polling project in Wisconsin history. This poll interviewed 800 registered Wisconsin voters by landline or cell phone, January 16-20, 2019. The margin of error is +/-3.9 percentage points for the full sample.

Ten issue questions were asked of half the sample. Questions on Form A have a sample size of 399 and a margin of error of +/- 5.5 percentage points. Questions on Form B have a sample size of 401 and a margin of error of +/- 5.5 percentage points. Form A items include marijuana legalization, early prison release after half of sentence, possible Walker candidacy in 2022, preference for property tax cuts or more school spending, and preference for holding gas tax and fees at current level or increasing them to pay for roads. Form B items include marijuana legalization (with regulation like alcohol), early prison release after two-thirds of sentence, expansion of Medicaid, minimum wage increase and an increase in aid for special education.

The partisan makeup of the sample, including those who lean to a party, is 45 percent Republican, 43 percent Democratic and 11 percent independent. The long-term total for the previous 50 statewide Marquette polls, with 44,952 respondents, is 43 percent Republican and 47 percent Democratic, with 9 percent independent. The partisan makeup of the current sample, excluding those who lean to a party, is 29 percent Republican, 28 percent Democratic and 42 percent independent, compared to the long-term totals of 28 percent Republican, 31 percent Democratic and 40 percent independent.

The entire questionnaire, methodology statement, full results and breakdowns by demographic groups are available at law.marquette.edu/poll/results-and-data.

New Marquette Law School Poll finds Walker, Evers tied in Wisconsin’s race for governor

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll of Wisconsin voters finds a tie in the state’s race for governor, with incumbent Republican Scott Walker and Democrat challenger Tony Evers each receiving 47 percent support among likely voters. Libertarian candidate Phil Anderson receives 3 percent, and only 1 percent say they lack a preference or do not lean to a candidate. One percent declined to respond to the question. Likely voters are defined as those who say they are certain to vote in the Nov. 6 election. In the most recent Marquette Law School Poll, conducted Oct. 3-7, Walker was supported by 47 percent, Evers by 46 percent and Anderson by 5 percent among likely voters.

In the race for Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate seat, Democratic incumbent Tammy Baldwin leads among likely voters with 54 percent supporting her, while 43 percent support Republican challenger Leah Vukmir. Only 2 percent say they lack a preference or do not lean toward a candidate and 1 percent did not respond. In early October, Baldwin was supported by 53 percent and Vukmir by 43 percent.

In the race for Wisconsin attorney general, Republican incumbent Brad Schimel is the choice of 47 percent and Democrat Josh Kaul is the choice of 45 percent of likely voters. Seven percent lack a preference in this race and 2 percent did not respond. In the early October poll, Schimel held 47 percent and Kaul 43 percent of likely voters.

Among all registered voters surveyed in the poll, Walker receives 47 percent in the race for governor, with Evers receiving 44 percent and Anderson at 5 percent.

In the Senate race, among all registered voters, Baldwin receives 52 percent and Vukmir 42 percent.

For attorney general, registered voters give Schimel 45 percent and Kaul 43 percent.

The poll was conducted Oct. 24-28, 2018. The sample included 1,400 registered voters in Wisconsin interviewed by cell phone or landline, with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. For likely voters, the sample size is 1,154 and the margin of error is +/- 3.2 percentage points.

How turnout could affect election results

The results for likely voters are based on the definition that the Marquette Law School Poll has used since it began in 2012: those who say they are certain they will vote in November. Alternative models of likely voters could be broader, including those saying they are less than certain to vote, or could include enthusiasm and attention to politics. Table 1 shows the vote for governor by alternative measures of likelihood of turnout averaging over certainty of voting, enthusiasm and attention to politics. Evers’ percentage of the vote generally rises when turnout is projected to be lower,  while Walker’s vote percentage changes little in different projections of turnout.

Table 1: Vote for governor by alternative likely voter models

  Evers Walker Anderson
All Registered 44 47 5
90% of Registered 47 47 4
80% of Registered 47 48 3
Standard Likely Voter 47 47 3
70% of Registered 48 48 2
       

Vote for the Senate using different assumptions about voter turnout is shown in  Table 2.

Table 2: Vote for Senate by alternative likely voter models

  Baldwin Vukmir
All Registered 52 42
90% of Registered 54 43
80% of Registered 53 44
Standard Likely Voter 54 43
70% of Registered 53 45

Vote for attorney general by different likely voter criteria is shown in Table 3.

Table 3: Vote for attorney general by alternative likely voter models

  Kaul Schimel
All Registered 43 45
90% of Registered 45 46
80% of Registered 45 47
Standard Likely Voter 45 47
70% of Registered 45 48

Favorability and awareness of candidates

Table 4 shows favorable, unfavorable and unable-to-rate percentages in the early and late October polls.

Table 4: Favorability and awareness of candidates, Oct. 24-28 and Oct. 3-7, among likely voters

  Oct 24-28: Fav Oct 24-28: Unfav Oct 24-28: Not Heard/DK Oct 3-7: Fav Oct 3-7: Unfav Oct 3-7: Not Heard/DK
Evers 42 41 17 41 38 20
Vukmir 33 43 24 30 43 27
Kaul 16 12 72 10 8 81
Anderson 3 4 92 4 5 91
Walker 48 49 3 48 49 2
Baldwin 49 43 8 49 42 9
Schimel 29 25 45 32 22 46

Most important issues

Among likely voters, 25 percent say health coverage is their most important issue, followed by 20 percent choosing K-12 education and 20 percent picking jobs and the economy. The condition of roads ranks fourth, with 12 percent choosing it as most important.

Asked for their second-most-important issue, the condition of roads rises to the top 3, with K-12 education first at 20 percent, health coverage at 18 percent and the condition of roads at 16 percent. Jobs and the economy is picked by 13 percent.

The full set of most-important-issue responses is shown in Table 5.

Table 5: Most important issues facing Wisconsin

  Most important 2nd most important 1st or 2nd
Health coverage 25 18 43
K-12 education 20 20 40
Jobs and the economy 20 13 33
Condition of state roads, highways and bridges 12 16 28
Cutting taxes 7 10 17
Prisons and the criminal justice system 5 10 15
Something else 5 4 9
The UW System 2 5 7
Don’t know 3 2 5
State aid to local government 2 3 5
Refused 0 0 0

Among those ranking health coverage as their most important issue, Evers is supported by 65 percent and Walker by 32 percent. For those saying K-12 education is their top issue, 70 percent support Evers and 21 percent back Walker. Those who say jobs and economy are most important give Walker 74 percent to Evers’ 20 percent. Those most concerned about roads support Evers with 50 percent and Walker with 47 percent.

In the Senate race, among those ranking health coverage as their most important issue, Baldwin receives 70 percent and Vukmir 27 percent. For those saying K-12 education is their top issue, 73 percent support Baldwin and 24 percent back Vukmir. Those who say jobs and economy is most important give Vukmir 71 percent to Baldwin’s 26 percent. Those most concerned about roads support Baldwin with 63 percent and Vukmir with 36 percent.

Voting groups

The electorate has become increasingly segmented by gender and education among white voters, with longer-standing differences by race. Table 6 shows preference for governor among white males and females by education, and for non-whites or Hispanic likely voters. The sample size for non-white or Hispanic voters is too small to analyze by gender and education.

Table 6: Vote for governor by race, gender and education among likely voters

  White, Male, Noncollege White, Female, Noncollege White, Male, College White, Female, College Nonwhite or Hispanic
Evers 39 49 47 54 53
Walker 58 44 52 42 37
Anderson 2 3 1 3 7

Evers receives his strongest support from white, female college graduates and from nonwhite and Hispanic voters, while Walker does best with white, male noncollege graduates and has a smaller lead among white males with a college degree. Non-college white females give the edge to Evers.

Partisans are strongly supporting their party’s candidate, but independents are currently favoring Evers by 7 percentage points, as shown in Table 7.

Table 7: Vote for governor by Party ID among likely voters

  Rep Dem Ind
Evers 3 93 49
Walker 96 3 42
Anderson 0 3 5

Preferences in the contest for U.S. Senate by race, gender and education are shown in Table 8. Baldwin does best with white, female college graduates, but also holds a substantial advantage among non-college white females. White college males tilt slightly to Baldwin, and Vukmir has a substantial advantage with non-college white males. Baldwin has a substantial lead among non-white and Hispanic voters.

Table 8: Vote for senate by race, gender and education among likely voters

  White, Male, Noncollege White, Female, Noncollege White, Male, College White, Female, College Nonwhite or Hispanic
Baldwin 43 56 51 62 65
Vukmir 56 40 48 35 30

The senate vote by party is shown in Table 9. Partisan alignments are strong, although Vukmir’s support among Republicans is not as strong as Baldwin’s is among Democrats. Independents favor Baldwin.

Table 9: Vote for senate by party ID among likely voters

  Rep Dem Ind
Baldwin 8 97 59
Vukmir 91 2 37

In the attorney general race, the poll results are shown in Table 10 and Table 11. Schimel has a lead among both non-college and college white males, while Kaul has an advantage with both college and non-college white females and among non-white and Hispanic voters.

Table 10: Vote for attorney general by race, gender and education among likely voters

  White, Male, Noncollege White, Female, Noncollege White, Male, College White, Female, College Nonwhite or Hispanic
Kaul 38 49 41 51 51
Schimel 58 42 53 41 37

Table 11: Vote for attorney general by party ID among likely voters

  Rep Dem Ind
Kaul 6 87 45
Schimel 89 9 42

Schimel holds 89 percent of Republican support while Kaul receives 87 percent support from Democrats. Independents give Schimel 42 percent and Kaul 45 percent. Both candidates for attorney general remain less well-known than the gubernatorial and senate candidates.

State issues

Fifty-five percent of registered Wisconsin voters see the state as headed in the right direction while 40 percent think the state is off on the wrong track. In early October, 54 percent said right direction and 40 percent said wrong track. In late October 2014, 51 percent said the state was headed in the right direction and 44 percent said it was on the wrong track.

Among likely voters in the current poll, 54 percent say the state is headed in the right direction and 42 percent think the state is off on the wrong track.

Thirty-seven percent of registered voters think the state budget is in better shape than a few years ago, while 29 percent say it is about the same and 25 percent say the budget is in worse shape. In late October 2014, 44 percent said the budget was in better shape than a few years earlier, 23 percent said it was about the same and 27 percent said the budget was in worse shape.

Taxes and spending

When asked to balance property taxes with spending for public schools, registered voters say they would rather increase spending on public schools than reduce property taxes, by a 55 percent to 40 percent margin. Support for additional spending on public schools has increased since the question was first asked in 2013. The full trend on this issue is shown in Table 12.

Table 12: Trend in property tax vs school spending opinion, 2013-2018 among registered voters

  Cut property taxes Increase school spending
3/11-13/13 49 46
5/6-9/13 49 46
4/7-10/15 40 54
2/25-3/1/18 33 63
6/13-17/18 35 59
8/15-19/18 32 61
9/12-16/18 38 57
10/3-7/18 37 57
10/24-28/18 40 55

For those likely voters who rank K-12 education as their most important issue, 84 percent would increase school spending while 14 percent would hold down property taxes. For those who do not rank K-12 education as the most important issue, 49 percent would increase spending while 45 percent would hold down taxes.

Fifty-eight percent of registered voters think that salary and benefits for teachers in Wisconsin should be higher, 32 percent say they are about right and 4 percent think salary and benefits for teachers should be lower than they are now.

Asked what would be their first priority for improving student success in Wisconsin schools, 28 percent choose improved parenting while 25 percent pick more resources for schools. Twelve percent say more options for choosing schools and 11 percent say improved teaching. Improved early childhood programs is the choice of 9 percent, and 7 percent say better school leadership.

Roads

While respondents would pay higher taxes to increase spending on public schools, they are unwilling to increase gas taxes and vehicle registration fees in order to increase spending on roads.

Fifty-nine percent say it is more important to keep gas taxes and vehicle registration fees where they are now, while 36 percent say it is more important to raise gas taxes and registration fees in order to spend more on roads and highways. In early October, 61 percent preferred to keep taxes and fees down while 32 percent said they would increase taxes in order to spend more on roads.

Among likely voters who rank roads as their most important issue, 51 percent are willing to increase gas taxes and registration fees. Among those who do not rank roads as the most important issue, 60 percent are not willing to change taxes and registration fees. This is shown in Table 13.

Table 13: Increase gas tax/fees by rank roads as most important issue for likely voters

  No gas tax/fee increase Increase tax, spending on roads DK
Roads most important issue 48 51 1
Other most important issue 60 35 4

Foxconn

Forty-one percent of registered voters think the Foxconn plant will provide at least as much value as the state is investing in the plant, while 40 percent think the state is paying more than the Foxconn plant is worth. Eighteen percent say they don’t know if the plant will be worth it or not. This question was first asked in March 2018, and this is the first time that more voters said Foxconn would be worth as much as the state is providing in support.

A majority (58 percent) of registered voters statewide believe the Foxconn plant will substantially improve the economy of the greater Milwaukee area, while 27 percent do not think it will and 15 percent say they don’t know.

When asked if businesses where the respondent lives will benefit from Foxconn, 33 percent say businesses will benefit directly from the Foxconn plant, while 55 percent say their local businesses will not benefit and 12 percent don’t know.

Opioids

Eleven percent of registered voters say the state has done a lot to address the issue of opioid addiction, with 29 percent saying the state has done a fair amount about the issue. Thirty-two percent say the state has done only a little and 18 percent say it has done almost nothing. Ten percent say they don’t know what the state has done with respect to the opioid issue.

Walker job approval

Fifty percent of registered voters say they approve of how Walker is doing his job, while 46 percent disapprove. The trend in approval since June 2018 is shown in Table 14. In October 2014, 48 percent approved and 49 percent disapproved.

Table 14: Scott Walker job approval trend among registered voters

  Approve Disapprove Don’t know
June 2018 49 47 3
July 2018 47 45 7
August 2018 48 45 6
September 2018 44 50 5
October 3-7 2018 48 47 5
October 24-28 2018 50 46 3

Baldwin favorability

Among all registered voters (see Table 4, above, for likely voters), 45 percent have a favorable opinion of Baldwin and 40 percent are unfavorable. Baldwin is not rated by 14 percent. The trend in Baldwin favorability since June is shown in Table 15.

Table 15: Tammy Baldwin favorability trend among registered voters

  Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough/DK
June 2018 41 43 15
July 2018 41 40 18
August 2018 43 40 17
September 2018 45 39 16
October 3-7, 2018 45 40 14
October 24-28, 2018 45 40 14

Health coverage

A large majority of registered voters, 82 percent, say the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that preexisting conditions be covered by insurance companies is very important to them. Thirteen percent say such coverage is somewhat important, with 2 percent saying it is not too important and 1 percent saying it is not at all important.

Views of President Trump

President Donald Trump has a 47 percent approval rating, with 50 percent disapproving. In the previous Marquette Law School Poll in early October, his approval was 46 percent, with 51 percent disapproving. Partisans are deeply divided on Trump’s job performance, as shown in Table 16.

Table 16: Trump job approval by party ID among registered voters

  Rep Dem Ind
Approve 92 6 41
Disapprove 6 94 55
DK 2 0 3

Trump’s influence on, and divisions within, the Republican party

Asked if Trump has changed the Republican party—and if so, how—28 percent say he has changed it for the better, while 47 percent say he has changed it for the worse and 21 percent say he hasn’t changed it much either way.

Partisans have differing views of Trump’s effect on his party, as seen in Table 17.

Table 17: How Trump has changed GOP, by party ID among registered voters

  Rep Lean Rep Ind Lean Dem Dem
For better 63 38 13 4 1
For worse 9 20 45 75 86
Not changed 24 34 33 20 10

Political interaction

Twenty-seven percent of registered voters say they have tried to convince someone to vote for or against a particular candidate, while 72 percent say they have not done so.

Forty-six percent say they talk with family and friends about politics more than once a week and 23 percent talk about politics once a week. Thirteen percent talk once or twice a month and 9 percent talk a few times a year. Nine percent say they never talk politics with family or friends.

Thirty-three percent say they have stopped talking about politics with someone because of disagreements about the elections. In October 2014, 27 percent said the same.

Attention to campaign events

Registered voters are paying varying amounts of attention to campaign events and debates in Wisconsin. Table 18 shows the attention paid to President Trump’s campaign rallies and to the debates for governor, senator and attorney general.

Table 18: Attention paid to campaign rallies and debates

  Watch at least some live Followed news closely Saw some coverage but don’t follow closely Did not pay much attention
Trump rallies 18 24 28 29
Governor debates 12 13 21 51
Senate debates 13 12 20 53
Attorney general debates 1 7 11 78

Enthusiasm for voting

Overall, 70 percent of registered voters say they are very enthusiastic about voting in this year’s elections, with 19 percent somewhat enthusiastic and 10 percent either not very or not at all enthusiastic.

Among Republicans, 74 percent are very enthusiastic, while among Democrats 81 percent are. Among independents, 58 percent say they are very enthusiastic about voting this year. In early October, 70 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Democrats were very enthusiastic, with 59 percent of independents.

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive statewide polling project in Wisconsin history. This poll interviewed 1,400 registered Wisconsin voters by landline or cell phone, Oct. 24-28, 2018. The margin of error is +/-3 percentage points for the full sample.

For likely voters the sample size is 1,154 and the margin of error is +/- 3.2 percentage points.

Fourteen issue questions were asked of half the sample. Questions on Form A have a sample size of 691 and a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points. Questions on Form B have a sample size of 709 and a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points. Form A asks four questions about political conversations and three questions about Foxconn. Form B items include views of tariffs, free trade agreements, undocumented immigrants, abortion, how the state has handled opioids and two items on education concerning teacher salaries and priorities for improving education.

The partisan makeup of the sample, including those who lean to a party, is 47 percent Republican, 45 percent Democratic and 7 percent independent. The long-term total for the previous 49 statewide Marquette polls, with 44,152 respondents, is 43 percent Republican and 47 percent Democratic, with 9 percent independent. The partisan makeup of the current sample, excluding those who lean to a party, is 32 percent Republican, 30 percent Democratic and 37 percent independent, compared to the long-term totals of 27 percent Republican, 31 percent Democratic and 41 percent independent.

Among likely voters, the partisan makeup of the sample, including those who lean to a party, is 46 percent Republican, 47 percent Democratic and 6 percent independent. The partisan composition among likely voters, excluding those who lean to a party, is 33 percent Republican, 32 percent Democratic and 33 percent independent.

The entire questionnaire, methodology statement, full results and breakdowns by demographic groups are available at law.marquette.edu/poll/results-and-data