Poll Release

Final pre-election Marquette Law School Poll of Wisconsin voters finds both Senate and governor’s races are tossups

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll survey of Wisconsin voters finds the races for both U.S. Senate and governor are tossups one week before election day.

Among likely voters in the election for U.S. Senate, Sen. Ron Johnson is supported by 50% and Mandela Barnes by 48%. In the Marquette Law Poll’s previous survey, Oct. 3-9, among likely voters Johnson received 52% and Barnes 46%.

Among registered voters in the current poll, 48% support Johnson and 45% support Barnes. “Likely voters” are those who say they are certain to vote or who say they have already voted. “Registered voters” include those already registered and those who say they will register by election day. All vote results include undecided voters who lean to a candidate.

The governor’s race remains a tossup: Among likely voters 48% support Democratic incumbent Gov. Tony Evers, while 48% favor Republican Tim Michels. The independent candidate, Joan Beglinger, is chosen by 2%, while 1% don’t know. Beglinger ended her campaign on September 6 but will remain on the November ballot. In the Oct. 3-9 poll, among likely voters, Evers received 47%, Michels 46% and Beglinger 4%. In the new poll, among registered voters, 44% support Evers, 45% support Michels and 5% support Beglinger.

The survey was conducted Oct. 24-Nov. 1, 2022, interviewing 802 Wisconsin registered voters, with a margin of error of +/-4.6 percentage points. The margin of error among 679 likely voters is +/-4.8 percentage points.

Table 1 shows the vote preference for governor since August among likely voters and among all registered voters. (All results in the tables are stated as percentages; the precise wording of the questions can be found in the online link noted above.)

Table 1: Vote for Governor

(a) Likely voters

Poll datesEversMichelsBeglingerOtherDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/2248482010
10/3-9/2247464111
9/6-11/2247445030
8/10-15/2248444021

(b) Registered voters

Poll datesEversMichelsBeglingerOtherDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/2244455033
10/3-9/2246417131
9/6-11/2244438140
8/10-15/2245437032

Table 2 shows the trend in support for the Senate candidates among likely voters and among registered voters since August.

Table 2: Vote for U.S. Senate

(a) Likely voters

Poll datesBarnesJohnsonNeitherDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/224850011
10/3-9/224652111
9/6-11/224849110
8/10-15/225245011

(b) Registered voters

Poll datesBarnesJohnsonNeitherDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/224548213
10/3-9/224747421
9/6-11/224748330
8/10-15/225144131

Partisan support for the candidates in the race for governor is shown in Table 3 among likely voters. Both Democratic and Republican voters are strongly unified behind their respective party’s candidates, with 95% of Democrats supporting Evers and 97% of Republicans supporting Michels. Forty-seven percent of independents back Evers, while 46% prefer Michels. The independent candidate, Beglinger, receives 5% from independent voters and 1% from Republicans and 1% from Democrats.

Table 3: Vote for Governor by party identification (among likely voters)

(a) Oct. 24-Nov. 1

Party IDEversMichelsBeglingerDon’t knowRefused
Republican297100
Independent4746510
Democrat952110

(b) Oct. 3-9

Party IDEversMichelsBeglingerOtherDon’t knowRefused
Republican6884021
Independent43447113
Democrat9621000

(c) Sept. 6-11

Party IDEversMichelsBeglingerOtherDon’t knowRefused
Republican3922031
Independent453911050
Democrat9542000

(d) Aug. 10-15

Party IDEversMichelsBeglingerOtherDon’t knowRefused
Republican5922010
Independent49387042
Democrat9423001

Partisan support for the U.S. Senate candidates is shown in Table 4 among likely voters. Partisans are strongly aligned with their party’s candidates, with 98% of Democrats supporting Barnes and 97% of Republicans supporting Johnson. Forty-six percent of independents back Barnes, while 53% prefer Johnson. In early October 45% favored Barnes and 51% backed Johnson.

Table 4: Vote for U.S. Senate by party identification (among likely voters)

(a) Oct. 24-Nov. 1

Party IDBarnesJohnsonNeitherDon’t knowRefused
Republican397000
Independent4653100
Democrat980020

(b) Oct. 3-9

Party IDBarnesJohnsonNeitherDon’t knowRefused
Republican396001
Independent4551311
Democrat935020

(c) Sept. 6-11

Party IDBarnesJohnsonNeitherDon’t knowRefused
Republican297100
Independent4648230
Democrat964000

(d) Aug. 10-15

Party IDBarnesJohnsonNeitherDon’t knowRefused
Republican694000
Independent5540033
Democrat990000

Among Republicans, 83% are “likely voters”: that is, they say they are absolutely certain to vote in November’s elections or have already voted. The same is true of 89% of Democrats and 72% of independents. Early voting accounts for some of the Democratic advantage in those percentages, with 10% of Democrats saying they have already voted compared to 3% of Republicans. Those who have already voted are included in the percentages who are certain to vote. Certainty of voting by party is shown in Table 5; those who have already voted are included in the percentages who are “absolutely certain” to vote. In early October, Republicans were slightly more likely than Democrats to say they were certain to vote.

Table 5: What are the chances that you will vote in the November 2022 general election for governor, Congress, and other offices – are you absolutely certain to vote, very likely to vote, are the chances 50-50, or don’t you think you will vote? (“Absolutely certain” includes those who have already voted) by party identification

(a) Oct. 24-Nov. 1

Party IDAbsolutely certainVery likely50-50Will not voteRefused
Republican8310520
Independent7213961
Democrat895230

(b) Oct. 3-9

Party IDAbsolutely certainVery likely50-50Will not vote
Republican841141
Independent6917113
Democrat831070

(c) Sept. 6-11

Party IDAbsolutely certainVery likely50-50Will not vote
Republican771633
Independent7113123
Democrat801270

(d) Aug. 10-15

Party IDAbsolutely certainVery likely50-50Will not vote
Republican831142
Independent6616143
Democrat82855

The effect of different levels of turnout on the vote for governor is shown in Table 6. The first row shows preference among all registered voters, while the second row shows the results for an electorate composed of those either “absolutely certain” to vote or “very likely” to vote. The third row shows the results among only the most likely voters: those who say they are “absolutely certain” to vote. (As explained above and consistently with past practice, this last group constitutes “likely voters” in this release.)

Table 6: Vote for Governor by certainty of voting

How likely to voteEversMichelsBeglingerOtherDon’t know
All registered voters4445503
Absolutely certain or very likely to vote4747402
Absolutely certain to vote only4848201

The vote preferences of those less than certain to vote differ from the preferences among those certain to vote, which also affects the difference in vote margin between “likely voters” and all registered voters. Table 7 shows vote for governor comparing those absolutely certain to vote (“likely voters”) and those who say they are not certain to vote. Those less than certain to vote support Michels over Evers but are also much more likely to choose the independent candidate, to say they don’t know or to refuse to say.

Table 7: Vote for governor by whether people are certain or less than certain to vote

Certainty of votingEversMichelsBeglingerOtherDon’t knowRefused
Absolutely certain48482010
Less than certain3134160119

Table 8 shows the vote for U.S. Senate by certainty of voting.

Table 8: Vote for U.S. Senate by certainty of voting

How likely to voteeJohnsonNeitherDon’t know
All registered voters454821
Absolutely certain or very likely to vote484911
Absolutely certain to vote only485001

Table 9 shows vote preference for Senate comparing those who say they are absolutely certain to vote and those who say they are not. As with the vote for governor, the less likely give an edge to the Republican, Johnson, although those less likely to vote are also far more likely to not favor either candidate than are those absolutely certain to vote.

Table 9: Vote for U.S. Senate by whether people are certain or less than certain to vote

Certainty of votingBarnesJohnsonNeitherDon’t knowRefused
Absolutely certain4850011
Less than certain33438411

Those who are not certain to vote are much less enthusiastic about voting and pay less attention to politics than are those certain to vote, as shown in Table 10 (a) and Table 10 (b).

Table 10: Enthusiasm and attention to politics by certainty of voting

(a) How enthusiastic are you about voting in the elections this November for governor, senator, and other offices?

Certainty of votingVerySomewhatNot tooNot at allDon’t knowRefused
Absolutely certain79133410
Less than certain1141133320


(b) Some people seem to follow what’s going on in politics most of the time, whether there’s an election going on or not. Others aren’t that interested. Would you say you follow what’s going on in politics …?

Certainty of votingMost of the timeSome of the timeOnly now and thenHardly at allRefused
Absolutely certain7719310
Less than certain361724230

Perceived candidate traits

Table 11 shows the favorable and unfavorable ratings of the candidates among all registered voters since June, along with those who say they haven’t heard enough or don’t know.

The non-incumbents have become substantially better known following their primary victories on Aug. 9, although they remain less well known than the incumbents.

Table 11: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of [INSERT NAME] or haven’t you heard enough about them yet? (among registered voters)

(a) Evers

Poll datesFavorableUnfavorableHaven’t heard enoughDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/224446631
10/3-9/224446631
9/6-11/224545730
8/10-15/224641660
6/14-20/2244421120

(b) Michels

Poll datesFavorableUnfavorableHaven’t heard enoughDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/2239391651
10/3-9/2236362071
9/6-11/2234391981
8/10-15/22333324100
6/14-20/2222225150

(c) Beglinger

Poll datesFavorableUnfavorableHaven’t heard enoughDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/221363311
10/3-9/221666261
9/6-11/223663280


(d) Barnes

Poll datesFavorableUnfavorableHaven’t heard enoughDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/2240441141
10/3-9/2239401560
9/6-11/2233322591
8/10-15/22372230110
6/14-20/2221165760

(e) Johnson

Poll datesFavorableUnfavorableHaven’t heard enoughDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/224346731
10/3-9/224145941
9/6-11/2239471131
8/10-15/223847960
6/14-20/2237461420

Table 12 shows the perceptions of which candidates better understand the problems of ordinary people in Wisconsin over the course of the fall campaign.

Table 12: Who do you think better understands the problems faced by ordinary people in Wisconsin, …? (among registered voters)

(a) … Tony Evers or Tim Michels?

Poll datesTony EversTim MichelsBothNeitherDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/2248440251
10/3-9/2247390570
9/6-11/2247410470

(b) … Mandela Barnes or Ron Johnson?

Poll datesMandela BarnesRon JohnsonBothNeitherDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/2244450271
10/3-9/2247401580
9/6-11/2244401690

Table 13 shows the perception that candidates “share my values.” There has been some increase in the percentage of those polled who say the candidates “don’t share my values,” with less change in the percentage perceiving shared values. These shifts are somewhat larger for the non-incumbent candidates, Michels and Barnes, who were less well known at the beginning of the fall campaign.

Table 13: For each of the following candidates, would you say they are someone who shares your values or don’t they share your values? (among registered voters)

CandidatePoll datesShares valuesDoesn’t share valuesDon’t know
Evers10/24-11/1/2248466
Evers10/3-9/2248475
Evers9/6-11/2247485
Evers8/10-15/2250419
Michels10/24-11/1/22414711
Michels10/3-9/22434512
Michels9/6-11/22414711
Michels8/10-15/22383823
Barnes10/24-11/1/2244469
Barnes10/3-9/22444412
Barnes9/6-11/22444115
Barnes8/10-15/22453124
Johnson10/24-11/1/2244497
Johnson10/3-9/2246477
Johnson9/6-11/2242517
Johnson8/10-15/22405010

Table 14 shows the perception that candidates “care about people like you.” The images of the challengers, Michels and Barnes, have seen shifts with fewer saying they don’t know enough and increases in the percent saying a candidate “doesn’t care,” while the percent saying “cares” has changed little. The images of the two incumbents, Evers and Johnson, have barely shifted since August.

Table 14: For each of the following candidates, would you say they are someone who cares about people like you, or don’t they care about people like you? (among registered voters)

CandidatePoll datesCaresDoesn’t careDon’t know
Evers10/24-11/1/2252408
Evers8/10-15/2254389
Michels10/24-11/1/22434611
Michels8/10-15/22383823
Barnes10/24-11/1/2249428
Barnes8/10-15/22502723
Johnson10/24-11/1/2243497
Johnson8/10-15/22414910

Evers job approval

Table 15 shows approval since Feb. 2022 of how Evers has handled his job as governor. After declining net approval for much of the year, there have been slight upturns in the last two polls, with approval at 46% and disapproval at 47% in the latest survey.

Table 15: Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way Tony Evers is handling his job as Governor of Wisconsin? (among registered voters)

Poll datesNet approvalApproveDisapproveDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/22-1464762
10/3-9/22-2464851
9/6-11/22-3444780
8/10-15/222474581
6/14-20/223484561
4/19-24/226494371
2/22-27/229504181

Important issues

In each Marquette Law School poll since August 2021, respondents have been asked to rate how concerned they are with a variety of issues. Table 16 shows the concern with nine issues in the current survey, sorted from highest to lowest percent saying they are “very concerned.”

Table 16: How concerned are you about each of the following? Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned with … (among registered voters)

IssueVery concernedSomewhat concernedNot too concernedNot at all concerned
Inflation682462
Public Schools622855
Crime5728113
Gun violence5625107
Accurate vote count56171313
Abortion policy522699
Taxes4836123
Illegal immigration40291615
Coronavirus16362226

Inflation ranks as the top issue concern in this poll. After peaking in June, concern about inflation has been slightly lower since then but remains atop the list.

Table 17: Concern about inflation, Aug. 2021-Oct. 2022 (among registered voters)

Poll datesVery concernedSomewhat concernedNot too concernedNot at all concerned
10/24-11/1/22682462
10/3-9/22682551
9/6-11/22702452
8/10-15/22672740
6/14-20/22752041
4/19-24/22692361
2/22-27/22682831
10/26-31/21642861
8/3-8/214935113

Partisans differ substantially in their concern over particular issues, as shown in Table 18. Panel (a) is sorted by Republican concern. Panel (b) is sorted by concern among Democrats. Panel (c) is sorted by concern among independents. The entries are the percent of each partisan group who say they are “very concerned” about the issue. Republicans and Democrats have different top concerns—an accurate vote count and inflation for Republicans, and abortion policy and gun violence for Democrats—while independents put inflation and public schools as their top concerns.

Table 18: Issue concerns by party identification, percent “very concerned” (among registered voters)

(a) Sorted by concern among Republicans

IssueRepublicanIndependentDemocrat
Accurate vote count815038
Inflation807838
Crime795537
Illegal immigration71389
Taxes625421
Public schools586462
Gun violence445376
Abortion policy334781
Coronavirus81421


(b) Sorted by concern among Democrats

IssueRepublicanIndependentDemocrat
Abortion policy334781
Gun violence445376
Public schools586462
Accurate vote count815038
Inflation807838
Crime795537
Coronavirus81421
Taxes625421
Illegal immigration71389

(c) Sorted by concern among Independents

IssueRepublicanIndependentDemocrat
Inflation807838
Public schools586462
Crime795537
Taxes625421
Gun violence445376
Accurate vote count815038
Abortion policy334781
Illegal immigration71389
Coronavirus81421

Abortion

Awareness of the Supreme Court’s decision in June that overturned Roe v. Wade remains quite high. Seventy-eight percent say they have heard a lot about the decision, 19% have heard a little and 2% have heard nothing at all. Awareness has changed little since August, when 79% had heard a lot, 17% had heard a little and 3% had heard nothing at all. Table 19 shows attention to the decision by party identification in the current poll.

Table 19: How much have you heard or read about a recent United States Supreme Court decision on abortion? total and by party identification (among registered voters)

Party IDA lotA littleNothing at allDon’t know
Total781920
Republican752230
Independent772020
Democrat851410

The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is opposed by a majority of Wisconsin registered voters, including majorities of independents and Democrats, while it is favored by a majority of Republicans in the state, as shown in Table 20.

Table 20: Do you favor or oppose the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe versus Wade, thus striking down the 1973 decision that made abortion legal in all 50 states? Total and by party identification (among registered voters)

(a) Oct. 24-Nov. 1

Party IDFavorOpposeHaven’t heard of decisionDon’t KnowRefused
Total3755062
Republican7222051
Independent3552193
Democrat492021

(b) Oct. 3-9

Party IDFavorOpposeHaven’t heard of decisionDon’t KnowRefused
Total3360142
Republican6132133
Independent3060162
Democrat789130

(c) Sept. 6-11

Party IDFavorOpposeHaven’t heard of decisionDon’t KnowRefused
Total3063052
Republican5929084
Independent2866051
Democrat395020

(d) Aug. 10-15

Party IDFavorOpposeHaven’t heard of decisionDon’t KnowRefused
Total3360142
Republican6228082
Independent3162223
Democrat592021

The respondents overwhelmingly support allowing legal abortions in the case of rape or incest. Support within each partisan group is 70% or more, as shown in Table 21.

Table 21: Do you think Wisconsin should or should not allow a woman to obtain a legal abortion if she became pregnant as the result of rape or incest? Total and by party identification (among registered voters)

(a) Oct. 24-Nov. 1

Party IDShould allowShould not allowDon’t KnowRefused
Total841042
Republican732142
Independent83854
Democrat97310

(b) Oct. 3-9

Party IDShould allowShould not allowDon’t KnowRefused
Total831142
Republican721972
Independent83953
Democrat95401

(c) Sept. 6-11

Party IDShould allowShould not allowDon’t KnowRefused
Total831052
Republican702083
Independent83962
Democrat96220

Schools

If asked to choose between increasing state support for students to attend private schools or increasing funding for public schools, 29% favor more money for private school students while 63% prefer more state money go to public schools. Views on this issue differ by party identification, as shown in Table 22.

Table 22: If you were making the choice for the next Wisconsin state budget between increasing state support for students to attend private schools or increasing state support for public schools, which would you favor, private schools or public schools? total and by party identification (among registered voters)

Party IDPrivate schoolsPublic schoolsBoth equally (VOL)Neither (VOL)Don’t know
Total2963313
Republican4940126
Independent3062313
Democrat790201

Forty-six percent of registered voters say it is more important to reduce property taxes when compared to increasing spending on public schools, while 48% say it is more important to increase spending on public schools. When asked in early October, 42% said reduce property taxes and 52% said increase spending on public schools. Table 23 shows the partisan divide on support for property tax cuts vs. spending on schools in the current survey.

Table 23: Which is more important to you: reduce property taxes or increase spending on public schools? Total and by party identification (among registered voters)

Party IDReducing property taxesIncreasing spending on public schoolsDon’t knowRefused
Total464851
Republican722081
Independent474831
Democrat168040

Opinion on the choice between reducing property taxes and increasing funding for public schools has varied substantially over time. There had been more concern about property taxes prior to 2015, when support for school funding surged. The gap between the two options has narrowed since 2020, as shown in Table 24

Table 24: Which is more important to you: reduce property taxes or increase spending on public schools? (among registered voters)

Poll datesReducing property taxesIncreasing spending on public schoolsDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/22464851
10/3-9/22425250
9/6-11/22415153
8/10-15/22435250
4/19-24/22465040
8/3-8/21425251
2/19-23/20385651
1/8-12/20415541
1/16-20/19395560
10/24-28/18405541
10/3-7/18375761
9/12-16/18385750
8/15-19/18326151
6/13-17/18355950
2/25-3/1/18336331
4/7-10/15405451
5/6-9/13494641
3/11-13/13494641

State funding for police

There is very high support for the state to increase funding for police, with 78% in favor of more state aid for police while 15% are opposed. Majorities of each partisan group support an increase in state support for police.

Table 25: Do you favor or oppose increasing state funding for local police in Wisconsin? Total and by party identification (among registered voters)

Party IDFavorOpposeDon’t KnowRefused
Total781562
Republican95231
Independent801271
Democrat583273

Parental leave

A majority, 73%, favor requiring businesses to provide paid leave for new parents, while 18% are opposed. In August, 78% favored this and 17% were opposed. Majorities of each partisan group favor a parental leave policy, as shown in Table 26.

Table 26: Do you favor or oppose a proposal that would require businesses to provide paid family leave for mothers and fathers of new babies? Total and by party identification (among registered voters)

Party IDFavorOpposeDon’t KnowRefused
Total731882
Republican6226102
Independent6523102
Democrat95320

Direction of state and family financial situation

A majority of respondents, 58%, think the state is off on the wrong track, while 34% say it is headed in the right direction. The trend since 2020 is shown in Table 27.

Table 27: Thinking just about the state of Wisconsin, do you feel things in Wisconsin are generally going in the right direction, or do you feel things have gotten off on the wrong track? (among registered voters)

Poll datesRight directionWrong trackDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/22345881
10/3-9/22316360
9/6-11/22405371
8/10-15/22355690
6/14-20/22375660
4/19-24/22365670
2/22-27/22395381
10/26-31/21415171
8/3-8/21395290
3/24-29/20613091
2/19-23/20523980
1/8-12/20464761

The percentage saying their family is “living comfortably” has declined since 2020, while percentages of those “just getting by” and “struggling” have risen, as shown in Table 28.

Table 28: Thinking about your family’s financial situation, would you say you are living comfortably, just getting by, or struggling to make ends meet? (among registered voters)

Poll datesLiving comfortablyJust getting byStrugglingDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/2250381001
10/3-9/2253351110
9/6-11/2256331100
8/10-15/2254361001
8/3-8/216031701
10/21-25/206726601
9/30-10/4/206030911
8/30-9/3/206032801
8/4-9/206328810
6/14-18/206131611
5/3-7/206128901
3/24-29/2059301000
2/19-23/206229801
1/8-12/206328800
12/3-8/1962271111
Poll datesLiving comfortablyJust getting byStrugglingDon’t knowRefused
11/13-17/196625801
8/25-29/195930910
4/3-7/195931900
1/16-20/196030910
10/24-28/186030901
10/3-7/186329700
9/12-16/1856321210
8/15-19/186328900
6/13-17/1858301111
2/25-3/1/1854341010
6/22-25/1753321410
3/13-16/1754351110
10/26-31/1650351401
10/6-9/1647381500
9/15-18/1653341111
8/25-28/1653331300
6/9-12/1650371200
3/24-28/1651381010

Confidence in the 2022 and 2020 elections

Voters express more confidence that votes in this November’s election will be accurately cast and counted than they do, looking back, for the 2020 presidential election. Among registered voters 77% say they are very or somewhat confident and 20% say they are not too confident or not at all confident the upcoming election results will be accurate. The breakdown by party is shown in Table 29.

Table 29: How confident are you that, here in Wisconsin, the votes in this November’s election will be accurately cast and counted? Total and by party identification (among registered voters)

Party IDVery confidentSomewhat confidentNot too confidentNot at all confidentDon’t knowRefused
Total453212822
Republican2043231031
Independent4232111211
Democrat76211002

Opinion on the accuracy of the results of the 2020 presidential election continues to sharply divide the public, with 65% saying they are very or somewhat confident and 33% saying they are not too confident or not at all confident in the election result. These views overall and by party identification are shown in Table 30.

Table 30: How confident are you that, here in Wisconsin, the votes for president were accurately cast and counted in the 2020 election? Total and by party identification (among registered voters)

Party IDVery confidentSomewhat confidentNot too confidentNot at all confidentDon’t knowRefused
Total4619141931
Republican1226273301
Independent4516132160
Democrat85130010

Table 31 shows the trend in 2020 election confidence.

Table 31: How confident are you that, here in Wisconsin, the votes for president were accurately cast and counted in the 2020 election? (among registered voters)

Poll datesVery confidentSomewhat confidentNot too confidentNot at all confidentDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/224619141931
10/3-9/224815151930
9/6-11/224619161810
8/10-15/224818151721
6/14-20/225116112100
4/19-24/224816122310
2/22-27/224819111920
10/26-31/214718121930
8/3-8/214819151610

Jan. 6 hearings and documents at Mar-a-Lago

Among registered voters, 55% say they have heard a lot about the hearings of the House Select Committee on Jan. 6, while 31% have heard a little and 13% have heard nothing at all. These results are hardly different from the results in August, as shown in Table 32.

Table 32: How much have you heard or read about the hearings of the House Select Committee on Jan. 6th? (among registered voters)

Poll datesA lotA littleNothing at allDon’t know
10/24-11/1/225531130
8/10-15/225727151

There has also been virtually no change in opinion of the extent to which former President Donald Trump was responsible for the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6th, as shown in Table 33.

Table 33: How much responsibility, if any, should Donald Trump bear for the violence of some of his supporters in the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021? (among registered voters)

Poll datesA lotA littleNothing at allDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/2248173211
8/10-15/2247193122

A majority of registered voters, 55%, believe that Trump had top secret and other classified material or national security documents at his home in Mar-a-Lago this past summer, while 27% say they do not believe he had such documents. Table 34 shows the beliefs about these documents by party identification.

Table 34: Do you believe Donald Trump had top secret and other classified material or national security documents at his home in Mar-a-Lago this past summer? Total and by party identification (among registered voters)

Party IDYesNoDon’t KnowRefused
Total5527161
Republican2752210
Independent5526181
Democrat88480

Evaluations of Biden, Baldwin and Trump

In the current survey, 41% approve of the way President Joe Biden is handling his job as president, while 54% disapprove. In early October 42% approved and 55% disapproved. Table 35 shows approval overall and by party identification.

Table 35: Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way Joe Biden is handling his job as president? Total and by party identification, October 2022 (among registered voters)

Party IDApproveDisapproveDon’t knowRefused
Total415441
Republican39620
Independent365672
Democrat90910

The trend in Biden approval since 2021 is shown in Table 36.

Table 36: Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way Joe Biden is handling his job as president? (among registered voters)

Poll datesApproveDisapproveDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/22415441
10/3-9/22425521
9/6-11/22405540
8/10-15/22405551
6/14-20/22405730
4/19-24/22435331
2/22-27/22435232
10/26-31/21435341
8/3-8/21494640

Sen. Tammy Baldwin is seen favorably by 37% and unfavorably by 37%. The recent trend in views of Baldwin is shown in Table 37.

Table 37: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Tammy Baldwin or haven’t you heard enough about her yet? (among registered voters)

Poll datesFavorableUnfavorableHaven’t heard enoughDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/2237371781
10/3-9/2236361971
9/6-11/2237401941
8/10-15/2239371860
6/14-20/2239372031
4/19-24/2243361730
2/22-27/2242361831
10/26-31/2138391930
8/3-8/2140381930

Table 38 shows opinion of Trump overall and by party identification in the current survey. A large majority of Republicans hold a favorable view of Trump, while majorities of independents and Democrats have an unfavorable opinion of him.

Table 38: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump or haven’t you heard enough about them yet? Total and by party identification, September 2022 (among registered voters)

Party IDFavorableUnfavorableHaven’t heard enoughDon’t knowRefused
Total3953242
Republican7812352
Independent3553462
Democrat496000

Views of Trump have barely changed since 2021, as shown in Table 39.

Table 39: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump or haven’t you heard enough about them yet? (among registered voters)

Poll datesFavorableUnfavorableHaven’t heard enoughDon’t knowRefused
10/24-11/1/223953242
10/3-9/223755251
9/6-11/223858130
8/10-15/223857140
6/14-20/223956320
4/19-24/223658231
2/22-27/223657232
10/26-31/213857230
8/3-8/213855341

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive statewide polling project in Wisconsin history. This poll interviewed 802 registered Wisconsin voters by landline or cell phone from Oct. 24-Nov. 1, 2022. The margin of error is +/-4.6 percentage points for the full sample. The margin of error among 679 likely voters is +/-4.8 percentage points.

Some issue items were asked of half the sample. Those on Form A were asked of 399 and have a margin of error of +/-6.5 percentage points. Form B items were asked of 403 and have a margin of error of +/-6.4 percentage points.

Items asked of half-samples on Form A include concern about the issues of public schools, inflation, taxes, and gun violence. Form B asked concern about the coronavirus pandemic, illegal immigration, and ensuring an accurate vote count. Form B also included an item on property taxes and school spending. Concern about crime and about abortion policy were asked on both Form A and Form B.

The partisan makeup of the sample in this poll, including those who lean to a party, is 46% Republican, 44% Democratic and 9% independent. The partisan makeup of the sample, excluding those who lean to a party, is 30% Republican, 28% Democratic and 41% independent.

Since January 2020, the long-term partisan balance, including those who lean to a party, in the Marquette Law Poll has been 45% Republican and 44 % Democratic, with 9% independent. Partisanship excluding those who lean has been 30% Republican and 28% Democratic, with 41% 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 survey of Wisconsin voters finds Johnson leading Barnes in Senate race, Evers and Michels in a gubernatorial toss-up

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll survey of Wisconsin finds a wider margin in the U.S. Senate race than a month ago. Among likely voters, Sen. Ron Johnson is supported by 52% and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes is the choice of 46%. In September, among likely voters, Johnson received 49% and Barnes 48%. All vote results include undecided voters who lean to a candidate.

The governor’s race has tightened to a tossup: Among likely voters, 47% support Democrat incumbent Gov. Tony Evers, while 46% favor the Republican challenger, Tim Michels. The independent candidate, Joan Beglinger, is chosen by 4%, while 1% don’t know for whom they will vote. Beglinger ended her campaign on Sept. 6 but will remain on the November ballot. In September, among likely voters, Evers received 47%, Michels 44%, and Beglinger 5%.

The survey was conducted Oct. 3-9, 2022, interviewing 801 Wisconsin registered voters, with a margin of error of +/-4.3 percentage points. The margin of error among the 652 likely voters is +/-4.8 percentage points. The poll completed 596 of these interviews prior to the debate between the U.S. Senate candidates on Oct. 7.

Table 1 shows the vote preference for governor among likely voters, from August to October, and among registered voters since June. Beglinger was not included in the June survey. The results among all registered voters are more favorable to the Democratic candidates in both the governor and senate races, while totals for likely voters are, relatively, favorable for the Republican candidates. (All results in the tables are stated as percentages; the precise wording of the questions can be found in the online link noted above.)

Table 1: Vote for Governor

(a) Likely voters

Poll datesEversMichelsBeglingerOtherDon’t knowRefused
10/3-9/2247464111
9/6-11/2247445030
8/10-15/2248444021

(b) Registered voters

Poll datesEversMichelsBeglingerOtherDon’t knowRefused
10/3-9/2246417131
9/6-11/2244438140
8/10-15/2245437032
6/14-20/224841N/A282

Table 2 shows the trend in support for the Senate candidates among likely voters from August to October and among registered voters since June.

Table 2: Vote for U.S. Senate

(a) Likely voters

Poll datesBarnesJohnsonNeitherDon’t knowRefused
10/3-9/224652111
9/6-11/224849110
8/10-15/225245011

(b) Registered voters

Poll datesBarnesJohnsonNeitherDon’t knowRefused
10/3-9/224747421
9/6-11/224748330
8/10-15/225144131
6/14-20/224644172

Partisan support for the candidates in the race for governor is shown in Table 3 among likely voters. Both Democratic and Republican voters are strongly unified behind their respective party’s candidates, with 96% of Democrats supporting Evers and 88% of Republicans supporting Michels, a small decline in GOP support for Michels since September. Forty-three percent of independents back Evers, while 44% prefer Michels, a tightening of preferences among independents since September and August. The independent candidate, Beglinger, receives 7% from independent voters, 4% from Republicans, and 1% from Democrats.

Table 3: Vote for governor, by party identification, among likely voters

(a) October

Party IDEversMichelsBeglingerOtherDon’t knowRefused
Republican6884021
Independent43447113
Democrat9621000

(b) September

Party IDEversMichelsBeglingerOtherDon’t knowRefused
Republican3922031
Independent453911050
Democrat9542000

(c) August

Party IDEversMichelsBeglingerOtherDon’t knowRefused
Republican5922010
Independent49387042
Democrat9423001

Partisan support for the U.S. Senate candidates is shown in Table 4 among likely voters. Partisans are strongly aligned with their party’s candidates, with 93% of Democrats supporting Barnes and 96% of Republicans supporting Johnson. Forty-five percent of independents back Barnes, while 51% prefer Johnson. In September, 46% favored Barnes and 48% backed Johnson, a smaller shift among independents than seen between August and September.

Table 4: Vote for U.S. Senate, by party identification, among likely voters

(a) October

Party IDBarnesJohnsonNeitherDon’t knowRefused
Republican396001
Independent4551311
Democrat935020

(b) September

Party IDBarnesJohnsonNeitherDon’t knowRefused
Republican297100
Independent4648230
Democrat964000


(c) August

Party IDBarnesJohnsonNeitherDon’t knowRefused
Republican694000
Independent5540033
Democrat990000

Differences in the likelihood of voting, and in vote preference by certainty of voting, account for the different results between likely voters and all registered voters. Among Republicans, 84% say they are absolutely certain to vote in November’s elections or have already voted, as do 83% of Democrats and 69% of independents. Certainty of voting by party is shown in Table 5. In September, Democrats were slightly more likely than Republicans to say they were certain to vote.

Table 5: What are the chances that you will vote in the November 2022 general election for governor, Congress, and other offices—are you absolutely certain to vote, very likely to vote, are the chances 50-50, or don’t you think you will vote? (Certain includes those who have already voted) by party identification

(a) October

Party IDAbsolutely certainVery likely50-50Will not vote
Republican841141
Independent6917113
Democrat831070

(b) September

Party IDAbsolutely certainVery likely50-50Will not vote
Republican771633
Independent7113123
Democrat801270

(c) August

Party IDAbsolutely certainVery likely50-50Will not vote
Republican831142
Independent6616143
Democrat82855

The effect of different levels of turnout on vote for governor is shown in Table 6. The first row shows preference among all registered voters, with the second row showing the results for an electorate composed of those either “absolutely certain” to vote or “very likely” to vote. The third row shows the results among only the most likely voters: those who say they are absolutely certain to vote (a category generally said to constitute “likely voters”).

Table 6: Vote for governor, by certainty of voting

How likely to voteEversMichelsBeglingerOtherDon’t know
All registered voters4641713
Absolutely certain or very likely to vote4744413
Absolutely certain to vote only4746411

The vote preferences of those less than certain to vote differ from the preferences among those describing themselves as certain to vote, which also affects the difference in vote margin between likely voters and all registered voters. Table 7 shows vote for governor comparing those absolutely certain to vote and those who say they are not certain to vote.

Table 7: Vote for governor by certain or less than certain to vote

Certainty of votingEversMichelsBeglingerOtherDon’t knowRefused
Absolutely certain47464111
Less than certain4526153100

Table 8 shows the vote for U.S. Senate by likelihood of voting groupings.

Table 8: Vote for U.S. Senate by certainty of voting

How likely to voteBarnesJohnsonNeitherDon’t know
All registered voters474742
Absolutely certain or very likely to vote474922
Absolutely certain to vote only465211

Table 9 shows vote preference for Senate comparing those absolutely certain to vote and those who say they are not certain to vote. As with the vote for governor, candidate preference differs by certainty of voting.

Table 9: Vote for U.S. Senate, by certain or less than certain to vote

Certainty of votingBarnesJohnsonNeitherDon’t knowRefused
Absolutely certain4652111
Less than certain51311261

Perceived candidate ideology

Table 10 shows the perceived ideology of the Senate candidates, from “very liberal” to “very conservative.” For comparison, the self-described ideology of voters is included in the table. Both candidates are perceived as more strongly ideological than voters describe themselves. Voters are much more likely to describe themselves as “moderate” than to describe either candidate that way. Barnes is seen as “very liberal” by 32%, and Johnson is seen as “very conservative” by 37%. By comparison, 6% describe themselves as “very liberal” and 9% say they are “very conservative.”

Table 10: Perceived ideology of Senate candidates (among registered voters)

Perceived ideology:Very liberalLiberalModerateConservativeVery conservativeDon’t know
Mandela Barnes3232174213
Ron Johnson128393711
Voter’s self-description618313293

The candidates for governor are also seen as more ideological than the public sees itself, as shown in Table 11. Evers is seen as “very liberal” by 25%, and Michels is seen as “very conservative” by 32%. More see Evers as “moderate,” 23%, than see Michels that way, 8%. Neither matches the percent of self-described moderates in the electorate.

Table 11: Perceived ideology of gubernatorial candidates (among registered voters)

Perceived ideology:Very liberalLiberalModerateConservativeVery conservativeDon’t know
Tony Evers253523628
Tim Michels238363218
Voter’s self-description618313293

Perception of the candidates’ ideology varies with the voters’ self-described ideology. Voters who are very liberal, for example, tend to describe the Republican candidates as “very conservative,” while those who are very conservative tend to describe the Democratic candidates as “very liberal.” Those candidates in the same ideological camp as the voter are generally not seen as being so extreme, although voters who describe themselves as very conservative are somewhat more likely than not to describe Johnson as also very conservative. These relationships are shown in Table 12.

Table 12: Perceived candidate ideology, by self-described ideology (among registered voters)

(a) Mandela Barnes

Voter’s self-descriptionVery liberalLiberalModerateConservativeVery conservative
Very liberal14661800
Liberal9542702
Moderate18332561
Conservative5421732
Very conservative668553


(b) Ron Johnson

Voter’s self-descriptionVery liberalLiberalModerateConservativeVery conservative
Very liberal5012370
Liberal0142659
Moderate24113335
Conservative1195918
Very conservative1264147

(c) Tony Evers

Voter’s self-descriptionVery liberalLiberalModerateConservativeVery conservative
Very liberal13493502
Liberal5583041
Moderate152538101
Conservative42321162
Very conservative5231533

(d) Tim Michels

Voter’s self-descriptionVery liberalLiberalModerateConservativeVery conservative
Very liberal2071369
Liberal0162347
Moderate4482338
Conservative3195815
Very conservative03124927

Perceived candidate traits

Table 13 shows the favorable and unfavorable ratings of the candidates since June, along with those respondents who say they haven’t heard enough or don’t know.

The non-incumbents have become substantially better known following their primary victories on Aug. 9, although they remain less well known than the incumbents.

Table 13: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of [INSERT NAME] or haven’t you heard enough about them yet? (among registered voters)

(a) Evers

Poll datesFavorableUnfavorableHaven’t heard enoughDon’t knowRefused
10/3-9/224446631
9/6-11/224545730
8/10-15/224641660
6/14-20/2244421120

(b) Michels

Poll datesFavorableUnfavorableHaven’t heard enoughDon’t knowRefused
10/3-9/2236362071
9/6-11/2234391981
8/10-15/22333324100
6/14-20/2222225150

(c) Beglinger

Poll datesFavorableUnfavorableHaven’t heard enoughDon’t knowRefused
10/3-9/221666261
9/6-11/223663280

(d) Barnes

Poll datesFavorableUnfavorableHaven’t heard enoughDon’t knowRefused
10/3-9/2239401560
9/6-11/2233322591
8/10-15/22372230110
6/14-20/2221165760

(e) Johnson

Poll datesFavorableUnfavorableHaven’t heard enoughDon’t knowRefused
10/3-9/224145941
9/6-11/2239471131
8/10-15/223847960
6/14-20/2237461420

Table 14 shows the perceptions of which candidates better understand the problems of ordinary people in Wisconsin.

Table 14: Who do you think better understands the problems faced by ordinary people in Wisconsin, …? (among registered voters)

(a) … Tony Evers or Tim Michels?

Poll datesTony EversTim MichelsBothNeitherDon’t know
10/3-9/224739057

(b) … Mandela Barnes or Ron Johnson?

Poll datesMandela BarnesRon JohnsonBothNeitherDon’t knowRefused
10/3-9/2247401580

Table 15 shows the perception that candidates “share my values.” The relative lack of familiarity with the non-incumbent candidates, Michels and Barnes, is evident in the higher percentages that say they “don’t know” about them compared to the two incumbents, Evers and Johnson.

Table 15: For each of the following candidates, would you say they are someone who shares your values or don’t they share your values? (among registered voters)

CandidateShares valuesDoesn’t share valuesDon’t know
Evers48475
Michels434512
Barnes444412
Johnson46477

Evers job approval

Table 16 shows approval of how Evers has handled his job as governor since February 2022.

Table 16: Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way Tony Evers is handling his job as Governor of Wisconsin? (among registered voters)

Poll datesNet approvalApproveDisapproveDon’t knowRefused
10/3-9/22-2464851
9/6-11/22-3444780
8/10-15/222474581
6/14-20/223484561
4/19-24/226494371
2/22-27/229504181

Important issues

In each Marquette Law School Poll since August 2021, respondents have been asked to rate how concerned they are with a variety of issues. Table 17 shows the concern with nine issues in the current survey, sorted from highest to lowest percent saying they are “very concerned.”

Table 17: How concerned are you about each of the following? Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned with … (among registered voters)

IssueVery concernedSomewhat concernedNot too concernedNot at all concerned
Inflation682551
Public Schools602963
Gun violence602295
Abortion policy5622108
Crime5629113
Accurate vote count52231310
Taxes4736123
Illegal immigration40232313
Coronavirus13332528

Inflation ranks as the top issue concern. After peaking in June, concern about inflation has been slightly lower since August, as shown in Table 18.

Table 18: Concern about inflation, Aug. 2021-Oct. 2022 (among registered voters)

Poll datesVery concernedSomewhat concernedNot too concernedNot at all concerned
10/3-9/22682551
9/6-11/22702452
8/10-15/22672740
6/14-20/22752041
4/19-24/22692361
2/22-27/22682831
10/26-31/21642861
8/3-8/214935113

Partisans differ substantially in their concern over particular issues, as shown in Table 19. Panel (a) is sorted by Republican concern, panel (b) is sorted by concern among Democrats and panel (c) is sorted by concern among independents. The entries are the percent of each partisan group who say they are “very concerned” about the issue. Republicans and Democrats have different top concerns, inflation and crime for Republicans, abortion policy and gun violence for Democrats, while independents put public schools as their top concern, followed by inflation.

Table 19: Issue concerns by party identification, percent “very concerned” (among registered voters)

(a) Sorted by concern among Republicans

IssueRepublicanIndependentDemocrat
Inflation816951
Illegal immigration743712
Crime745538
Accurate vote count725530
Taxes595325
Public schools547153
Gun violence435878
Abortion policy365381
Coronavirus91023

(b) Sorted by concern among Democrats

IssueRepublicanIndependentDemocrat
Abortion policy365381
Gun violence435878
Public schools547153
Inflation816951
Crime745538
Accurate vote count725530
Taxes595325
Coronavirus91023
Illegal immigration743712

(c) Sorted by concern among Independents

IssueRepublicanIndependentDemocrat
Public schools547153
Inflation816951
Gun violence435878
Crime745538
Accurate vote count725530
Taxes595325
Abortion policy365381
Illegal immigration743712
Coronavirus91023

Gender differences also appear across issues. Women are notably more concerned with gun violence and abortion policy than are men, while men are substantially more concerned with taxes than are women. Inflation is a substantial and similar level of concern for both men and women. Gender differences in concern on other issues are modest.

Table 20: Issue concerns by gender, percent “very concerned” (among registered voters)

(a) Sorted by concern among women

IssueMaleFemale
Gun violence4672
Inflation7166
Abortion policy4863
Public schools5861
Crime5557
Accurate vote count5252
Taxes5541
Illegal immigration4040
Coronavirus918

(b) Sorted by concern among men

IssueMaleFemale
Inflation7166
Public schools5861
Crime5557
Taxes5541
Accurate vote count5252
Abortion policy4863
Gun violence4672
Illegal immigration4040
Coronavirus918

Abortion

The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is opposed by a majority of Wisconsin registered voters, including majorities of independents and Democrats, while it is favored by a majority of Republicans in the state, as shown in Table 21. There has been little change in opinion on this since August.

Table 21: Do you favor or oppose the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe versus Wade, thus striking down the 1973 decision that made abortion legal in all 50 states?, total and by party identification (among registered voters)

(a) October

Party IDFavorOpposeHaven’t heard of decisionDon’t KnowRefused
Total3360142
Republican6132133
Independent3060162
Democrat789130

(b) September

Party IDFavorOpposeHaven’t heard of decisionDon’t KnowRefused
Total3063052
Republican5929084
Independent2866051
Democrat395020

(c) August

Party IDFavorOpposeHaven’t heard of decisionDon’t KnowRefused
Total3360142
Republican6228082
Independent3162223
Democrat592021

The survey respondents overwhelmingly support allowing legal abortions in the case of rape or incest. Support within each partisan group is 70% or more, as shown in Table 22.

Table 22: Do you think Wisconsin should or should not allow a woman to obtain a legal abortion if she became pregnant as the result of rape or incest?, total and by party identification (among registered voters)

(a) October

Party IDShould allowShould not allowDon’t KnowRefused
Total831142
Republican721972
Independent83953
Democrat95401


(b) September

Party IDShould allowShould not allowDon’t KnowRefused
Total831052
Republican702083
Independent83962
Democrat96220

(c) August

Party IDShould allowShould not allowDon’t KnowRefused
Total88841
Republican791642
Independent87652
Democrat97110

Marijuana legalization

About two-thirds of registered voters, 64%, favor legalization of marijuana, with 30% opposed. Table 23 shows the total and partisan views of this issue.

Table 23: Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal or not? (among registered voters)

Party IDYes, legalNo, illegalDon’t KnowRefused
Total643061
Republican435061
Independent672561
Democrat821440

Views of legalization of marijuana have changed significantly since 2013, as shown in Table 24.

Table 24: Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal or not? since 2013 (among registered voters)

Poll dateLegalIllegalDon’t knowRefused
10/21-24/13504551
3/20-23/14425260
9/11-14/14465120
7/7-10/16593910
8/15-19/18613630
1/16-20/19583560
4/3-7/19593641
2/22-27/22613170
8/10-15/22692380
10/3-9/22643061

Fear of crime

While 56% say they are very concerned with crime, a large majority, 77%, say they feel safe going about their daily activities. Twenty-one percent of respondents say they worry about their safety. On this item, there are moderate partisan differences, and large majorities of each partisan group say they feel safe, as shown in Table 25.

Table 25: Do you feel safe from crime when going about your daily activities or are you worried about your safety? total and by party identification (among registered voters)

Party IDFeel safeWorriedDon’t know
Total77211
Republican71263
Independent76240
Democrat86121

While generally not worried about their personal safety, Republicans express considerably greater concern than Democrats about crime as an issue, as shown in Table 26.

Table 26: How concerned are you about each of the following… Crime? total and by party identification (among registered voters)

Party IDVery concernedSomewhat concernedNot too concernedNot at all concernedDon’t know
Total56291130
Republican7417720
Independent5532841
Democrat38391950

Worry about personal safety is greater in the City of Milwaukee than in other areas of the state, as shown in Table 27, which combines data from October 2021 and April, September, and October 2022 to provide regional comparisons.

Table 27: Do you feel safe from crime when going about your daily activities or are you worried about your safety? by region, Oct. 2021, April, Sept. & Oct. 2022 (among registered voters)

RegionFeel safeWorriedDon’t know
City of Milwaukee51481
Rest of Milwaukee media market74242
Madison media market82171
Green Bay media market86140
Rest of north and west of state85150

While those in the Milwaukee area outside of the city are much less worried about personal safety than are residents of the city, they express similarly high levels of concern about crime to those in the city. Those in other regions of the state express lower levels of concern. Table 28 combines the August, September, and October polls to increase sample size in each region.

Table 28: How concerned are you about each of the following… Crime? by region, Aug., Sept. & Oct. 2022 (among registered voters)

RegionVery concernedSomewhat concernedNot too concernedNot at all concernedDon’t know
City of Milwaukee7416820
Rest of Milwaukee media market6725610
Madison media market48351420
Green Bay media market49321261
Rest of north and west of state54311131

Schools

If asked to choose between increasing state support for students to attend private schools or increasing funding for public schools, 28% favor more money for private school students, while 64% prefer more state money go to public schools. Views on this issue differ by party identification, as shown in Table 29.

Table 29: If you were making the choice for the next Wisconsin state budget between increasing state support for students to attend private schools and increasing state support for public schools, which would you favor, private schools or public schools? total and by party identification (among registered voters)

Party IDPrivate schoolsPublic schoolsBoth equallyNeitherDon’t know
Total2864323
Republican4645134
Independent3059524
Democrat593101

Forty-two percent of registered voters say it is more important to reduce property taxes, while 52% say it is more important to increase spending on public schools. When asked in September, 41% said reduce property taxes and 51% said increase spending on public schools. Table 30 shows the partisan divide on support for property tax cuts vs. spending on schools in the September survey.

Table 30: Which is more important to you: reduce property taxes or increase spending on public schools?, total and by party identification (among registered voters)

Party IDReducing property taxesIncreasing spending on public schoolsDon’t knowRefused
Total425250
Republican692560
Independent405271
Democrat168211

Opinion on the choice between reducing property taxes and increasing funding for public schools has varied substantially over time, with more concern about property taxes prior to 2015, while support for school funding began to surge in 2015, subsiding somewhat beginning in late 2018. The trend is shown in Table 31.

Table 31: Which is more important to you: reduce property taxes or increase spending on public schools? (among registered voters)

Poll datesReducing property taxesIncreasing spending on public schoolsDon’t knowRefused
10/3-9/22425250
9/6-11/22415153
8/10-15/22435250
4/19-24/22465040
8/3-8/21425251
2/19-23/20385651
1/8-12/20415541
1/16-20/19395560
10/24-28/18405541
10/3-7/18375761
9/12-16/18385750
8/15-19/18326151
6/13-17/18355950
2/25-3/1/18336331
4/7-10/15405451
5/6-9/13494641
3/11-13/13494641

State funding for police and sentencing preferences

There is very high support for the state to increase funding for police, with 75% in favor of more state aid for police and 19% opposed. Majorities of each partisan group support an increase in state support for police.

Table 32: Do you favor or oppose increasing state funding for local police in Wisconsin?, total and by party identification (among registered voters)

Party IDFavorOpposeDon’t KnowRefused
Total751961
Republican91730
Independent722061
Democrat612991

Opinion on harsher sentencing for crimes is evenly divided, with 41% saying sentences should be more severe for all crimes, while 46% oppose making sentences more severe. Opinion was also evenly divided on this question when last asked in July 2016, with 49% supporting more severe sentences and 48% opposed. There is a partisan divide on this issue, as shown in Table 33.

Table 33: Do you support or oppose making sentences more severe for all crimes?, total and by party identification (among registered voters)

Party IDSupportOpposeDon’t knowRefused
Total4146121
Republican6523111
Independent3451142
Democrat276391

More people oppose increasing incarceration of juvenile offenders, 49%, than support doing so, 35%. In July 2016, 52% opposed increased incarceration of juvenile offenders and 46% supported it. Overall opinion and the views by party are shown in Table 34.

Table 34: Do you support or oppose locking up more juvenile offenders?, total and by party identification (among registered voters)

Party IDSupportOpposeDon’t knowRefused
Total3549142
Republican5528170
Independent2953153
Democrat2366101

Direction of state and family financial situation

A majority of respondents, 63%, think the state is off on the wrong track, while 31% say it is headed in the right direction. The trend since 2020 is shown in Table 35.

Table 35: Thinking just about the state of Wisconsin, do you feel things in Wisconsin are generally going in the right direction, or do you feel things have gotten off on the wrong track? (among registered voters)

Poll datesRight directionWrong trackDon’t knowRefused
10/3-9/22316360
9/6-11/22405371
8/10-15/22355690
6/14-20/22375660
4/19-24/22365670
2/22-27/22395381
10/26-31/21415171
8/3-8/21395290
3/24-29/20613091
2/19-23/20523980
1/8-12/20464761

The percentage saying their family is “living comfortably” has declined somewhat since 2020, while those “just getting by” or “struggling” have risen in number, as shown in Table 36. The current numbers are closer to the first time the question was asked, in 2016, than to the numbers in the middle period.

Table 36: Thinking about your family’s financial situation, would you say you are living comfortably, just getting by, or struggling to make ends meet? (among registered voters)

Poll datesLiving comfortablyJust getting byStrugglingDon’t knowRefused
10/3-9/2253351110
9/6-11/2256331100
8/10-15/2254361001
8/3-8/216031701
10/21-25/206726601
9/30-10/4/206030911
8/30-9/3/206032801
8/4-9/206328810
6/14-18/206131611
5/3-7/206128901
3/24-29/2059301000
2/19-23/206229801
1/8-12/206328800
12/3-8/1962271111
Poll datesLiving comfortablyJust getting byStrugglingDon’t knowRefused
11/13-17/196625801
8/25-29/195930910
4/3-7/195931900
1/16-20/196030910
10/24-28/186030901
10/3-7/186329700
9/12-16/1856321210
8/15-19/186328900
6/13-17/1858301111
2/25-3/1/1854341010
6/22-25/1753321410
3/13-16/1754351110
10/26-31/1650351401
10/6-9/1647381500
9/15-18/1653341111
8/25-28/1653331300
6/9-12/1650371200
3/24-28/1651381010

Confidence in 2020 election

Opinion on the accuracy of the results of the 2020 presidential election continues to sharply divide the public, with 63% saying they are very or somewhat confident in the presidential election result and 34% saying they are not too confident or not at all confident in it. These views overall and by party identification are shown in Table 37.

Table 37: How confident are you that, here in Wisconsin, the votes for president were accurately cast and counted in the 2020 election?, total and by party identification (among registered voters)

Party IDVery confidentSomewhat confidentNot too confidentNot at all confidentDon’t knowRefused
Total4815151930
Republican1816273540
Independent4322141831
Democrat8863210

Table 38 shows the trend in 2020 election confidence.

Table 38: How confident are you that, here in Wisconsin, the votes for president were accurately cast and counted in the 2020 election? (among registered voters)

Poll datesVery confidentSomewhat confidentNot too confidentNot at all confidentDon’t knowRefused
10/3-9/224815151930
9/6-11/224619161810
8/10-15/224818151721
6/14-20/225116112100
4/19-24/224816122310
2/22-27/224819111920
10/26-31/214718121930
8/3-8/214819151610

Evaluations of Biden, Baldwin, and Trump

In October, 42% approve of the way President Joe Biden is handling his job, while 55% disapprove. In September, 40% approved and 55% disapproved. Table 39 shows approval overall and by party identification.

Table 39: Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way Joe Biden is handling his job as president?, total and by party identification, October 2022 (among registered voters)

Party IDApproveDisapproveDon’t knowRefused
Total425521
Republican69300
Independent375931
Democrat88921

The trend in Biden approval since 2021 is shown in Table 40.

Table 40: Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way Joe Biden is handling his job as president? (among registered voters)

Poll datesApproveDisapproveDon’t knowRefused
10/3-9/22425521
9/6-11/22405540
8/10-15/22405551
6/14-20/22405730
4/19-24/22435331
2/22-27/22435232
10/26-31/21435341
8/3-8/21494640

Sen. Tammy Baldwin is seen favorably by 36% and unfavorably by 36%. The trend in views of Baldwin is shown in Table 41.

Table 41: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Tammy Baldwin or haven’t you heard enough about her yet? (among registered voters)

Poll datesFavorableUnfavorableHaven’t heard enoughDon’t knowRefused
10/3-9/2236361971
9/6-11/2237401941
8/10-15/2239371860
6/14-20/2239372031
4/19-24/2243361730
2/22-27/2242361831
10/26-31/2138391930
8/3-8/2140381930

Table 42 shows opinion of former President Donald Trump overall and by party identification in the October survey. A large majority of Republicans hold a favorable view of Trump, while majorities of independents and Democrats have an unfavorable opinion of him.

Table 42: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump or haven’t you heard enough about him yet?, total and by party identification, September 2022 (among registered voters)

Party IDFavorableUnfavorableHaven’t heard enoughDon’t knowRefused
Total3755251
Republican7815250
Independent2958373
Democrat495100

Views of Trump have barely changed since 2021, as shown in Table 43.

Table 43: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump or haven’t you heard enough about him yet? (among registered voters)

Poll datesFavorableUnfavorableHaven’t heard enoughDon’t knowRefused
10/3-9/223755251
9/6-11/223858130
8/10-15/223857140
6/14-20/223956320
4/19-24/223658231
2/22-27/223657232
10/26-31/213857230
8/3-8/213855341

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive statewide polling project in Wisconsin history. This poll interviewed 801 registered Wisconsin voters by landline or cell phone during Oct. 3-9, 2022. The margin of error is +/-4.3 percentage points for the full sample. The margin of error among the 652 likely voters is +/-4.8 percentage points. The poll completed 596 interviews prior to the debate between the U.S. Senate candidates on Oct. 7.

Some issue items were asked of half the sample. Those on Form A were asked of 402 respondents and have a margin of error of +/-6.2 percentage points. Form B items were asked of 399 and have a margin of error of +/-6 percentage points.

Items asked of half-samples include on Form A concern about the issues of public schools, inflation, taxes, and gun violence. Form B asked concern about the coronavirus pandemic, illegal immigration, and ensuring an accurate vote count. Form B also included items on property taxes and school spending, and the closing of schools and businesses at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Concern about crime and abortion policy was asked on both Form A and Form B.

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% independent.

Since January 2020, the long-term partisan balance, including those who lean to a party, in the Marquette Law School Poll has been 45% Republican and 44% Democratic, with 9% independent. Partisanship excluding those who lean has been 30% Republican and 28% Democratic, with 41% independent. The entire questionnaire, methodology statement, full results and breakdowns by demographic groups are available at law.marquette.edu/poll/results-and-data.