Poll Release

New Marquette Law School Poll survey of Wisconsin finds close races in Senate and governor primaries and in November final elections, with enthusiasm for voting gap favoring Republicans

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll survey of Wisconsin finds close races shaping up in both Republican and Democratic gubernatorial and U.S. Senate primaries in August, as well as in the November U.S. Senate race. The poll also finds that incumbent Gov. Tony Evers has an early advantage in the general election for governor.

In the first Marquette Law School Poll conducted since he entered the race in April, Tim Michels is the choice of 27% of Republicans (including independents who lean Republican) and independents who say they will vote in the GOP primary for governor. Rebecca Kleefisch is supported by 26%, Kevin Nicholson is supported by 10%, Tim Ramthun is the choice of 3%, and Adam Fischer is supported by less than 0.5%. A substantial 32% of Republican primary voters remain undecided, down from 46% who were undecided in the Marquette Law School Poll conducted in April.

In the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, Mandela Barnes receives support of 25% and Alex Lasry is supported by 21% among Democrats (including independents who lean Democratic) and independents who say they will vote in the Democratic primary. Sarah Godlewski is the choice of 9%, and Tom Nelson holds 7%. The other seven candidates received 1% or less support.

Many Democratic primary voters remain undecided, with 36% saying they don’t know how they will vote, which is less than the 48% who were undecided in the April survey.

The survey was conducted June 14-20, 2022, interviewing 803 Wisconsin registered voters, with a margin of error of +/-4.3 percentage points. The margin of error for Democratic primary voters is 6.2 percentage points and for Republican primary voters is 6.3 percentage points.

Table 1 shows the trends in support for the Republican primary for governor since February. (All results in the tables are stated as percentages; the precise wording of the questions can be found in the online link noted at the top.)

Table 1: Republican primary preferences, U.S. Senate, February-June 2022

Primary choiceJuneAprilFebruary
Michels27NANA
Kleefisch263230
Nicholson10108
Ramthun345
Other231
Fischer*NANA
Will not vote031
Don’t know324654
Refused012
* indicates less than .5% but more than 0

Table 2 shows the trends in support for the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate since February.

Table 2: Democratic primary preferences, U.S. Senate, February-June 2022

Primary choiceJuneAprilFebruary
Barnes251923
Lasry211613
Godlewski973
Nelson755
Peckarsky110
Olikara*00
Lewis*12
Murphy**2
Lee000
Rumbaugh000
Williams0**
BattinoNANA1
Will not vote033
Don’t know364848
Refused011
* indicates less than .5% but more than 0


General election for governor

For the first time in the 2022 election cycle, this poll asked about possible November general election pairings for governor, matching incumbent Gov. Tony Evers against each of the top four Republican primary candidates. These results are shown in Table 3 (a) through Table 3 (d). Evers is supported by 47% to Kleefisch’s 43%, and Evers gets 48% to Michels’ 41%. Against Nicholson, Evers receives 48% to 40%. Evers holds a 51% to 34% margin over Ramthun. Here, and in subsequent tables, candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

Table 3: November general election for governor

(a) Evers vs. Kleefisch

Poll datesEversKleefischSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t knowRefused
6/14-20/2247431271

(b) Evers vs. Michels

Poll datesEversMichelsSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t knowRefused
6/14-20/2248412181

(c) Evers vs. Nicholson

Poll datesEversNicholsonSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t knowRefused
6/14-20/2248401181

(d) Evers vs. Ramthun

Poll datesEversRamthunSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t knowRefused
6/14-20/22513421111

General election for U.S. Senate

The November race for U.S. Senate will match incumbent Republican Sen. Ron Johnson against the winner of the August Democratic primary. This poll paired each of the top four primary candidates against Johnson. This is the first such matchup in the Marquette Law School Poll this cycle. These results are shown in Table 4 (a) through Table 4 (b). Johnson slightly trails three of the four Democrat candidates polled, including 46%-44% against Barnes, 45%-43% against Godlewski, and 44%-43% against Nelson. Previewing a possible matchup with Lasry, Johnson slightly leads in support, 45%-42%.

Table 4: November general election for U.S. Senate

(a) Johnson vs. Barnes

Poll datesJohnsonBarnesSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t knowRefused
6/14-20/2244461171


(b) Johnson vs. Godlewski

Poll datesJohnsonGodlewskiSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t knowRefused
6/14-20/2243452191

(c) Johnson vs. Lasry

Poll datesJohnsonLasrySomeone elseWould not voteDon’t knowRefused
6/14-20/22454221101

(d) Johnson vs. Nelson

Poll datesJohnsonNelsonSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t knowRefused
6/14-20/22434421101

Favorability of the primary candidates

Table 5 shows the favorability ratings of the top four Republican candidates for governor and the percentage with no opinion (i.e., those saying they haven’t heard enough or don’t know how they feel about the candidate). Michels and Kleefisch have essentially equally positive net favorable ratings from GOP primary voters, with Nicholson about half as net favorable. Ramthun has a net negative favorability rating. Among these candidates, 46% or more of Republican voters say they don’t have an opinion of each, less than two months before the primary on Aug. 9.

Table 5: Favorability of Republican primary candidates, among Republican primary voters

CandidateNetFavorable opinionUnfavorableNo opinion
Kleefisch34441046
Michels3542751
Nicholson1927865
Ramthun-371084

Favorability of the Democratic primary candidates for governor among Democratic primary voters is shown in Table 6. Barnes has the highest net favorability, followed by Lasry, Godlewski, and Nelson. In each instance, over 50% of Democratic primary voters say they don’t have an opinion of the candidates

Table 6: Favorability to Democratic primary candidates, among Democratic primary voters

CandidateNetFavorableUnfavorableNo opinion
Barnes3841356
Godlewski1724769
Lasry2231960
Nelson412879

Partisanship and vote choice in the November general elections

The tables below — 7(a) through 7 (d) — show the votes for governor overall and by party identification. Vote choice is strongly structured by partisanship in these matchups, with 90% or more of Democrats supporting Evers and between 70% and 83% of Republicans supporting the GOP candidate. Independents favor Evers in each of these pairings, although a substantial percentage of independents say they don’t know how they will vote. In these currently hypothetical matchups, Republicans are a bit more likely not to express a vote choice than are Democrats.

Table 7: November general election for governor

(a) Evers vs. Kleefisch

GroupEversKleefischSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t know
Total4743127
Republican780229
Independent39306815
Democrat907003

(b) Evers vs. Michels

GroupEversMichelsSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t know
Total4841218
Republican783118
Independent36189528
Democrat943003

(c) Evers vs. Nicholson

GroupEversNicholsonSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t know
Total4840118
Republican980109
Independent302361128
Democrat933003

(d) Evers vs. Ramthun

GroupEversRamthunSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t know
Total51342111
Republican13702113
Independent43128430
Democrat932014

Turning to the U.S. Senate race, the next set of tables — 8 (a) through 8 (d) — shows the votes for U.S. Senate, overall and by party identification. In these pairings, Republicans give Johnson 83% to 87% support, while Democrats back their party’s candidates at 86% to 91% rates. Independents vary in support, preferring Barnes by 1 percentage point and Johnson by from 2 to 8 percentage points in the other pairings. As in the race for governor, many more independents are undecided in their vote for U.S. Senate than are Republicans or Democrats.

Table 8: November general election for U.S. Senate

(a) Johnson vs. Barnes

GroupJohnsonBarnesSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t know
Total4446117
Republican866007
Independent282911524
Democrat591004

(b) Johnson vs. Godlewski

GroupJohnsonGodlewskiSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t know
Total4345219
Republican837008
Independent302314426
Democrat589005

(c) Johnson vs. Lasry

GroupJohnsonLasrySomeone elseWould not voteDon’t know
Total45422110
Republican874108
Independent302212528
Democrat686106

(d) Johnson vs. Nelson

GroupJohnsonNelsonSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t know
Total43442110
Republican856108
Independent242211734
Democrat589105

Enthusiasm to vote

The poll finds that in June there is a significant difference by party in enthusiasm to vote, with 67% of Republicans saying they are very enthusiastic and 58% of Democrats saying the same. Independents are considerably less enthusiastic, with 35% very enthusiastic. In past surveys, enthusiasm was closely linked to being a “likely voter,” as shown also in Table 9.

Table 9: Likely voters (i.e., those saying they are certain to vote), by enthusiasm, 2014-2020

EnthusiasticLikely VoterNot Likely
Very937
Somewhat6436
Not too4355
Not at all3960

Enthusiasm has varied by party, with modest Republican advantages in October 2021 and February 2022, but no difference by party in April 2022. Table 10 shows the trend in enthusiasm over the last four Marquette Law School Poll surveys of Wisconsin.

Table 10: Enthusiasm to vote in November, by party identification, October 2021-June 2022

(a) June 2022

Party IDVerySomewhatNot tooNot at all
Republican672076
Independent3535820
Democrat582695

(b) April 2022

Party IDVerySomewhatNot tooNot at all
Republican572499
Independent35321514
Democrat572768

(c) February 2022

Party IDVerySomewhatNot tooNot at all
Republican5822117
Independent43301014
Democrat5625125

(d) October 2021

Party IDVerySomewhatNot tooNot at all
Republican632196
Independent43221023
Democrat592595

This enthusiasm gap is large enough to shift the vote margins significantly in hypothetical November general elections. Table 11 shows the effect of enthusiasm on the margins in the race for governor. By definition, the results for all registered voters reflect a very high turnout, those for both “very” and “somewhat” enthusiastic voters reflect an intermediate turnout, and the results for only those who are “very enthusiastic” reflect a lower turnout.

Table 11: Vote for governor, by potential turnout in November

(a) Evers vs. Kleefisch

GroupEversKleefischSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t know
High Turnout4743127
Intermediate Turnout4744115
Low Turnout4547115

(b) Evers vs. Michels

GroupEversMichelsSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t know
High Turnout4841218
Intermediate Turnout4843116
Low Turnout4647115

(c) Evers vs. Nicholson

GroupEversNicholsonSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t know
High Turnout4840118
Intermediate Turnout4743107
Low Turnout4546016

(d) Evers vs. Ramthun

GroupEversRamthunSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t know
High Turnout51342111
Intermediate Turnout51361110
Low Turnout4840119

Table 12 shows the effect of potential turnout on the margins in the race for U.S. Senate.

Table 12: Vote for U.S. Senate, by potential turnout in November

(a) Johnson vs. Barnes

GroupJohnsonBarnesSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t know
High Turnout4446117
Intermediate Turnout4647106
Low Turnout4845104


(b) Johnson vs. Godlewski

GroupJohnsonGodlewskiSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t know
High Turnout4345219
Intermediate Turnout4446107
Low Turnout4744116

(c) Johnson vs. Lasry

GroupJohnsonLasrySomeone elseWould not voteDon’t know
High Turnout45422110
Intermediate Turnout4544108
Low Turnout4843107

(d) Johnson vs. Nelson

GroupJohnsonNelsonSomeone elseWould not voteDon’t know
High Turnout43442110
Intermediate Turnout4445118
Low Turnout4744116

Enthusiasm is strongly related to age, making for an older electorate in November if the current enthusiasm gap by age remains unchanged. Table 13 shows enthusiasm to vote by age in the June survey.

Table 13: Enthusiasm to vote, by age, June 2022

AgeVerySomewhatNot tooNot at all
18-2927352217
30-394335814
40-49582967
50-59701684
60-69791441
70+702243

Direction of the state, job approval, and favorability

The percentage saying Wisconsin is headed in the right direction barely changed from April to June. In the new poll, 37% say the state is heading in the right direction and 56% say it is off on the wrong track. In April, 36% said the state was going in the right direction and 56% said it was on the wrong track. The trend in right direction or wrong track is shown in Table 14.

Table 14: Wisconsin headed in right direction or wrong track, 2019-22

Poll datesRight directionWrong trackDon’t knowRefused
1/16-20/195733100
4/3-7/19524080
8/25-29/19553780
10/13-17/19533971
1/8-12/20464761
2/19-23/20523980
3/24-29/20613091
8/3-8/21395290
10/26-31/21415171
2/22-27/22395381
4/19-24/22365670
6/14-20/22375660

Approval of Evers’ handling of his job as governor stands at 48% in June, with disapproval at 45%, little changed from the result of 49% approval to 43% disapproval in April. The full trend for Evers’ approval is shown in Table 15.

Table 15: Evers job approval, 2019-22

DatesApproveDisapproveDon’t knowRefusedDatesApproveDisapproveDon’t knowRefused
1/16-20/1939223816/14-18/20543861
4/3-7/1947371508/4-9/20573760
8/25-29/1954341018/30-9/3/20514352
10/13-17/1952341319/30-10/4/20524251
11/13-17/19474210110/21-25/20504370
12/3-8/1950381118/3-8/21504370
1/8-12/2051409010/26-31/21454681
2/19-23/2051381012/22-27/22504181
3/24-29/206529614/19-24/22494371
5/3-7/205933716/14-20/22484561

In this June poll, President Joe Biden’s approval falls to 40%, with 57% disapproval, his lowest approval rating in the Marquette Law School Poll since taking office. In April 2022, 43% approved and 53% disapproved of Biden’s job performance. Biden’s approval among Wisconsin voters in Marquette Law School Poll surveys during his presidency is shown in Table 16.

Table 16: Biden job approval, 2021-22

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

Sen. Johnson’s favorability rating changed little in June, with 37% viewing him favorably, 46% viewing him unfavorably, and 16% saying they haven’t heard enough about him or don’t know how they felt. In April, 36% were favorable, 46% were unfavorable, and 18% lacked an opinion of Johnson. The trend in Johnson’s favorability since 2013 is shown in Table 17.

Table 17: Johnson favorability, 2013-22

Poll datesFavorableUnfavorableHaven’t heard enoughDon’t knowRefused
3/11-13/1330254040
5/6-9/1333253740
10/21-24/1329333530
1/20-23/1431253850
3/20-23/1429274040
7/17-20/1429294020
8/21-24/1439253141
10/23-26/1433303151
4/7-10/1532293450
8/13-16/1530313530
9/24-28/1527363340
11/12-15/1527383320
1/21-24/1626333741
2/18-21/1629333530
3/24-28/1632313420
6/9-12/1633313320
7/7-10/1634353020
8/4-7/1634323120
8/25-28/1633343021
9/15-18/1634362820
10/6-9/1641332320
Poll datesFavorableUnfavorableHaven’t heard enoughDon’t knowRefused
10/26-31/1641381740
3/13-16/1739342331
6/22-25/1739322630
2/25-3/1/1840302540
6/13-17/1839342150
7/11-15/1840361671
8/15-19/1840302541
9/12-16/1838322460
10/3-7/1841322151
10/24-28/1839302461
1/16-20/1944282350
4/3-7/1940322450
8/25-29/1940292560
10/13-17/1940292460
11/13-17/1939292470
12/3-8/1936342641
1/8-12/2039292830
2/19-23/2037342451
3/24-29/2035322940
5/3-7/2038342351
6/14-18/2035322930
8/4-9/2033352740
8/30-9/3/2032362850
9/30-10/4/2035312770
10/21-25/2038362331
8/3-8/2135422030
10/26-31/2136421840
2/22-27/2233451741
4/19-24/2236461440
6/14-20/2237461420


Concern about issues

Inflation remained the issue voters say they are most concerned about, with 75% saying they are very concerned. In April, 69% were very concerned about inflation.

Fifty-eight percent say they are very concerned about abortion policy, while 56% are very concerned about gun violence. Concern about healthcare is rated somewhat lower, with 47% very concerned, while concern about coronavirus has fallen to its low point of the year, with 18% very concerned. The full set of responses is shown in Table 18.

Table 18: Issue concerns, June 2022

IssueVery concernedSomewhat concernedNot too concernedNot at all concerned
Inflation752041
Abortion policy582489
Gun violence562689
Healthcare4736125
Coronavirus18272331

There has been little change among preferences in abortion policy in recent years, with 27% in this survey saying abortion should be legal in all cases and 31% saying it should be legal in most cases. Meanwhile, 11% say it should be illegal in all cases and 24% say it should be illegal in most cases. That represents a small increase in the percent favoring the legality of abortion in all cases and a similar decline in the percent say abortion should be legal in most cases, while the other categories changed little. The full trend on this question is shown in Table 19.

Table 19: Abortion policy preference, 2012-2022

Poll datesLegal in all casesLegal in most casesIllegal in most casesIllegal in all casesDon’t knowRefused
9/13-16/122634231331
9/27-30/122535231231
10/11-14/122534251231
10/25-28/122832231241
10/21-24/132636251021
10/23-26/142434241531
7/11-15/182736181162
9/12-16/18263621962
10/24-28/182629241442
2/19-23/201837221563
10/26-31/212338231141
6/14-20/222731241152

Gun policy

Eighty-one percent support “red-flag laws,” which allow police to take guns away from people found by a judge to be a danger to themselves or others, while 13% oppose such laws. Support is unchanged since August 2019, when this question was last asked and 12% were opposed.

Mandatory background checks on people making gun purchases at gun shows or through private sales are supported by 79%, with 16% opposed. In August 2019, 80% supported such background checks and 16% were opposed.

A smaller majority, 56%, support raising the minimum age for gun purchases to 21, while 38% would keep the minimum age at 18. This is the first time this question has been asked in the Marquette Law School Poll.

Transgender issues

A little less than half of the respondents, 44%, say they know someone who identifies as transgender, while 55% do not. This percentage varies strongly by age, as shown in Table 20.

Table 20: Know someone who is transgender, by age

AgeYes, know someoneNo, do not know anyoneDon’t know
18-2964360
30-4456440
45-5941571
60+31673

Forty-six percent say they favor laws that ban discrimination based on whether a person is transgender, while 39% oppose such laws and 13% say they don’t know.

Participation on sports teams that match an athlete’s current gender identity is supported by 22% of respondents, while 62% say athletes should only be allowed to compete on teams that match their birth gender and 14% don’t know.

Water safety issues

Asked about their level of concern over the safety of the water supply in their community,  20% say they are very concerned, 23% somewhat concerned, 27% not too concerned, and 30% not at all concerned. Concern was higher among residents of the City of Milwaukee, where 33% are very concerned, compared to 18% in all other regions of the state.

Concern about water contamination from the long-lasting chemical PFAS was somewhat higher than concern over the water supply in general. Thirty-one percent are very concerned about PFAS contamination, and 30% are somewhat concerned, while 16% are not too concerned and 18% are not at all concerned over PFAS.

A majority of respondents, 66%, see water quality issues as a statewide concern, while 24% see it as an issue in only isolated parts of the state.

Confidence in the accuracy the 2020 presidential election result

There has been little change in confidence in the accuracy of the 2020 presidential election result in recent months, with 67% saying they are very or somewhat confident that votes were accurately cast and counted in Wisconsin and 32% not too confident or not at all confident. The full trend since August 2021 is shown in Table 21.

Table 21: Confidence in the accuracy of the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin, August 2021-June 2022

Poll datesVery confidentSomewhat confidentNot too confidentNot at all confidentDon’t know
8/3-8/21481915161
10/26-31/21471812193
2/22-27/22481911192
4/19-24/22481612231
6/14-20/22511611210

A majority of Republicans doubt the results, while a majority of independents and Democrats have confidence in the election results. Confidence by party is shown in Table 22. There is some difference in confidence between Republicans and independents who lean to the Republican party.

Table 22: Confidence in the 2020 election by party identification

Party IDVery confidentSomewhat confidentNot too confidentNot at all confidentDon’t know
Republican132121440
Lean Republican192625281
Independent51193261
Lean Democrat8313140
Democrat905310

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive statewide polling project in Wisconsin history. This poll interviewed 803 registered Wisconsin voters by landline or cell phone from June 14-20, 2022. The margin of error is +/-4.3 percentage points for the full sample. The margin of error for 369 Democratic primary voters is 6.2 percentage points and for 372 Republican primary voters is 6.3 percentage points.

Some issue items were asked of half the sample. Those on Form A were asked of 401 and have a margin of error of +/-6.2 percentage points. Form B items were asked of 402 and have a margin of error of +/-5.9 percentage points.

Items asked of half-samples include on Form A whether Wisconsin is headed in the right direction or off on the wrong track, concern for inflation, abortion policy, the coronavirus pandemic, gun violence, and healthcare. Form B items included background checks for gun purchases, minimum age to purchase a gun, and red flag laws. Form B also included knowing someone who is transgender, favor or oppose a ban on discrimination against transgender people, and whether transgender athletes should be allowed to compete on teams that match their current gender identity.

The partisan makeup of the sample, including those who lean to a party, is 45% Republican, 44% Democratic, and 10% independent. The partisan makeup of the sample, excluding those who lean to a party, is 30% Republican, 29% Democratic, and 41% 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 exuding those who lean has been 29% 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 national survey shows 40% rate abortion one of most important issues, with a larger percentage of Democrats than Republicans viewing it this way

Republicans are more enthusiastic about voting, and about half of Republicans say they are more likely to support a candidate Trump has endorsed, though 40% say it makes no difference

Please note: Complete Poll results and methodology information can be found online at law.marquette.edu/poll

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll national survey finds 40% of adults nationwide say abortion is one of the most important issues to them, while 39% say it is somewhat important, and 21% say it is not very or not at all important.

Table 1 shows the full set of responses on the importance of abortion as an issue.

Table 1: Importance of abortion issue, May 2022

Poll datesOne of the most important issuesSomewhat importantNot very importantNot important at all
5/9-19/224039156

The latest Marquette Law School Poll’s Supreme Court survey was conducted May 9-19, 2022, a week after a draft opinion that would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion-rights precedent was leaked to the Politico news organization. The survey interviewed 1,004 adults nationwide and has a margin of error of +/-3.9 percentage points.

A previous Marquette Law School Poll release yesterday, May 25, described other results of the new national survey; that release primarily focused on public opinion of the Supreme Court and of cases concerning abortion and other issues. This release provides further results of the same survey on national topics.

Table 2 shows the importance of abortion as an issue, by party identification. Democrats rank the issue as more important than do independents or Republicans. A quarter of Republicans and independents say abortion is not very or not at all important to them, while 14% of Democrats say this.

Table 2: Importance of abortion issue, by party identification, May 2022

Party IDOne of the most important issuesSomewhat importantNot very importantNot important at all
Republican3144178
Independent38361510
Democrat4837122

Asked what public policy on abortion should be, 29% say abortion should be legal in all cases, 38% say legal in most cases, 24% say it should be illegal in most cases, and 8% say illegal in all cases.

Those who say abortion should be illegal in all cases are the most likely to say it is one of the most important issues to them, followed by those who say it should be legal in all cases. The middle categories, involving those who say abortion should be mostly legal or mostly illegal, have about half as many (or fewer) people who say the abortion issue is one of their most important issues as those in the other categories just described. The relationship between policy preference and opinion on importance of the issue is shown in Table 3.

Table 3: Opinion on importance of abortion issue, by policy preference on abortion, May 2022

Policy preference on abortionOne of the most important issuesSomewhat importantNot very importantNot important at all
Legal in all cases603054
Legal in most cases2446255
Illegal in most cases3247147
Illegal in all cases672057

While abortion policy is a highly polarizing issue among elected members of Congress and state legislatures, opinion is not as strongly divided by party among the public. Table 4 shows that, while substantial majorities of Democrats and independents say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, a substantial minority of Republicans also say it should be legal always or mostly. A majority of Republicans say it should always or mostly be illegal.

Table 4: Policy preference on abortion, by party identification, May 2022

Party IDLegal in all casesLegal in most casesIllegal in most casesIllegal in all cases
Republican10314414
Independent3540167
Democrat4443103

Policy preferences are sensitive to the specific limitations proposed on abortion. With the potential for Roe to be overturned, several state legislatures have enacted or debated laws that would ban abortions (in most cases, with some exceptions) at various stages of pregnancy. This survey asked a series of questions about support for or opposition to bans based on these state proposals. Each question included an exception for “medical emergencies.”

The question asked:

Here are some limits on when during pregnancy an abortion might be banned, except in cases of medical emergencies, that some states are considering. How much do you favor or oppose each of these proposals?

The results for the five alternative policies are shown in Table 5. There is majority opposition to bans that would apply at any time or after 6 weeks, and an even divide on bans after 15 weeks. A majority favor bans after six months, and a majority oppose there being no restrictions on when a woman can obtain an abortion.

Table 5: Favor or oppose abortion bans, by when ban would take effect, May 2022

Ban whenFavorOppose
Ban at any time during pregnancy2772
Ban after 6 weeks3465
Ban after 15 weeks5049
Ban after 6 months6535
No restrictions at any point3960

Some states have considered legislation that would make it illegal for a woman to have an abortion by traveling to a different state where abortion is legal. This policy is favored by 22% of respondents nationwide and is opposed by 78%.

Opinion on making out-of-state travel for abortions illegal is shown by party identification in Table 6.

Table 6: Should states be able to make out-of-state travel for abortion illegal, by party identification, May 2022

Party IDYesNo
Republican3268
Independent1981
Democrat1486

Enthusiasm to vote

Looking ahead to the November elections, 37% say they are very enthusiastic about voting, 31% are somewhat enthusiastic, 22% are not too enthusiastic, and 10% are not at all enthusiastic to vote this fall.

Enthusiasm to vote varies by party, with Republicans most likely to say they are very enthusiastic, trailed by Democrats. Independents are much less enthusiastic. Enthusiasm is shown in Table 7 (a) for all adults and in Table 7 (b) for registered voters only.

Table 7: Enthusiasm to vote, by party identification, May 2022

(a) All adults

Party IDVery enthusiasticSomewhat enthusiasticNot too enthusiasticNot at all enthusiastic
Republican5028193
Independent17232831
Democrat3437227

(b) Registered voters only

Party IDVery enthusiasticSomewhat enthusiasticNot too enthusiasticNot at all enthusiastic
Republican5329162
Independent25252525
Democrat3937212

Enthusiasm measured by opinion on the importance of the abortion issue is shown in Table 8 for all adults and for registered voters. There are too few respondents who say the abortion issue is not important at all to reliably estimate results for that group, so they have been combined with those who say abortion is not very important in this table.

Table 8: Enthusiasm to vote, by opinion on importance of abortion issue, May 2022

(a) All adults

Importance of abortion issueVery enthusiasticSomewhat enthusiasticNot too enthusiasticNot at all enthusiastic
One of the most important issues4427208
Somewhat important30362311
Not very or not at all important35282413

(b) Registered voters only

Importance of abortion issueVery enthusiasticSomewhat enthusiasticNot too enthusiasticNot at all enthusiastic
One of the most important issues5127175
Somewhat important3537226
Not very or not at all important4331197

Enthusiasm to vote is shown by abortion policy preference in Table 9. Enthusiasm to vote is higher among those opposed to abortion than among those who favor legal abortions.

Table 9: Enthusiasm to vote, by abortion policy preference, May 2022

(a) All adults

Abortion policy preferenceVery enthusiasticSomewhat enthusiasticNot too enthusiasticNot at all enthusiastic
Legal in all cases33302115
Legal in most cases3332279
Illegal in most cases4432168
Illegal in all cases5025196

(b) Registered voters only

Abortion policy preferenceVery enthusiasticSomewhat enthusiasticNot too enthusiasticNot at all enthusiastic
Legal in all cases4030228
Legal in most cases3933235
Illegal in most cases4833135
Illegal in all cases5826151

Confidence in 2020 election and enthusiasm to vote

The matter of confidence and doubt in the accuracy of the 2020 election results continues to divide Americans. Among all adults, 57% are very or somewhat confident that the results of the 2020 election were accurate, while 43% are not too or not at all confident of this. The trend in election confidence is shown in Table 10, showing that confidence dropped by 6 percentage points from March to May.

Table 10: Confidence and doubt in 2020 election accuracy, trend, Sept. 2021-May 2022

Poll datesConfidentNot confident
9/7-16/216040
11/1-10/216535
1/10-21/226634
3/14-24/226337
5/9-19/225743

There are very large differences by partisanship, as shown in Table 11, with almost three-quarters of Republicans doubting the election result, nearly 90% of Democrats confident in the election accuracy, and independents evenly divided.

Table 11: Confidence in 2020 election accuracy, by party identification, May 2022

Party IDConfidentNot confident
Republican2773
Independent4752
Democrat8911

Doubt about the accuracy of the 2020 election results is associated with higher enthusiasm to vote among Republicans, but with lower enthusiasm to vote among Democrats and independents (who are combined here to provide sufficient observations for the comparison). Table 12 (a) shows the relationship between doubt in the election and enthusiasm among Republicans, and Table 12 (b) shows the relationship among Democrats and independents.

Table 12: Enthusiasm to vote, by confidence or doubt in 2020 election, May 2022

(a) Republicans

Confidence or doubtVery enthusiasticSomewhat enthusiasticNot too enthusiasticNot at all enthusiastic
Confident3635235
Not confident5525172

(b) Democrats and independents

Confidence or doubtVery enthusiasticSomewhat enthusiasticNot too enthusiasticNot at all enthusiastic
Confident34352110
Not confident12273229

Vote choice and abortion policy

Respondents were asked:

Thinking about this year’s (2022) elections, if one candidate favors keeping abortion legal and widely available, and the other candidate favors strictly limiting abortion except to protect the mother’s life, which candidate would you support?

Among all respondents, 54% say they would support the candidate who favors keeping abortion legal, while 31% would support the candidate who favors strictly limiting abortion, The remaining 14% say the abortion issue would not matter to them.

The choice of candidates connected to positions on abortion is shown by party identification in Table 13. A majority of Republicans favor the candidate who would strictly limit abortions, while a similar majoriity of independents would favor the candidate who favors keeping abortion legal, as is also the case with a substantially larger majority of Democrats. There is broader salience of the issue among Democrats: Fewer Democrats say the abortion position of candidates would not matter to them than is the case for Republicans and independents.

Table 13: Candidate choice by party identification, May 2022

(a) All adults

Party IDThe candidate who favors keeping abortion legalThe candidate who favors strictly limiting abortionThe abortion issue would not matter to me
Republican255817
Independent562122
Democrat81127

(b) Registered voters only

Party IDThe candidate who favors keeping abortion legalThe candidate who favors strictly limiting abortionThe abortion issue would not matter to me
Republican265717
Independent532622
Democrat8397

Biden job approval

In the new Marquette Law School Poll nationwide survey, President Joe Biden’s job approval stands at 42% with disapproval at 57%. In March, approval was 44% and disapproval was 55%. The trend in Biden approval since July 2021, when the question was first asked, is shown in Table 14.

Table 14: Biden job approval trend, July 2021-May 2022

Poll datesApproveDisapprove
7/16-26/215842
9/7-16/214852
11/1-10/214951
1/10-21/224653
3/14-24/224455
5/9-19/224257

Favorability ratings

Favorability ratings of Biden, former President Donald Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a likely candidate for president in 2024, are shown in Table 15.

Table 15: Favorability trends, 2021-2022

(a) Joe Biden

Poll datesFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
11/1-10/2145496
1/10-21/2245514
3/14-24/2244533
5/9-19/2240554

(b) Donald Trump

Poll datesFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
11/1-10/2132653
1/10-21/2232671
3/14-24/2236613
5/9-19/2235613

(c) Mike Pence

Poll datesFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
11/1-10/21295120
1/10-21/22285517
3/14-24/22315316
5/9-19/22255421

(d) Ron DeSantis

Poll datesFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
1/10-21/22223444
3/14-24/22253639
5/9-19/22243738

Favorability in May for each political figure, by party identification, is shown in Table 16, showing large differences by party. Independents are more likely to say they haven’t heard enough about Pence or DeSantis than are partisans of either party.

Table 16: Favorability by party identification, May 2022

(a) Joe Biden

Party IDFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
Republican7912
Independent33587
Democrat72225

(b) Donald Trump

Party IDFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
Republican75222
Independent21717
Democrat6913

(c) Mike Pence

Party IDFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
Republican493318
Independent114841
Democrat97515

(d) Ron DeSantis

Party IDFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
Republican561430
Independent112959
Democrat26137

Trump endorsements

Trump has endorsed candidates in state primaries across the country. Among Republicans, 49% say they are more likely to support a candidate whom Trump has endorsed, although almost as many, 40%, say his endorsement would make no difference in their vote. Another 11% say they would be less likely to vote for a Trump-backed candidate.

Almost half of independents, 46%, say a Trump endorsement would make no difference to them, and 41% say it would make them less likely to vote for a candidate, with just 12% saying they would be more likely. Almost all Democrats, 87%, say they are less likely to support a candidate Trump endorses. These results are shown in Table 17.

Table 17: More or less likely to support a Trump-endorsed candidate, by party identification, May 2022

Party IDMore likelyLess likelyNo difference
Republican491140
Independent124146
Democrat5878

Over 70% of each partisan category say they don’t know if Trump has endorsed a candidate in their state. Republicans and Democrats are almost equally likely to say Trump has endorsed a candidate, and independents are less likely to know of an endorsement.

Table 18: Think Trump has endorsed a state candidate, by party identification, May 2022

Party IDYes, has endorsedNo, has not endorsedDon’t know if he has endorsed
Republican22671
Independent13780
Democrat21970

Based on data reported by Ballotpedia.org as of May 19, Trump has not endorsed a candidate in 13 states plus the District of Columbia, endorsed one candidate in 11 states, endorsed two candidates in 13 states, and endorsed three or more candidates in 13 states. Endorsements for governor, senator, U.S. House of Representative, and other state offices are counted in this total.

Combining the endorsement data with the survey responses shows that where Trump has given more endorsements, respondents are more likely to be aware he has endorsed candidates in the state, and in states he has not endorsed, they are least likely to think he has endorsed someone. Table 19 shows the percent of respondents who think Trump has made an endorsement, by the number of endorsements reported by Ballotpedia.org.

Table 19: Think Trump has endorsed a state candidate, by number of endorsements in the state (including D.C.), May 2022

Number of endorsementsYes, has endorsedNo, has not endorsedDon’t know if he has endorsed
None41184
One91081
Two161074
Three or more34362

Among Republicans, about half say they are more likely to support a candidate endorsed by Trump, but this percentage does not vary significantly by the number of candidates that Trump has endorsed in the state, as shown in Table 20.

Table 20: More or less likely to support a Trump-endorsed candidate, by number of endorsements in the state, among Republicans only, May 2022

Number of endorsementsMore likelyLess likelyNo difference
None55638
One531037
Two47845
Three or more461440

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The survey was conducted May 9-19, 2022, interviewing 1,004 adults nationwide, with a margin of error of +/-3.9 percentage points. Interviews were conducted using the SSRS Opinion Panel, a national probability sample with interviews conducted online. The detailed methodology statement, survey instrument, topline results, and crosstabs for this release are available on the Marquette Law School Poll website. Some items from this survey that were focused on the Supreme Court were released one day ago (i.e., on May 24, 2022). That release is also available at the above link.