Poll Release

New Marquette Law School Poll finds no change in impeachment views following end of public testimony

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School poll of Wisconsin registered voters finds that support for impeachment has not changed following the conclusion of public testimony before the Intelligence Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives in November.

In the new results, 40 percent think that President Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 52 percent do not think so and 6 percent say they do not know. One percent volunteered that they thought Trump should be impeached but not removed from office. In November, 40 percent favored impeachment and removal from office, while 53 percent were opposed and 6 percent said they didn’t know. The November poll was conducted during the first week of public testimony before the Intelligence Committee but before the second week of testimony.

In October, before public hearings began, 44 percent favored impeachment and removal from office, while 51 percent were opposed and 4 percent said they didn’t know.

The new survey was conducted Dec. 3-8, 2019, after the conclusion of public testimony before the Intelligence Committee in the congressional impeachment hearings. The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony from four constitutional law professors on Dec. 4, during the field period for the survey.

The trend in responses to this question is shown in Table 1.

Opinions about Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine also changed very little following public testimony.

The new poll finds 52 percent saying they believe Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate Trump’s political rivals while 29 percent believe Trump did not do this. Eighteen percent say they don’t know. In November, the percentages were the same for each category: 52 percent said he asked for an investigation, while 29 percent said they did not think he did so and 18 percent said they didn’t know.

In the December poll, 44 percent say they believe Trump withheld military aid to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate Trump’s political rivals, while 36 percent do not believe Trump did this and 19 percent say they don’t know. In November, 41 percent said they believed Trump withheld aid, 38 percent did not believe he did, and 21 percent said they did not know.

Forty-two percent say that Trump did something seriously wrong in his dealings with Ukraine, 9 percent say he did something wrong but not seriously so, and 37 percent say Trump did nothing wrong. Eleven percent say they don’t know. In November, 42 percent said he did something seriously wrong, 9 percent said it was wrong but not serious, and 38 percent said he did nothing wrong.

The poll sample included 800 registered voters in Wisconsin interviewed by cell phone or landline, with a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points.

Democratic presidential primary preference items were asked of those who said they will vote in the Democratic primary in April. That sample size is 358, with a margin of error of +/-6.3 percentage points.

Views of impeachment by partisanship and attention to hearings

There are large partisan differences in views of impeachment, with Democrats much more supportive and Republicans much more opposed, and a plurality of independents opposed. These partisan divisions have changed only modestly from October to December.

Partisans are reacting differently to the evidence and testimony, with Democrats much more likely to say that Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rivals than are Republicans. Independents are more than twice as likely as partisans to say that they do not know if Trump asked for an investigation: 39 percent say they don’t know, while 39 percent say he did ask and 20 percent say he did not ask.

Republicans are less likely to think that Trump withheld aid to pressure Ukraine for an investigation, with two-thirds of Republicans saying that Trump did not withhold aid, whereas about eight in ten Democrats say that he did so. Almost half of independents, 48 percent, say they don’t know if Trump withheld aid, with 33 percent saying he did and 18 percent saying he did not.

Thirty-one percent of all registered voters say they are following the news and testimony in the impeachment hearings very closely, with another 39 percent saying they are following fairly closely. Eighteen percent are not following too closely and 11 percent are following not at all closely.

There are no statistically significant differences in attention to the hearings between Republicans and Democrats, although independents are more likely to say they are not following closely at all.

Those who are following the hearings most closely are more likely to have an opinion about the evidence than are those not paying close attention. Of those paying very close attention, 58 percent say that Trump asked for an investigation, 33 percent say he did not ask and only 9 percent say they don’t know. By contrast, among those not following the hearings at all closely, 21 percent say Trump asked, 24 percent say he did not ask, and 55 percent say they don’t know.

A similar pattern holds with attention and opinion on whether Trump withheld aid to pressure Ukraine for an investigation. Both the percentage saying he did this and the percentage saying he did not are higher among the most attentive, and both such percentages are lower among the least attentive. Among the most attentive, only 5 percent say they don’t know while 58 percent of the least attentive say they don’t know.

General election matchups

General election matchups between Trump and five Democratic candidates all indicate very close races, slightly closer than in the November poll.

A summary of the general election results for December is shown in Table 10. For comparison, the November results are shown in Table 11 and the October results in Table 12.

Democratic Presidential Primary Candidates

Among those who say they will vote in the Democratic presidential primary in April, Joe Biden receives the most support. Biden is the first choice of 23 percent, followed by Bernie Sanders at 19 percent, Elizabeth Warren at 16 percent and Pete Buttigieg at 15 percent. Corey Booker is the first choice of 4 percent. Recently announced candidate Michael Bloomberg has the support of 3 percent, as does Andrew Yang and Amy Klobuchar.

The complete results for the Democratic primary are shown in Table 13.

Two-thirds of Democratic primary voters, 65 percent, say they might change their minds about their primary choice, while 34 percent say their mind is made up.

Among the Democratic primary sample, favorability of candidates is shown in Table 14.

Trump Job Approval

Forty-seven percent approve of the job Trump is doing as president, with 50 percent disapproving. That is little changed from October when 47 percent approved and 51 percent disapproved. The approval-disapproval ratio of 47-50 matches Trump’s best rating in the Marquette Law School Poll since taking office, that from Oct. 24-28, 2018.

Trump’s job approval during 2019 is shown in Table 15.

Trump’s job approval is high among Republicans, is low among Democrats, and is split among independents as shown in Table 16.

Fifty-three percent of those polled approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, while 45 percent disapprove. In November, 55 percent approved and 43 percent disapproved.

Forty-three percent of those polled approve of Trump’s handling of foreign policy, while 54 percent disapprove. In the previous poll, 44 percent approved and 52 percent disapproved.

Twenty-five percent say that Trump has changed the Republican party for the better, while 44 percent say he has changed it for the worse and 26 percent say he hasn’t changed it much either way. An additional 5 percent say they don’t know.

Views of how Trump has changed the Republican party vary by partisanship, with Republican identifiers more positive about the effect Trump has had on the party, as shown in Table 17.

Economic outlook and issues

Wisconsin registered voters hold a net positive view of the performance of the economy over the past 12 months, with 44 percent saying the economy has improved over the past year, 21 percent saying it has worsened, and 34 percent saying it has stayed the same. The trend in economic evaluations of the past year is shown in Table 18.

Looking ahead to the next year, 32 percent say the economy will improve, while 25 percent think it will get worse and 37 percent say the economy will remain the same. The trend in economic outlook during 2019 is shown in Table 19.

Evaluation of state elected officials

Gov. Tony Evers’ job approval stands at 50 percent, with disapproval at 38 percent. Eleven percent say they don’t have an opinion. In November, 47 percent approved, while 42 percent disapproved. The trend in job approval of the governor is shown in Table 20.

Table 21 presents the favorability ratings of elected officials in Wisconsin and the percentage of respondents who haven’t heard enough or say they don’t know.

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive statewide polling project in Wisconsin history. This poll interviewed 800 registered Wisconsin voters by landline or cell phone, Dec. 3-8, 2019. The margin of error is +/-4.2 percentage points for the full sample.

The Democratic presidential candidate preference items were asked of those who said that they will vote in the Democratic primary. That sample size is 358 with a margin of error of +/-6.3 percentage points.

The partisan makeup of the sample, including those who lean to a party, is 45 percent Republican, 44 percent Democratic and 9 percent independent. The partisan makeup of the sample, excluding those who lean to a party, is 30 percent Republican, 29 percent Democratic, and 39 percent independent.

Since January 2017, the long-term partisan balance, including those who lean to a party, in the Marquette poll has been 45 percent Republican and 45 percent Democratic, with 9 percent independent. Partisanship, excluding those who lean, has been 30 percent Republican and 29 percent Democratic, with 40 percent independent.

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

New Marquette Law School Poll finds shifts in Wisconsin public opinion favorable to President Trump on impeachment and presidential election preferences

MILWAUKEE – Even as hearings that could lead to President Donald Trump’s impeachment heat up, a new Marquette University Law School poll of Wisconsin registered voters finds consistent, if sometimes modest, shifts in public opinion away from support of impeachment and toward supporting Trump in next year’s presidential election 

For example, Trump holds small leads over each of four top Democratic candidates for president in head-to-head matchups in the new survey, while three of the Democrats held small leads over Trump in the previous poll.

While the shifts in opinion on both impeachment and presidential preferences are not large, they are consistent across multiple questions in the poll. That includes increases in support for Trump’s work on foreign policy and the economy.

The poll was conducted Nov. 13-17, 2019. The sample included 801 registered voters in Wisconsin interviewed by cell phone or landline, with a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points.

Opinions on impeachment overall

In the new poll, 40 percent of registered voters think that Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 53 percent do not think so and 6 percent say that they do not know.

In October, before public hearings began, 44 percent favored impeachment and removal from office, while 51 percent were opposed, and 4 percent said they didn’t know.

The November results also find that 52 percent say they believe Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate Trump’s political rivals, while 29 percent believe Trump did not do this. Eighteen percent say they don’t know if Trump asked this or not.

Forty-one percent believe Trump withheld military aid to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate Trump’s political rivals, while 38 percent do not believe Trump did this and 21 percent say they don’t know.

Forty-two percent say that Trump did something seriously wrong in his dealings with Ukraine, 9 percent say he did something wrong but not seriously so, and 38 percent say Trump did nothing wrong. Eleven percent say they don’t know.

Views of impeachment by partisanship and attention to hearings

There are large partisan differences in views of impeachment, with Democrats much more supportive and Republicans much more opposed, and a plurality of independents opposed. Comparing the October and November polls, support for impeachment and removal declined slightly among Democrats, and opposition to removal rose slightly among Republicans. “Don’t know” responses rose among independents and Democrats and barely declined among Republicans.

Table 1: Impeach and remove Trump from office by party identification, November

  Impeach & remove Don’t think so Don’t know
Republican 4 94 2
Lean Republican 7 92 1
Independent 36 47 15
Lean Democrat 73 20 8
Democrat 81 11 7

Table 2: Impeach and remove Trump from office by party identification, October

  Impeach & remove Don’t think so Don’t know
Republican 6 92 2
Lean Republican 9 88 3
Independent 33 55 10
Lean Democrat 78 16 6
Democrat 88 8 3

Partisans are reacting differently to the testimony and other evidence, with Democrats much more likely than Republicans to say that Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rivals. Opinion among independents tends to fall in between the results in the partisan groups.

Table 3: Did Trump ask for investigation of political rivals?

  Yes, did ask No, did not ask Don’t know
Republican 29 51 20
Lean Republican 29 53 17
Independent 41 24 33
Lean Democrat 81 8 10
Democrat 80 8 12

While about 3 in 10 Republicans thus think that Trump asked for an investigation (Table 3), only about 1 in 10 Republicans think Trump withheld military aid to pressure the Ukrainian president into an investigation (Table 4, below). Eight in 10 Democrats believe Trump asked for an investigation, and 3 in 4 think that he withheld aid to exert pressure for an investigation. Forty-one percent of independents think Trump asked for an investigation, while 30 percent think he withheld aid as pressure. Independents are the most likely group to say they don’t know if Trump did either of these things, with 33 percent saying they don’t know whether he asked for an investigation and 41 percent saying they don’t know whether he withheld aid.

Table 4: Did Trump withhold aid to pressure Ukraine for investigation of political rivals?

  Yes, held up aid No, did not hold up aid Don’t know
Republican 8 70 21
Lean Republican 11 70 19
Independent 30 26 41
Lean Democrat 75 10 15
Democrat 77 7 16

Thirty-two percent of all registered voters say that they are following the news and testimony in the impeachment hearings very closely, with another 33 percent saying they are following fairly closely. Twenty percent are not following too closely, and 14 percent are following not at all closely.

There are no statistically significant differences in attention to the hearings by partisanship, although independents are more likely to say they are not following closely at all.

Table 5: Attention to hearings by party identification

  Very closely Fairly closely Not too closely Not at all closely
Republican 33 36 18 12
Lean Republican 29 34 20 16
Independent 20 26 25 28
Lean Democrat 32 34 21 14
Democrat 39 30 19 11

Those who are following the hearings most closely are much more likely to have an opinion about the evidence than are those not paying close attention. Of those paying very close attention, 61 percent say that Trump asked for an investigation, 33 percent say he did not ask, and only 5 percent say they don’t know. By contrast among those not following the hearings at all closely, 34 percent say Trump asked, 23 percent say he did not ask, and 41 percent say they don’t know.

Table 6: Did Trump ask for investigation of political rivals? By attention to hearings

  Yes, did ask No, did not ask Don’t know
Very closely 61 33 5
Fairly closely 56 30 13
Not too closely 46 26 28
Not at all closely 34 23 41

A similar pattern holds with attention and opinion on whether Trump withheld aid to pressure Ukraine for an investigation. Both the percentage saying he did do this and the percentage saying he did not are higher among the most attentive, and both percentages are lower among the least attentive. Among the most attentive, only 4 percent say they don’t know, while over half of the least attentive say they don’t know.

Table 7: Did Trump withhold aid to pressure Ukraine for investigation of political rivals? By attention to hearings

  Yes, held up aid No, did not hold up aid Don’t know
Very closely 51 45 4
Fairly closely 46 40 13
Not too closely 32 35 34
Not at all closely 20 23 55

General election matchups

Wisconsin voters were asked whom they would support as of now in the presidential election, Trump or each of four leading candidates for the Democratic nomination. Trump has 3-point leads over former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 5-point margin over Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and an 8-point lead over Mayor Pete Buttigieg. In October, Biden, Sanders, and Warren had small leads and Buttigieg trailed by 2 percentage points.

A summary of the general election results in this November poll is shown in Table 8. For comparison, the October results are shown in Table 9 and the August results in Table 10. In August, Trump was tested against Sen. Kamala Harris rather than Buttigieg.

Table 8: November General Election Matchups

Matchup Pct Matchup Pct Matchup Pct Matchup Pct
Biden 44 Sanders 45 Warren 43 Buttigieg 39
Trump 47 Trump 48 Trump 48 Trump 47
Neither 5 Neither 5 Neither 4 Neither 6
Don’t know 2 Don’t know 2 Don’t know 4 Don’t know 7

Table 9: October General Election Matchups

Matchup Pct Matchup Pct Matchup Pct Matchup Pct
Biden 50 Sanders 48 Warren 47 Buttigieg 43
Trump 44 Trump 46 Trump 46 Trump 45
Neither 3 Neither 4 Neither 4 Neither 5
Don’t know 3 Don’t know 2 Don’t know 2 Don’t know 7

Table 10: August General Election Matchups

Matchup Pct Matchup Pct Matchup Pct Matchup Pct
Biden 51 Sanders 48 Warren 45 Harris 44
Trump 42 Trump 44 Trump 45 Trump 44
Neither 4 Neither 5 Neither 5 Neither 6
Don’t know 2 Don’t know 2 Don’t know 5 Don’t know 6

In the new poll, two additional general election matchups tested Trump against Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Cory Booker. Each of these was asked of half the polling sample, and they have a margin of error of 5.7 and 5.8 percent, respectively. While the half-samples were selected randomly, the half with Booker versus Trump has significantly more younger voters than the half with Klobuchar. Sanders also does better in the Booker half-sample, although no other candidates do significantly better in either half-sample.

Table 11: General Election Matches

Match Pct Match Pct
Klobuchar 36 Booker 45
Trump 50 Trump 44
Neither 7 Neither 4
Don’t know 5 Don’t know 5

Vote by party identification, November vs. October

None of the shifts in vote preference between October and November reaches statistical significance. The shifts in the balance of the vote are largely due to slightly greater partisan loyalty among Republicans and slightly lower loyalty among Democrats. The party balance between October and November samples was unchanged, with 45 percent identifying themselves as Republican or leaning Republican and 44 percent identifying themselves as Democrat or leaning Democrat in each month.

Democratic presidential primary candidates

Table 16: First and second choice in Democratic primary (among Democratic primary voters)
Response First Choice Second Choice  
Joe Biden 30 15  
Bernie Sanders 17 18  
Elizabeth Warren 15 19  
Pete Buttigieg 13 10  
Cory Booker 3 3  
Amy Klobuchar 3 8  
Kamala Harris 2 4  
Andrew Yang 2 2  
Tom Steyer 1 1  
Marianne Williamson 1 0  
Steve Bullock 1 0  
Michael Bennet 0 0  
Julián Castro 0 0  
John Delaney 0 1  
Someone else (VOL) 1 1  
Would not vote (VOL) 1 0  
Don’t know 10 10  
Refused 1 1  

Democratic presidential primary preference items were asked of those who said that they will vote in the Democratic primary in April. That sample size is 340, with a margin of error of +/-6.4 percentage points.

Among those who say they will vote in the Democratic primary, Biden receives the most support. Biden is the first choice of 30 percent, followed by Sanders at 17 percent, Warren at 15 percent, and Pete Buttigieg at 13 percent. Booker and Klobuchar receive 3 percent each. Harris and Yang are the top choices of 2 percent each, while all other candidates receive 1 percent or less.

The complete results for the Democratic primary are shown in Table 16.

Almost two-thirds of Democratic primary voters, 62 percent, say they might change their minds about their primary choice, while 37 percent say their mind is made up.

Table 17: Favorability ratings of six candidates among Democratic primary sample

  Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough Don’t know
Joe Biden 67 20 6 6
Bernie Sanders 67 24 7 2
Elizabeth Warren 56 19 21 4
Pete Buttigieg 45 11 37 7
Cory Booker 36 14 39 11
Amy Klobuchar 27 16 45 12

Among the Democratic primary sample, favorability of candidates is shown in Table 17.

Trump job approval

Forty-seven percent of registered voters approve of the job Trump is doing as president, with 51 percent disapproving. That is little changed from October, when 46 percent approved and 51 percent disapproved.

Fifty-five percent of those polled approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, while 43 percent disapprove. In October, 51 percent approved and 45 percent disapproved.

Forty-four percent of those polled approve of Trump’s handling of foreign policy, while 52 percent disapprove. In October, 37 percent approved and 59 percent disapproved.

Thirty-seven percent say that Trump’s foreign policies have helped America’s standing in the world, while 53 percent say his policies have hurt the standing of the country.

Twenty percent say that the decision to remove most U.S. troops from Syria strengthens the United States, while 38 percent say this weakens the country and 34 percent say it doesn’t make much difference. An additional 8 percent say they don’t know.

Economic outlook and issues

Wisconsin registered voters hold a positive view of the recent performance of the economy, with 42 percent saying the economy has improved over the past year, 18 percent saying it has worsened, and 37 percent saying it has stayed the same. In October, 41 percent said the economy had improved, 20 percent said it had worsened, and 36 percent said it has stayed the same.

Looking ahead to the next year, 35 percent say the economy will improve, while 24 percent think it will get worse and 37 percent say it will remain the same. That reverses the more negative outlook in October, when 25 percent said the economy would improve, 30 percent said it would worsen, and 39 percent said it would remain the same.

Chronic wasting disease

Deer hunters in Wisconsin are more aware than are non-hunters of chronic wasting disease, which affects deer through much of the state.

Table 18: Awareness of CWD by hunter or non-hunter

  A lot Some Not much Nothing at all
Deer hunter 59 30 7 3
Not deer hunter 25 36 20 16

A majority of hunters approve of the job the Department of Natural Resources is doing handling CWD. A plurality of non-hunters also approve, but non-hunters are more than twice as likely as hunters to say they don’t know how DNR is doing in addressing CWD.

Table 19: Approve DNR handling of CWD by hunter or non-hunter

  Approve Disapprove Don’t know
Deer hunter 56 29 15
Not deer hunter 45 16 38

Hunters and non-hunters alike see CWD as a threat to the future of deer hunting in Wisconsin.

Table 20: See CWD as threat to future of deer hunting by hunter or non-hunter

  Yes No Don’t know
Deer hunter 65 31 4
Not deer hunter 62 18 19

Opinion of the governor and legislature

Governor Tony Evers’ job approval stands at 47 percent, with disapproval at 42. Ten percent say they don’t have an opinion. In October, 52 percent approved, 34 percent disapproved, and 13 percent lacked an opinion.

Approval of the job the Wisconsin legislature is doing is 48 percent and disapproval is 39 percent, with 13 percent saying they don’t know. When last asked in August, 52 percent approved, 38 percent disapproved, and 8 percent lacked an opinion.

On Nov. 5, the state Senate voted to reject Evers’ nominee for secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Twenty-two percent say rejecting the nominee was the right thing for the Senate to do, 25 percent say it was the wrong thing to do, and 47 percent said they haven’t heard anything about this. An additional 6 percent say they don’t have an opinion.

Favorability rating of elected officials

Table 21 presents the favorability ratings of elected officials in Wisconsin and the percentage of respondents who haven’t heard enough or say they don’t know.

Table 21: Favorability ratings of elected officials

  Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough Don’t know
Donald Trump 46 50 2 1
Tony Evers 43 41 12 3
Ron Johnson 39 29 24 7
Tammy Baldwin 39 43 12 5

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, Nov. 13-17, 2019. The margin of error is +/-4.1 percentage points for the full sample.

The Democratic presidential candidate preference items were asked of Democrats, independents who lean Democratic, and independents who do not lean to either party. That sample size is 340 with a margin of error of +/-6.4 percentage points.

Two presidential matchup questions were asked of half-samples. Klobuchar vs. Trump was asked of 400 respondents, with a margin of error of +/- 5.7 percentage points. Booker vs. Trump was asked of 401 respondents, with a margin of error of +/- 5.8 percentage points.

The partisan makeup of the sample, including those who lean to a party, is 45 percent Republican, 44 percent Democratic, and 10 percent independent. The partisan makeup of the sample, excluding those who lean to a party, is 28 percent Republican, 28 percent Democratic, and 42 percent independent.

Since January 2017, the long-term partisan balance, including those who lean to a party, in the Marquette poll has been 45 percent Republican and 45 percent Democratic, with 9 percent independent. Partisanship, excluding those who lean, has been 30 percent Republican and 29 percent Democratic, with 40 percent independent.

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

New Marquette Law School Poll finds increased support for Trump impeachment hearings since the spring, while opinions about Trump have changed little

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School poll of Wisconsin registered voters finds that 46 percent think that there is enough cause now for Congress to hold hearings on impeachment of President Donald Trump, while 49 percent say there is not enough cause and 5 percent say they do not know.

In April 2019, 29 percent said there was sufficient reason for impeachment hearings and 65 percent said there was not. The April poll was completed after Attorney General William Barr’s letter describing the Mueller report but before the report was publicly released. Earlier, in January 2019, 33 percent supported and 59 percent opposed hearings.

Table 1: Do you think there is or is not enough cause right now for Congress to hold hearings into whether President Trump should be impeached? (Jan-Apr wording: Do you think there is or is not enough cause right now for Congress to begin hearings into whether or not President Trump should be impeached?)

  Enough cause Not enough cause Don’t know
Jan. 16-20, 2019 33 59 8
April 3-7, 2019 29 65 6
Oct. 13-17, 2019 46 49 5

When asked if Trump should be impeached and removed from office, 44 percent say that Trump should be removed, 51 percent say he should not be impeached and removed and 4 percent say they don’t know. This question has not been asked in Marquette Law School polling before.

Twenty-three percent say it is proper for Trump to ask China and Ukraine to conduct investigations of U.S. citizens, while 67 percent say that it is improper and 8 percent say they don’t know or declined to answer. An additional 1 percent volunteered that they did not believe that Trump had asked China or Ukraine to conduct such an investigation.

The poll was conducted Oct. 13-17, 2019. The sample included 799 registered voters in Wisconsin interviewed by cell phone or landline, with a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points. Democratic presidential candidate preference items were asked of respondents who said they would vote in the April Democratic presidential primary. That sample size is 379, with a margin of error of +/-6.3 percentage points.

Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s leader

Forty percent say they have read the rough transcript of Trump’s conversation with the president of Ukraine that the White House released, while 59 percent said they had not read the transcript.

Very similar percentages of Republicans and Democrats say they have read the conversation transcript, although independents are less likely to have read it, as shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Read Ukraine call transcript by party identification

  Yes, have read No, have not read
Republican 42 57
Lean Republican 42 57
Independent 26 74
Lean Democrat 43 57
Democrat 41 59

Among those who have read the transcript, 51 percent think there is enough reason to hold impeachment hearings, compared to 42 percent among those who have not read the transcript. Forty-six percent of those who have read the transcript think there is not enough reason to hold hearings, compared to 50 percent among those who have not read the transcript.

Table 3: Hold impeachment hearings by read Ukraine transcript or not

  Enough cause Not enough cause Don’t know
Yes, have read 51 46 2
No, have not read 42 50 7

The results are similar for opinion on impeachment and removal from office among those who have or have not read the transcript, as shown in Table 4.

Table 4: Impeach and remove from office by read Ukraine transcript or not

  Impeach & remove Don’t think so Don’t know
Yes, have read 50 47 2
No, have not read 40 54 6

Table 5 shows support for hearings by party identification, and Table 6 shows support for impeachment and removal from office by party identification.

Table 5: Enough cause for impeachment hearings by party identification

  Enough cause Not enough cause Don’t know
Republican 12 86 2
Lean Republican 15 77 8
Independent 35 53 7
Lean Democrat 77 15 8
Democrat 84 12 4

Table 6: Support for impeachment and removal by party identification

  Impeach & remove Don’t think so Don’t know
Republican 6 92 2
Lean Republican 9 88 3
Independent 33 55 10
Lean Democrat 78 16 6
Democrat 88 8 3

Trump’s handling of international affairs

In this survey, 37 percent approve and 59 percent disapprove of Trump’s handling of foreign policy, while 4 percent say they don’t know.

For comparison, Trump’s overall job approval stands at 46 percent approval and 51 percent disapproval, with 2 percent who don’t know. In the August Marquette Law School Poll, 45 percent approved and 53 percent disapproved of the president’s handling of his job.

This survey was conducted in the week following the announcement that the U.S. would withdraw its forces from northeastern Syria and the subsequent beginning of Turkish military operations on Oct. 9.

Asked if Trump’s foreign policies have helped or hurt America’s standing in the world, 32 percent say they have helped, while 58 percent say they have hurt. Two percent say they have not affected America’s standing, while 6 percent say they don’t know.

On Oct. 5, U.S. and North Korean talks on nuclear weapons were halted shortly after they had begun. Twenty-four percent of respondents say they believe that the U.S. and North Korea will reach an agreement on reducing nuclear weapons in the next year or two, while 66 percent say this will not happen and 10 percent say they don’t know.

Republicans give Trump higher approval on his handling of foreign policy than do independents or Democrats, as shown in Table 7. Republican approval on foreign policy is lower than Republican overall job approval, as shown in Table 8.

Table 7: Trump handling of foreign policy by party identification

  Approve Disapprove
Republican 77 19
Lean Republican 62 34
Independent 26 59
Lean Democrat 6 90
Democrat 3 97

Table 8: Trump overall job approval by party identification

  Approve Disapprove
Republican 91 8
Lean Republican 76 17
Independent 48 38
Lean Democrat 6 92
Democrat 2 96

Views of Trump

Respondents are evenly divided over whether Trump is keeping his campaign promises or not, as shown in Table 9 of results from Marquette Law School polls since Trump took office in 2017.

Table 9: Trump keeping campaign promises trend

  Yes, keeping promises No, not keeping promises
June 22-25, 2017 49 46
Feb. 25-March 1, 2018 50 46
Aug. 15-19, 2018 55 41
Aug. 25-29, 2019 48 48
Oct. 13-17, 2019 47 46

The degree to which “cares about people like me” describes Trump is shown in Table 10 for polls taken since 2017.

Table 10: Trump cares about people like me trend

  Describes Does not describe
March 13-16, 2017 40 55
June 22-25, 2017 40 55
Feb. 25-March 1, 2018 43 54
Aug. 15-19, 2018 39 57
Jan. 16-20, 2019 42 55
Aug. 25-29, 2019 40 56
Oct. 13-17, 2019 40 57

The trend for those saying Trump is someone who is honest is shown in Table 11. This question was not asked in 2018.

Table 11: Trump is someone who is honest

  Describes Does not describe
June 22-25, 2017 35 59
Jan. 16-20, 2019 31 62
April 3-7, 2019 35 59
Oct. 13-17, 2019 30 65

2020 presidential election preferences

This poll asked about four potential Democratic challengers to Trump in the 2020 presidential election, as shown in Table 12.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is favored by 50 percent and Trump by 44 percent, while 3 percent say they would not support either candidate and 3 percent say they don’t know. In August, Biden received 51 percent and Trump 42 percent.

Sen. Bernie Sanders receives 48 percent and Trump 46 percent, with 4 percent supporting neither and 2 percent who don’t know. In August, Sanders received 48 percent and Trump 44 percent.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is the choice of 47 percent and Trump gets 46 percent, with 4 percent supporting neither and 2 percent saying they don’t know. In August, Warren received 45 percent and Trump 45 percent.

This is the first time the Marquette Law School Poll has matched Mayor Pete Buttigieg against Trump. Buttigieg is supported by 43 percent to Trump’s 45 percent, while 5 percent support neither and 7 percent say they don’t know.

Table 12: General Election Matches

Match Pct Match Pct Match Pct Match Pct
Biden 50 Sanders 48 Warren 47 Buttigieg 43
Trump 44 Trump 46 Trump 46 Trump 45
Neither 3 Neither 4 Neither 4 Neither 5
Don’t know 3 Don’t know 2 Don’t know 2 Don’t know 7
Table 13: First and second choice in Democratic primary (among those saying they will vote in the Democratic presidential primary).
Response First Choice Second Choice
Joe Biden 31 19
Elizabeth Warren 24 27
Bernie Sanders 17 13
Pete Buttigieg 7 10
Kamala Harris 5 9
Amy Klobuchar 3 4
Andrew Yang 3 2
Tulsi Gabbard 2 2
Cory Booker 1 4
Marianne Williamson 1 0
Tom Steyer 0 0
Beto O’Rourke 0 2
Steve Bullock 0 0
Michael Bennet 0 0
Julián Castro 0 0
John Delaney 0 0
Wayne Messam 0 0
Tim Ryan 0 0
Joe Sestak 0 0
Someone else (VOL) 1 1
Would not vote (VOL) 0 1
Don’t know 4 4
Refused 0 0

Democratic presidential primary

Among those who say they will vote in the Democratic presidential primary in April, Biden is the first choice of 31 percent, followed by Warren at 24 percent, Sanders at 17 percent and Pete Buttigieg at 7 percent. Sen. Kamala Harris receives 5 percent, while all other candidates receive 3 percent or less.

The complete results for the Democratic primary are shown in Table 13.

Among the Democratic primary sample, favorability of candidates is shown in Table 14.

Table 14: Favorability ratings of five candidates among Democratic primary sample

  Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough Don’t know
Joe Biden 67 18 10 4
Bernie Sanders 67 26 5 1
Elizabeth Warren 63 17 13 6
Kamala Harris 48 16 24 12
Pete Buttigieg 43 13 33 12

Economic outlook

Wisconsin registered voters hold a net positive view of the performance of the economy over the past 12 months, with 41 percent saying the economy has improved over the past year, 20 percent saying it has worsened and 36 percent saying it has stayed the same.

The outlook for the next year is net negative, with 25 percent saying the economy will improve, 30 percent saying it will get worse and 39 percent saying it will remain the same.

The outlook for the coming year among those polled in 2019 is less positive than it was among those polled in 2018, as more respondents see the prospect of a worsening economy. This poll is the third in 2019 that has seen net pessimism about the economic outlook.

In 2018, the average future outlook was 14.7 percent net positive while in 2019 the average outlook has been net negative at -3.5 percent.

The full results since February 2018 are shown in Table 15.

Table 15: Outlook for the economy over next year

Poll Date Get better Get worse Stay the same Don’t know Net
2018-03-01 37 20 38 5 17
2018-06-17 35 25 37 3 10
2018-08-19 38 25 31 5 13
2018-09-16 37 24 34 5 13
2018-10-07 42 20 32 7 22
2018-10-28 38 25 29 8 13
2019-01-20 29 34 30 6 -5
2019-04-07 34 27 34 5 7
2019-08-29 26 37 33 5 -11
2019-10-17 25 30 39 6 -5


Fifty-one percent of those polled approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, while 45 percent disapprove. In August, 49 percent approved and 50 percent disapproved.

State and national issues

A proposed mandatory buy-back of assault weapons from owners is opposed by 54 percent and supported by 42 percent, with 3 percent saying they don’t know. Those with a gun in the household tend to oppose such a policy while those without a gun in the household tend to support it, as shown in Table 16.

Table 16: Assault weapon buy-back opinion by gun in household

  Support Oppose
Gun 30 68
No gun 59 35

There are partisan differences in views of an assault-weapon buy-back policy, as shown in Table 17.

Table 17: Assault weapon buy-back opinion by party identification

  Support Oppose
Republican 13 83
Democrat 76 20
Independent 42 57

Proposals for changes to national health care programs include, among others, a national single-payer program and a public option that would compete with but not replace private insurance. The full wording of the questions, and the responses are shown in Tables 18 and 19.

Table 18: Do you support or oppose having a national health plan, sometimes called Medicare-for-all, in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan?

Response Percent
Support 51
Oppose 42
Don’t know 7
Refused 1


Table 19: Do you support or oppose having a government-administered health plan, sometimes called a public option, that would compete with private health insurance plans and be available to all Americans?

Response Percent
Support 60
Oppose 32
Don’t know 6
Refused 1

A large majority (82 percent) of respondents said they had heard of Bernie Sanders’ heart attack, while 18 percent had not.

Respondents were asked about age as an issue in voting for president. Some were asked that question before being asked the question about Sanders’ heart attack and some after, but the order of questions made no statistically significant difference. Thirty-two percent say age matters in their choice for president, while 66 percent say age is unimportant as a consideration.

With deer season approaching, 40 percent say they have heard a lot about Chronic Wasting Disease, which afflicts the deer population, with 35 percent saying they have heard some, 13 percent saying they have not heard much and 11 percent saying they have heard nothing about CWD.

Twenty-seven percent think that CWD has been increasing in Wisconsin deer, 46 percent think it has remained about the same and 7 percent think it has been decreasing.

Among Wisconsin respondents, 38 percent say they or someone in their household is a deer hunter, while 62 say no one in the household hunts deer.

The survey notes that Wisconsin lost nearly 700 dairy farms in 2018. Sixty-three percent say the federal government should support small farms, while 30 percent say this is not the job of the federal government. There is no difference in response between those who farm or have family members who farm (61 percent) and those who do not have a farming connection (63 percent) in the percent favoring government support.

State of the state

Governor Tony Evers’ job approval stands at 52 percent, with disapproval at 34 percent. Thirteen percent say they don’t have an opinion. In August, 54 percent approved, 34 percent disapproved and 10 percent lacked an opinion.

Fifty-three percent of respondents say the state is headed in the right direction while 39 percent say it is on the wrong track. In August, 55 percent said the state was going in the right direction and 37 percent said it was on the wrong track.

Table 20 presents the favorability ratings of elected officials in Wisconsin and the percentage of respondents who haven’t heard enough or say they don’t know.

Table 20: Favorability ratings of elected officials

  Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough Don’t know
Tony Evers 47 35 13 5
Tammy Baldwin 46 39 11 3
Donald Trump 43 52 1 3
Ron Johnson 40 29 24 6

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive statewide polling project in Wisconsin history. This poll interviewed 799 registered Wisconsin voters by landline or cell phone, Oct. 13-17, 2019. The margin of error is +/-4.2 percentage points for the full sample.

The Democratic presidential candidate preference items were asked those who said they would vote in the April Democratic presidential primary. That sample size is 379 with a margin of error of +/-6.3 percentage points.

Two questions were asked of half the sample (Form A) and two were asked of the other half-sample (Form B). Questions on Form A have a sample size of 400 and a margin of error of +/- 6 percentage points. Questions on Form B have a sample size of 399 and a margin of error of +/- 5.9 percentage points.

Form A questions were right direction or wrong track for the state and Medicare for all as a single payer. Form B questions were an assault weapon buy-back law and an public option for medical coverage competing with private insurance plans

The partisan makeup of the sample, including those who lean to a party, is 45 percent Republican, 44 percent Democratic and 9 percent independent. The partisan makeup of the sample, excluding those who lean to a party, is 31 percent Republican, 29 percent Democratic and 40 percent independent.

Since January 2017, the long-term partisan balance, including those who lean to a party, in the Marquette Law Poll has been 45 percent Republican and 45 percent Democratic, with 9 percent independent. Partisanship excluding those who lean has been 30 percent Republican and 29 percent Democratic, with 40 percent independent. The entire questionnaire, methodology statement, full results and breakdowns by demographic groups are available at law.marquette.edu/poll/results-and-data.