New Marquette Law School Poll finds tight race for Wisconsin governor, Baldwin leading in Senate contest

MILWAUKEE — With less than a month to go until Election Day, a new Marquette Law School Poll of Wisconsin voters finds incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker with 47 percent support and Democratic gubernatorial challenger Tony Evers with 46 percent support among likely voters. Libertarian candidate Phil Anderson receives 5 percent. Only 1 percent say that they lack a preference or do not lean to a candidate. In the previous Marquette Law School Poll, in September, among likely voters, Evers received 49 percent, Walker had 44 percent and Anderson had 6 percent. Likely voters are defined as those who say that they are certain to vote in the November election.

In the race for Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate seat, Democratic incumbent Tammy Baldwin leads among likely voters with 53 percent, while 43 percent support Republican challenger Leah Vukmir and 3 percent say that they lack a preference or do not lean toward a candidate. In the September poll, Baldwin received 53 percent and Vukmir was supported by 42 percent.

In the race for Wisconsin attorney general, Republican incumbent Brad Schimel is the choice of 47 percent and Democratic challenger Josh Kaul is the choice of 43 percent of likely voters. Ten percent lack a preference in this race. In September, Schimel held 48 percent and Kaul 41 percent of likely voters.

Among all registered voters surveyed in the poll, Walker receives 47 percent, with Evers at 43 percent and Anderson with 7 percent.

In the Senate race, among all registered voters, Baldwin receives 53 percent and Vukmir 42 percent.

For attorney general, registered voters give Schimel 45 percent and Kaul 41 percent.

The poll was conducted Oct. 3-7, 2018. The sample includes 1,000 registered voters in Wisconsin interviewed by cell phone or landline, with a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points. For likely voters, the sample size is 799 and the margin of error is +/- 3.9 percentage points.

Six issue questions were asked of half the sample. Questions on Form A have a sample size of 500 and a margin of error of +/- 5.1 percentage points. Questions on Form B have a sample size of 500 and a margin of error of +/- 5.1 percentage points. These half-sample items are listed at the end of this release.

How turnout could affect election results

The estimates above for likely voters are based on the definition that the Marquette Law School Poll has used since 2012: those who say that they are certain they will vote in November. Alternative models of likely voters could be broader, including those less than certain to vote, or could be narrower, including enthusiasm and attention to politics. Table 1 shows the vote for governor by alternative measures of likelihood of turnout based on an average of responses to certainty of voting, enthusiasm and attention to politics. The vote for Evers generally rises as the set of criteria for a likely voter requires higher levels of certainty of voting, enthusiasm and attention, implying lower turnout but a more enthusiastic and attentive set of actual voters, while Walker’s vote does not vary by alternative likely-voter definitions. Alternative likely-voter models for the senate and attorney general races also are shown below.

Table 1: Vote for governor, by alternative likely-voter models

Evers Walker Anderson
All Registered 43 47 7
90% of Registered 45 47 5
80% of Registered 47 47 4
Standard Likely Voter 46 47 5
70% of Registered 48 47 3

Table 2: Vote for Senate by alternative likely-voter models

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

Table 3: Vote for Attorney General by alternative likely voter models

Kaul Schimel
All Registered 41 45
90% of Registered 42 48
80% of Registered 43 48
Standard Likely Voter 43 47
70% of Registered 44 49

Favorability and awareness of candidates

The non-incumbent candidates remain less well-known than the incumbents, though voters are becoming more familiar with the candidates over time. Table 4 shows favorable, unfavorable and unable-to-rate percentages in the October and September polls.

Table 4: Favorability and awareness of candidates, Oct. and Sept., among likely voters

Oct:Fav Oct:Unfav Oct:Not Heard/DK Sept:Fav Sept:Unfav Sept:Not Heard/DK
Evers 41 38 20 40 29 31
Vukmir 30 43 27 26 38 36
Kaul 10 8 81 7 5 87
Anderson 4 5 91 4 4 92
Walker 48 49 2 45 52 2
Baldwin 49 42 9 48 40 12
Schimel 32 22 46 24 20 56

Voting groups

The electorate has become increasingly segmented by gender and education among white voters, with longer-standing differences by race. Table 5, involving likely voters, shows preference for governor among white males and females by education, and among non-whites or Hispanics. The sample size for non-white or Hispanic voters is too small to analyze by gender and education.

Table 5: Vote for governor by race, gender and education among likely voters

White, Male, Noncollege White, Female, Noncollege White, Male, College White, Female, College Nonwhite or Hispanic
Evers 32 44 43 64 54
Walker 60 46 53 34 36
Anderson 7 6 1 2 8

Evers receives his strongest support from white, female college graduates and from non-white or Hispanic voters while Walker does best with white, male non-college graduates and has a smaller lead among white males with a college degree. Non-college white females are closely divided.

Partisans are strongly supporting their party’s candidate, but independents are currently favoring Evers, as shown in Table 6. While support of partisans for the nominee of their party is little changed, the margin among independents has tightened since the September Marquette Law School Poll, when independents favored Evers by 20 points.

Table 6: Vote for governor by Party ID among likely voters

Rep Dem Ind
Evers 5 93 46
Walker 91 5 40
Anderson 3 1 11

Preferences in the senate contest by race, gender and education are shown in Table 7. Baldwin does best with white, female college graduates but also holds a substantial advantage among non-college white females. White college males are evenly divided and Vukmir has a substantial advantage with non-college white males. Baldwin has a substantial lead among non-white or Hispanic voters.

Table 7: Vote for senate by race, gender and education among likely voters

White, Male, Noncollege White, Female, Noncollege White, Male, College White, Female, College Nonwhite or Hispanic
Baldwin 38 56 49 66 61
Vukmir 58 39 50 29 36

The senate vote by party is shown in Table 8. Partisan alignments are strong, though Vukmir’s support among Republicans is not as strong as Baldwin’s is among Democrats. Independents favor Baldwin.

Table 8: Vote for senate by party ID among likely voters

Rep Dem Ind
Baldwin 12 98 54
Vukmir 85 1 39

The survey results for the attorney general race are shown in Table 9 and Table 10. Incumbent Schimel has the strongest showing among the three Republican candidates for major office in Wisconsin, holding a lead among both non-college and college white males and a near tie with non-college white females. Kaul leads among white college females and among non-white or Hispanic voters.

Table 9: Vote for attorney general by race, gender and education among likely voters

White, Male, Noncollege White, Female, Noncollege White, Male, College White, Female, College Nonwhite or Hispanic
Kaul 32 44 38 51 53
Schimel 61 43 54 39 34

Table 10: Vote for Attorney General by party ID among likely voters

Rep Dem Ind
Kaul 10 85 38
Schimel 83 10 45

Schimel holds 83 percent of Republican support while Kaul receives 85 percent support from Democrats. Independents give Schimel 45 percent and Kaul 38 percent. Both candidates for attorney general are currently less well-known than the gubernatorial and senate candidates.

 State issues among registered voters

Fifty-four percent of Wisconsin registered voters see the state as headed in the right direction while 40 percent think the state is off on the wrong track. In September, 50 percent said right direction and 47 percent said wrong track. In October 2014, 53 percent said the state was headed in the right direction and 42 percent said it was on the wrong track.

Taxes and spending

The Marquette Law School Poll asks about several issues involving the balance between taxes and spending for state programs.

Fifty-one percent of registered voters say that they would rather pay higher taxes and have state government provide more services, while 42 percent said they prefer lower taxes and fewer services from the state. When this question was first asked in January 2012, 41 percent preferred higher taxes and services while 50 percent wanted lower taxes and fewer services. When asked most recently in May 2014, 46 percent preferred higher taxes and services while 46 percent wanted lower taxes.

Balancing property taxes versus spending for public schools, voters say they would rather increase spending on public schools than reduce property taxes, by a 57 percent to 37 percent margin. Support for additional spending on public schools has increased since the question was first asked in 2013. The full trend on this issue is shown in Table 11.

Table 11: Trend in property tax vs school spending opinion, 2013-2018 among registered voters

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

Roads

Six percent of registered voters say that roads where they live are in excellent condition and 30 percent say good condition, while 34 percent say the roads are fair and 30 percent say their roads are in poor condition.

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

Sixty-one percent say it is more important to keep gas taxes and vehicle registration fees where they are now, while 32 percent say it is more important to raise gas taxes and registration fees in order to spend more on roads and highways.

Table 12 shows that those who believe roads are in the best condition are less willing to support increased taxes and fees, while those who see roads as being in the worst shape are more supportive of tax and fee increases. However, even among those who think roads are in poor condition, less than half, 48 percent, support higher taxes and fees.

Table 12: Gas tax by condition of roads among registered voters

No gas tax/fee increase Increase tax, spending on roads DK
Excellent 78 17 5
Good 75 20 5
Fair 58 34 8
Poor 48 45 7

Foxconn

Forty-eight percent of registered voters think that the state is paying more than the Foxconn plant is worth, while 38 percent think that the plant will provide at least as much value as the state is investing in the plant. Thirteen percent say they don’t know if the plant will be worth it or not. In the September poll, 48 percent said the state was paying too much and 39 percent said it was worth it.

A majority—61 percent—of registered voters statewide believe that the Foxconn plant will substantially improve the economy of the greater Milwaukee area, while 30 percent do not think that it will, and 9 percent say that they don’t know. In the September poll, 58 percent said that the Milwaukee area would benefit, while 31 percent did not think so.

When asked if businesses where the respondent lives will benefit from Foxconn, 35 percent say that such businesses will benefit directly from the Foxconn plant, while 57 percent say that their local businesses will not benefit and 8 percent don’t know. In the September poll, 33 percent said that their local businesses would benefit, while 54 percent did not think so.

Act 10

Almost eight years after its passage, opinion remains divided on Act 10, the 2011 legislation that eliminated most collective bargaining for public employees. Forty-two percent say they would like to see collective bargaining returned to what was law before Act 10, while 43 percent say they want to keep Act 10 as it is now. The full trend for this question since 2012 is shown in Table 13.

Table 13: Trend in view of Act 10, 2012-2018 among registered voters

Repeal Act 10 Keep Act 10 DK
5/9-12/12 43 50 6
5/23-26/12 45 50 5
8/21-24/14 43 46 10
10/23-26/14 43 50 6
2/25-3/1/18 41 46 12
6/13-17/18 47 43 10
10/3-7/18 42 43 15

Opioids

Eleven percent of registered voters say the state has done a lot to address the issue of opioid addiction, with 31 percent saying the state has done a fair amount about the issue. Twenty-nine percent say the state has done only a little and 17 percent say it has done almost nothing. This question has not been asked before on the Marquette Law School Poll.

Walker job approval

Walker’s job approval among registered voters stands at 48 percent, with 47 percent disapproving. The trend in approval since June 2018 is shown in Table 14. Among likely voters, 48 percent approve and 49 percent disapprove. In October 2014, 48 percent approved and 49 percent disapproved.

Table 14: Scott Walker job approval trend among registered voters

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

Walker handling of prisons

Among all registered voters, 18 percent say that Walker has done all he should to address inmate-abuse issues at the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake juvenile prisons, while 32 percent say that he has not paid enough attention to the issue. However, 50 percent say that they haven’t heard enough about the issue to have an opinion. These results are little changed since the last time the question was asked, in August, when 12 percent said Walker has done all he should, 35 percent said he has not paid enough attention, and 53 percent hadn’t heard enough.

Walker run for president

Looking back, 26 percent in the new poll say that they liked Walker’s run for president in 2015 while 65 percent say that they did not like his presidential bid. In October 2014, just prior to his reelection as governor, 26 percent liked the idea of a presidential bid with 68 percent saying they did not. After Walker dropped out of the presidential race in August 2015, 33 percent said they had liked his run for president and 63 percent said they had not.

Partisan views of Walker’s run show some division among Republicans three years after the presidential bid ended, as shown in Table 15. A plurality of Republicans favored the presidential bid, while a majority of independents who lean Republican did not like the presidential race and two-thirds of independents wish that he had not run. Democrats and independents who lean Democratic are solidly negative about the attempt.

Table 15: View of Walker’s presidential bid by party ID among registered voters

Rep Lean Rep Ind Lean Dem Dem
Liked presidential bid 49 32 22 12 4
Did not like 41 58 66 80 89
Don’t Know 8 8 10 8 7

Among Republicans who liked the presidential bid (not including independents who lean Republican), 94 percent say that they will vote for Walker. Among those Republicans who say that they did not like the presidential bid, 79 percent currently plan to vote for Walker.

Baldwin favorability

Among all registered voters (see above for likely voters), 45 percent have a favorable opinion of Baldwin and 40 percent an unfavorable opinion. Baldwin is not rated by 14 percent. The trend in Baldwin favorability since June is shown in Table 16.

Table 16: Tammy Baldwin favorability trend among registered voters

Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough
June 2018 41 43 11
July 2018 41 40 13
August 2018 43 40 14
September 2018 45 39 10
October 2018 45 40 11

Supreme Court nomination

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Saturday, during the poll’s Wednesday-through-Sunday interviewing period. There is no evidence that opinion of Kavanaugh changed over the days during which the survey was completed.

When asked if they would have supported or opposed Kavanaugh’s confirmation if they had a vote in the senate, 43 percent of voters  support Kavanaugh and his confirmation is opposed by 47 percent.

Since July, both favorable and unfavorable views of Kavanaugh have risen, with corresponding declines in the percentage unable to give an opinion of him. In the October poll, 38 percent have a favorable opinion while 41 percent have an unfavorable view and 20 percent are not able to give a rating.

In September, 29 percent had a favorable opinion while 29 percent had an unfavorable view and 41 percent were not able to give a rating.

In July, when first asked, 27 percent gave a favorable rating while 22 percent had an unfavorable view and 50 percent were unable to rate him.

In the October poll, about a week after the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, 35 percent have a favorable opinion of her, 35 percent have an unfavorable view and 29 percent did not give a rating.

Interest in the Senate hearing was substantial, with 37 percent saying they had watched the hearings live, with another 27 percent saying they had followed closely but not watched the hearing live. Twenty-five percent say they saw some news coverage but didn’t follow closely, and 10 percent say they did not pay much attention at all.

Men and women differ in their views of Kavanaugh, but partisan differences account for much of the difference. Views of Kavanaugh by gender are shown in Table 17.

Table 17: View of Kavanaugh by gender among registered voters

Men Women
Favorable 48 30
Unfavorable 33 48
Haven’t heard/DK 18 22

Among men, Kavanaugh has a +15 percent net favorability rating, while among women the net rating is -18 percent. Gender differences within party, however, are smaller, as shown in Table 18.

Table 18: View of Kavanaugh by gender and party among registered voters

Rep Men Rep Women Dem Men Dem Women Ind Men Ind Women
Favorable 77 68 2 5 45 24
Unfavorable 6 10 88 80 31 46
Haven’t heard/DK 18 21 11 14 24 30

Republican and independent women are less favorable to Kavanaugh than are their fellow male partisans, but Democratic women are slightly more favorable than are Democratic men.

Views of Ford also vary by gender and party. Men and women have near mirror-image views of Ford, as shown in Table 19.

Table 19: View of Ford by gender among registered voters

Men Women
Favorable 29 40
Unfavorable 41 29
Haven’t heard/DK 29 29

Within partisanship, however, these gender differences become small, as shown in Table 20.

Table 20: View of Ford by gender and party among registered voters

Rep Men Rep Women Dem Men Dem Women Ind Men Ind Women
Favorable 7 8 72 69 28 37
Unfavorable 62 66 4 6 39 23
Haven’t heard/DK 28 24 24 24 32 38

Within party, gender differences are modest, though gender differences are larger among independents.

Similar gender differences appear in support of or opposition to Kavanaugh’s confirmation as a Supreme Court justice in Table 21.

Table 21: Support or oppose Kavanaugh confirmation, by gender among registered voters

Men Women
Support 52 36
Oppose 40 53
Don’t Know 7 11

Table 22: Support or oppose Kavanaugh confirmation, by gender and party among registered voters

Rep Men Rep Women Dem Men Dem Women Ind Men Ind Women
Support 82 83 4 6 49 27
Oppose 10 9 92 87 42 53
Don’t Know 7 7 5 6 8 19

As with favorability, gender differences are smaller within party, with larger gender differences persisting among independents in Table 22.

There were no differences in attention to the confirmation hearings by gender, as shown in Table 23.

Table 23: Attention to Kavanaugh hearings by gender among registered voters

Men Women
Watched live 36 39
Followed closely 28 27
Saw some news 27 23
Didn’t pay attention 9 11

Mueller investigation

Thirty-one percent say that they have a great deal of confidence that the Mueller investigation will be fair and impartial, while 26 percent say they have no confidence at all. Nineteen percent have some confidence, and 13 percent have only a little confidence in the fairness of the investigation. Both high-confidence and no-confidence are higher than in June 2017, when the question was first asked: Then, 20 percent were very confident and 21 percent had no confidence at all.

Health coverage

Fifty percent say they would like to see the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, remain in place, while 44 percent would like the act repealed. There are large partisan differences on this issue, shown in Table 24, but among independents 51 percent would keep the act and 42 percent would repeal it.

Table 24: Keep or repeal ACA by Party ID among registered voters

Rep Dem Ind
Keep ACA 11 92 51
Repeal ACA 83 5 42
Don’t Know 6 2 7

While views of the ACA are divided, a large majority, 78 percent, say that the ACA’s requirement that pre-existing conditions be covered by insurance companies is very important to them. Fifteen percent say that such coverage is somewhat important, with 3 percent saying it is not too important and 2 percent saying it is not at all important.

Among those who would like to see the ACA repealed, 65 percent say coverage of pre-existing conditions is very important while 25 percent say it is somewhat important.

Looking at one alternative to the ACA, 49 percent say they would favor “Medicare-for-all” through a single government plan, while 41 percent oppose such a plan.

Views of President Trump

President Trump has a 46 percent approval rating, with 51 percent disapproving. In the previous Marquette Law School poll, in September, his approval was 42 percent, with 54 percent disapproving. Partisans are deeply divided on Trump’s job performance, as shown in Table 25.

Table 25: Trump job approval, by party ID among registered voters

Rep Dem Ind
Approve 88 3 42
Disapprove 9 97 52
DK 2 0 5

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

Asked if Trump has changed the Republican party—and if so, how—25 percent say he has changed it for the better, while 47 percent say he has changed it for the worse and 25 percent say he hasn’t changed it much either way.

Partisans have differing views of Trump’s effect on his party, as seen in Table 26.

Table 26: How Trump has changed GOP, by party ID among registered voters

Rep Lean Rep Ind Lean Dem Dem
For better 51 36 17 3 3
For worse 10 24 30 79 88
Not changed 37 33 46 17 8

Enthusiasm for voting

Overall, 67 percent of registered voters say they are very enthusiastic about voting in this year’s elections, with 22 percent somewhat enthusiastic and 10 percent either not very or not at all enthusiastic.

Among Republicans, 70 percent are very enthusiastic while among Democrats 76 percent are. Among independents, 59 percent say they are very enthusiastic about voting this year. In September, 64 percent of Republicans and 75 percent of Democrats were very enthusiastic, with 49 percent of independents.

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive statewide polling project in Wisconsin history. This poll interviewed 1,000 registered Wisconsin voters by landline or cell phone, Oct. 3-7, 2018. The margin of error is +/-3.6 percentage points for the full sample.

For likely voters, the sample size is 799 and the margin of error is +/- 3.9 percentage points.

Six issue questions were asked of half the sample. Questions on Form A have a sample size of 500 and a margin of error of +/- 5.1 percentage points. Questions on Form B have a sample size of 500 and a margin of error of +/- 5.1 percentage points. The half-sample items are listed below.

Form A asks three questions about Foxconn. Form B items include view of the Mueller investigation, how the state has handled opioids and how Gov. Walker has handled prisons.

The partisan makeup of the sample, including those who lean to a party, is 47 percent Republican, 44 percent Democratic and 8 percent independent. The long-term total for the previous 48 statewide Marquette polls, with 42,752 respondents, is 43 percent Republican and 47 percent Democratic, with 9 percent independent. The partisan makeup of the current sample, excluding those who lean to a party, is 33 percent Republican, 30 percent Democratic and 36 percent independent, compared to the long-term totals of 27 percent Republican, 31 percent Democratic and 41 percent independent.

In the likely-voter sample, partisanship, including those who lean to a party, is 48 percent Republican, 45 percent Democratic and 7 percent independent. The partisan makeup of likely voters excluding those who lean to a party is 34 percent Republican, 31 percent Democratic and 34 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 Evers, Baldwin with leads among Wisconsin voters

MILWAUKEE — A new Marquette Law School Poll of Wisconsin voters finds Democrat Tony Evers with 49 percent support and incumbent Republican Scott Walker with 44 percent support among likely voters in the state’s race for governor. Libertarian candidate Phil Anderson receives 6 percent. Among likely voters, those who say they are certain to vote in the November election, only 1 percent say they lack a preference or do not lean to a candidate. In the previous Marquette Law School Poll conducted in August, the race for governor was tied among likely voters, with Evers at 46 percent, Walker at 46 percent and Anderson with 6 percent.

In the race for U.S. Senate, incumbent Democrat Tammy Baldwin leads among likely voters with 53 percent, while 42 percent support Republican Leah Vukmir and 4 percent say they lack a preference or do not lean toward a candidate. In August, the race was closer, with Baldwin receiving 49 percent and Vukmir 47 percent.

In the race for attorney general, incumbent Republican Brad Schimel is the choice of 48 percent and Democrat Josh Kaul is the choice of 41 percent of likely voters. Ten percent lack a preference in this race. This is the first time this year’s attorney general race has been measured by the Marquette poll.

Among all registered voters surveyed in the poll, Evers receives 47 percent support, Walker receives 43 percent and Anderson 7 percent in the race for governor.

Among all registered voters in the Senate race, Baldwin receives 52 percent support and Vukmir 40 percent.

For attorney general, registered voters give Schimel 47 percent support and Kaul 40 percent.

The poll was conducted Sept. 12-16, 2018. The sample includes 800 registered voters in Wisconsin interviewed by cell phone or landline, with a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points. For likely voters, the sample size is 614 and the margin of error is +/- 4.4 percentage points.

Eight issue questions were asked of half the sample. The state issues have a sample size of 406 and a margin of error of +/- 5.7 percentage points. The national issues have a sample size of 394 and a margin of error of +/- 5.7 percentage points. The half-sample items are listed at the end of this release.

Favorability and awareness of candidates

The non-incumbent candidates are substantially less well-known than the incumbents, though voters are becoming more familiar with the candidates over time.

Awareness of Evers and Vukmir has increased among likely voters since the Marquette Law School Poll in August. Kaul and Anderson are far behind in name recognition. Results for September and August are shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Favorability and awareness of candidates, Sept. and Aug., among likely voters

Sept:Fav Sept:Unfav Sept:Not Heard/DK Aug:Fav Aug:Unfav Aug:Not Heard/DK
Evers 40 29 31 38 27 35
Vukmir 26 38 36 30 29 41
Kaul 7 5 87 4 3 92
Anderson 4 4 92 4 4 91
Walker 45 52 2 49 47 4
Baldwin 48 40 12 46 42 11
Schimel 24 20 56 26 16 57

Thirty-one percent of likely voters lack an opinion of Evers, down from 35 percent in August. For Vukmir, 36 percent lack an opinion now, compared to 41 percent in August.

Eighty-seven percent are unable to give an opinion of Kaul in September, compared to 92 percent who could not do so in August.

For Anderson, 92 percent could not give an opinion in September, while 91 percent could not do so in August.

Walker is the best known among all the candidates, with 2 percent lacking an opinion in September and 4 percent without an opinion in August.

Baldwin is not rated by 12 percent in September and by 11 percent in August.

Schimel is much less well-known than the other incumbents, with 56 percent in September unable to rate him and 57 percent in August unable to do so.

Among likely voters, Evers is viewed positively by 40 percent and unfavorably by 29 percent in September. Vukmir is seen favorably by 26 percent and unfavorably by 38 percent. Kaul is seen favorably by 7 percent and unfavorably by 5 percent.

Anderson is seen favorably by 4 percent and unfavorably by 4 percent.

Walker’s favorable rating is 45 percent and his unfavorable is 52 percent. For Baldwin, 48 percent have a favorable opinion and 40 percent unfavorable. Schimel is seen favorably by 24 percent with 20 percent unfavorable.

Voting groups

The electorate has become increasingly segmented by gender and education level among white voters. Differences by race have been longer-standing. Table 2 shows preference for governor among white males and females by education, and for non-whites or Hispanic likely voters.

Table 2: Vote for governor by race, gender, and education among likely voters

White, Male, Noncollege White, Female, Noncollege White, Male, College White, Female, College Nonwhite or Hispanic
Evers 40 48 49 62 49
Walker 52 46 45 36 37
Anderson 6 4 5 1 12

Evers receives his strongest support from white, female college graduates, while Walker does best with white, male non-college graduates.

Partisans are strongly supporting their party’s candidate, but independents are currently favoring Evers, as shown in Table 3.

Table 3: Vote for governor by Party ID among likely voters

Rep Dem Ind
Evers 4 93 52
Walker 94 3 32
Anderson 2 3 13

Preferences in the Senate race by race, gender, and education are shown in Table 4. Baldwin does best with white, female college graduates but also holds a substantial advantage among non-college white females. White college males are evenly divided, and Vukmir has a substantial advantage with non-college white males.

Table 4: Vote for Senate by race, gender, and education among likely voters

White, Male, Noncollege White, Female, Noncollege White, Male, College White, Female, College Nonwhite or Hispanic
Baldwin 41 57 48 64 59
Vukmir 54 40 48 30 34

The senate vote by party is shown in Table 5. Partisan alignments are strong, though Vukmir’s support among Republicans is not as strong as Baldwin’s is among Democrats. Independents favor Baldwin.

Table 5: Vote for senate by party ID among likely voters

Rep Dem Ind
Baldwin 9 97 54
Vukmir 86 2 38

In the attorney general’s race, the results are shown in Table 6 and Table 7. Schimel, holds a lead among non-college white males and females but also among white college males and among non-whites. Kaul leads among white college females.

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

White, Male, Noncollege White, Female, Noncollege White, Male, College White, Female, College Nonwhite or Hispanic
Kaul 35 39 40 50 42
Schimel 51 50 52 40 46

Table 7: Vote for attorney general by party ID among likely voters

Rep Dem Ind
Kaul 6 80 36
Schimel 90 11 44

Schimel holds 90 percent of Republican support while Kaul receives support from 80 percent of Democrats. Independents lean to Schimel. Both candidates for attorney general are less well-known than the gubernatorial and senate candidates, which may change as the election nears.

State issues among registered voters

Fifty percent of Wisconsin registered voters see the state as headed in the right direction while 47 percent think the state is off on the wrong track. In August, 53 percent said right direction and 41 percent said wrong track. In September 2014, 54 percent said the state was headed in the right direction and 42 percent said it was on the wrong track.

Thirty-one percent think the state budget is in better shape than a few years ago, while 28 percent say it is about the same and 29 percent say the budget is in worse shape. In September 2014, 41 percent said the budget was in better shape, 25 percent said it was about the same and 27 percent said the budget was in worse shape. About twice as many people now, 12 percent, say they don’t know how the budget is doing compared to 6 percent in September 2014.

Walker’s job approval among registered voters stands at 44 percent, with 50 disapproving. The trend in approval in 2018 is shown in Table 8. Among likely voters, 46 percent approve and 51 percent disapprove. In September 2014, 49 percent approved and 46 percent disapproved among registered voters.

Table 8: Scott Walker job approval trend among registered voters

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

Schools

A majority of registered voters are satisfied with the job public schools are doing in their community, with 18 percent saying they are very satisfied and 46 percent saying satisfied. Seventeen percent say they are dissatisfied and 8 percent are very dissatisfied.

Satisfaction with public schools is the lowest in the city of Milwaukee, where 46 percent say they are either very satisfied or satisfied while 48 percent are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied. In each of the other four regions of the state, more than 60 percent say they are very satisfied or satisfied while less than 30 percent in each region are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied. Results by region are shown in Table 9.

Table 9: School satisfaction by region among registered voters

MKE City Rest of MKE area Madison Green Bay North & West
Very satisfied 8 18 17 14 23
Satisfied 38 43 47 50 49
Dissatisfied 29 19 14 18 13
Very dissatisfied 19 8 11 4 5

Voters say they would rather increase spending on public schools than reduce property taxes by a 57 percent to 38 percent margin. Support for additional spending on public schools has increased since the question was first asked in 2013. The full trend on this issue is shown in Table 10.

Table 10: Trend in property tax vs school spending opinion, 2013-2018 among registered voters

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

Roads

Five percent of registered voters say roads where they live are in excellent condition, 30 percent say good condition, 32 percent say fair condition, and 32 percent say poor condition.

There are differences between the southern and northern parts of the state in opinion of roads, with the more negative views in the southern part of the state. Note: A data coding error in the July poll reversed the results by region. The corrected results for July are shown in Table 11. Table 12 gives the results for the September poll.

Table 11: Condition of roads by region in July poll (corrected) among registered voters

South North
Excellent 6 3
Good 28 45
Fair 41 30
Poor 25 22

Table 12: Condition of roads by region in September poll among registered voters

South North
Excellent 4 7
Good 26 35
Fair 34 29
Poor 36 28

Foxconn

Forty-eight percent of registered voters think the state is paying more than the Foxconn plant is worth, while 39 percent think the plant will provide at least as much value as the state is investing in the plant. Thirteen percent say they don’t know if the plant will be worth it or not. In the August poll, 44 percent said the state was paying too much and 41 percent said it was worth it.

A 58 percent majority of registered voters statewide believe the Foxconn plant will substantially improve the economy of the greater Milwaukee area, while 31 percent do not think it will and 11 percent say they don’t know. In the August poll, 61 percent said the Milwaukee area would benefit while 27 percent did not think so.

When asked if businesses where the respondent lives will benefit from Foxconn, 33 percent say businesses will benefit directly from the Foxconn plant, while 54 percent say their local businesses will not benefit and 14 percent don’t know. In the August poll 32 percent said their local businesses would benefit, while 61 percent did not think so.

Environment vs. economic growth

Fifty-nine percent say that protection of the environment should be given priority even at the risk of curbing economic growth. Twenty-seven percent would give economic growth priority even if the environment suffers to some extent.

National issues

Forty-seven percent of registered voters say they have a favorable view of the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, while 45 percent have an unfavorable view.

Asked what should be done about the ACA/Obamacare health reform, 4 percent say keep the law as it is, 55 percent say keep and improve the law, 25 percent say repeal and replace the health reform law and 10 percent say the law should be repealed and not replaced. Opinion on the health reform law has changed little since June 2017, when 6 percent said keep as the law, 54 percent said improve it, 27 percent said repeal and replace and 7 percent said repeal and not replace the law.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has a 29 percent favorable rating while 29 percent have an unfavorable view and 41 percent are not able to give a rating. In July, when last asked, 27 percent gave a favorable rating while 22 percent had an unfavorable view and 50 percent were unable to rate him. All but 152 voter interviews for the poll were completed before Sunday, when details emerged of an alleged sexual assault when Kavanaugh was in high school.

Tariffs and free trade

Thirty-one percent think increased tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will improve the U.S. economy while 52 percent think tariffs will hurt the economy. Seventeen percent say they don’t know. In the August poll, 34 percent said tariffs would improve the economy while 48 percent said tariffs would hurt the economy.

Partisan differences in views of tariffs are sharp, with 59 percent of Republicans saying tariffs are good for the U.S. economy, 20 percent saying they are bad for the economy and 20 saying they don’t know. A large majority of Democrats say tariffs are bad for the economy and a majority of independents see tariffs as a bad thing for the economy, as shown in Table 13.

Table 13: View of tariffs by Party ID among registered voters

Rep Dem Ind
Good for Econ 59 8 28
Bad for Econ 20 76 56
DK 20 16 16

On free trade agreements in general, 58 percent think these agreements have been a good thing for the U.S. economy, while 25 percent think they have been bad for the economy. Sixteen percent say they don’t know. In August, 55 percent said free trade has been good for the economy while 29 percent said free trade has been bad for the economy, while fourteen percent said they didn’t know.

Views of abortion remain close to their long-term averages in polling since 2012, with 26 percent saying abortion should be legal in all cases, 36 percent saying legal in most cases, 21 percent illegal in most cases and 9 percent saying it should be illegal in all cases. The long-term average over eight statewide polls is 26 percent legal in all cases, 34 percent legal in most, 23 percent illegal in most and 12 percent saying illegal in all cases.

There has been an increase in support for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the years since 2012. Sixty-eight percent say undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay in the U.S. and eventually apply for citizenship, 15 percent say undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay as temporary guest workers but with no path to citizenship and 14 percent say such immigrants should be required to leave the country. When first asked in September 2012, 51 percent supported a path to citizenship, 23 percent favored a guest worker status and 20 percent preferred requiring undocumented immigrants to leave.

Support for a path to citizenship has increased across each party identification group. Table 14 shows preferences on this issue by party among registered voters in the current poll, and Table 15 shows how partisans divided in September 2012.

Table 14: Policy for undocumented immigrants by party ID September 2018 among registered voters

Rep Dem Ind
Path to citizenship 43 90 69
Guest worker 26 7 14
Leave US 27 0 16
DK 4 3 1

Table 15: Policy for undocumented immigrants by party ID September 2012 among registered voters

Rep Dem Ind
Path to citizenship 36 64 51
Guest worker 29 19 24
Leave US 31 14 19
DK 3 4 4

Views of President Trump

In the new poll results, President Donald Trump has a 42 percent approval rating, with 54 percent disapproving. In the previous Marquette Law School poll in August, his approval was 45 percent with 51 percent disapproving. Partisans are deeply divided on Trump’s job performance, as shown in Table 16.

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

Rep Dem Ind
Approve 81 4 41
Disapprove 14 94 54
DK 4 1 4

Asked if Trump has changed the Republican party—and if so, how—23 percent say he has changed it for the better, 49 percent say he has changed it for the worse and 23 percent say he hasn’t changed it much either way.

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

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

Rep Dem Ind
For better 51 3 17
For worse 13 85 49
Not changed 29 11 31
DK 6 2 3

There are some divisions among Republican voters. Asked if they had a favorable or unfavorable view of the late Sen. John McCain, among all registered voters, 70 percent said favorable while 19 percent had an unfavorable view. When broken down by party identification in Table 18, more Democrats and independents had a favorable view of the 2008 Republican presidential nominee than did Republicans.

Table 18: Opinion of John McCain by party ID among registered voters

Rep Dem Ind
Favorable 59 85 65
Unfavorable 28 10 20
Not heard/DK 11 5 15

Among Republicans with a favorable view of McCain, Trump’s approval rating is 72 percent while among those with an unfavorable view of McCain it is 93 percent. A smaller difference also appears for approval of Walker. Among those Republicans with a favorable view of McCain, Walker’s approval rating is 85 percent, while among those with an unfavorable view of McCain it is 94 percent.

Enthusiasm for voting

Overall, 62 percent of registered voters say they are very enthusiastic about voting in this year’s elections, with 24 percent somewhat enthusiastic and 13 percent either not very or not at all enthusiastic.

Among Republicans, 64 percent are very enthusiastic, while among Democrats 75 percent are. Among independents, 49 percent say they are very enthusiastic about voting this year. In August, 69 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of Democrats were very enthusiastic, along with 56 percent of independents.

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive statewide polling project in Wisconsin history. This poll interviewed 800 registered Wisconsin voters by landline or cell phone Sept. 12-16, 2018. The margin of error is +/-4 percentage points for the full sample.

For likely voters, the sample size is 614 and the margin of error is +/- 4.4 percentage points.

Eight issue questions were asked of half the sample. The state issues have a sample size of 406 and a margin of error of +/- 5.7 percentage points. The national issues have a sample size of 394 and a margin of error of +/- 5.7 percentage points. State half-sample issues include Foxconn (3 items) and priority of the environment or economic growth. Half-sample national issues involve tariffs and free trade, how to deal with undocumented immigrants and preference for abortion policy.

The partisan makeup of the sample, including those who lean to a party, is 45 percent Republican, 46 percent Democratic and 8 percent independent. The long-term total for the previous 47 statewide Marquette polls, with 41,752 respondents, is 43 percent Republican and 47 percent Democratic, with 9 percent independent. The partisan makeup of the current sample, excluding those who lean to a party, is 32 percent Republican, 33 percent Democratic and 34 percent independent, compared to the long-term totals of 27 percent Republican, 31 percent Democratic and 41 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 tight races for Wisconsin Governor, U.S. Senate seat

MILWAUKEE — A new Marquette Law School Poll of Wisconsin voters finds a tight race for governor following last week’s statewide primary elections. Among likely voters (that is, those who say they are certain to vote), incumbent Republican Scott Walker receives 46 percent, Democrat Tony Evers receives 46 percent and Libertarian Phil Anderson 6 percent. Only 2 percent say they lack a preference or do not lean to a candidate.

Among likely voters in the race for the Wisconsin U.S. Senate seat on the ballot in November, 49 percent support the incumbent, Democrat Tammy Baldwin, and 47 percent support Republican Leah Vukmir, while 3 percent say they lack a preference or do not lean toward a candidate.

Among all registered voters surveyed in the poll, the race for governor remains tight, with Walker at 46 percent, Evers at 44 percent and Anderson with 7 percent.

There is a wider margin among all registered voters in the Senate race, with Baldwin receiving 51 percent and Vukmir 43 percent.

Awareness of Evers and Vukmir has increased among registered voters since the last Marquette Law School Poll in July. Forty-six percent lack an opinion of Evers, down from 60 percent in July. For Vukmir, 48 percent lack an opinion now, compared to 66 percent in July.

Among likely voters only, 35 percent lack an opinion of Evers and 41 percent lack an opinion of Vukmir.

Evers is viewed favorably among 38 percent of likely voters and unfavorably by 27 percent. Among all registered voters 31 percent have a favorable view and 23 percent an unfavorable opinion.

Vukmir has a 30 percent favorable rating and a 29 percent unfavorable rating among likely voters while among registered voters 25 percent rate her favorably and 26 percent rate her unfavorably.

Few respondents lack opinions of the incumbents. Among all registered voters, 5 percent lack an opinion of Walker and 17 percent have no opinion of Baldwin. For likely voters, 4 percent have no opinion of Walker and 11 percent have no opinion of Baldwin.

Walker is viewed favorably among 49 percent of likely voters and unfavorably by 47 percent. Among all registered voters 49 percent have a favorable view and 45 percent an unfavorable opinion.

Baldwin has a 46 percent favorable rating and a 42 percent unfavorable rating among likely voters while among registered voters 43 percent rate her favorably and 40 percent rate her unfavorably.

The poll was conducted August 15-19, 2018. The sample included 800 registered voters in Wisconsin interviewed by cell phone or landline, with a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points. For likely voters the sample size is 601, and the margin of error is +/- 4.5 percentage points.

Ten issue questions were asked of half the sample. The state issues have a sample size of 411 and a margin of error of +/- 5.6 percentage points. The national issues have a sample size of 389 and a margin of error of +/- 5.7 percentage points. The half-sample items are listed at the end of this release.

Ranking state priorities

When asked the most important issue facing the state, 24 percent of registered voters pick jobs and the economy, 22 percent choose K-12 education and 19 percent say health coverage is their most important issue. No other issue reached double digits as “the most important,” although the condition of roads ranked fourth, with 9 percent of registered voters selecting it.

When voters were asked for their second-most-important issue, the condition of roads rose to the top three most-frequent answers, with K-12 education first at 18 percent, jobs and the economy at 17 percent, the condition of roads at 16 percent and health coverage at 15 percent.

The full set of the-most-important-issue responses is shown in Table 1.

Table 1: The most important issue facing Wisconsin

Most important 2nd most important 1st or 2nd
Jobs and the economy 24 17 41
K-12 education 22 18 40
Health coverage 19 15 34
Condition of state roads, highways and bridges 9 16 25
Something else not on list 9 7 16
Cutting taxes 6 9 15
Prisons and the criminal justice system 6 8 14
State aid to local government 1 5 6
The UW System 2 4 6
Don’t know 2 2 4
Refused 0 0 0

Fifty-three percent of Wisconsin registered voters see the state as headed in the right direction while 41 percent think the state is off on the wrong track. In July, 52 percent said right direction and 42 percent said wrong track.

Walker’s job approval among registered voters stands at 48 percent, with 45 disapproving. The trend in approval in 2018 is shown in Table 2. Among likely voters, 50 percent approve and 47 percent disapprove.

 

Table 2: Scott Walker Job Approval Trend in 2018 Among Registered Voters

Approve Disapprove Don’t know
August 2018 48 45 6
July 2018 47 45 7
June 2018 49 47 3
March 2018 47 47 6

Schools

Asked if they think the state’s public schools are in better, the same or worse shape now than they were a few years ago, 15 percent say better shape now, 34 percent say about the same and 44 percent say schools are in worse shape now.

Voters say they would rather increase spending on public schools than reduce property taxes, by a 61 percent to 32 percent margin. In June, 59 percent preferred higher school spending to 35 percent who preferred lower property taxes. Opinion on this has shifted since the question was first asked in March 2013, when 49 percent preferred to reduce property taxes while 46 percent favored increased spending for public schools. The full trend on this issue is shown in Table 3.

Table 3: Trend in property tax vs school spending opinion, 2013-2018

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

Prisons

Thirty-five percent of voters say Walker has not paid enough attention to the issues of prisoner abuse at the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake juvenile prisons, while 12 percent say he has done all he should on this issue. A substantial 49 percent say they have not heard enough about the issue to have an opinion.

A majority (73 percent) say they would favor eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for people convicted of non-violent offenses in order to allow judges to make sentencing decisions on a case-by-case basis. Nineteen percent oppose such a change.

Opinion is more closely divided on mandatory minimum sentences for violent offenders, with 50 percent in favor of eliminating mandatory sentences while 40 percent prefer to continue mandatory sentences.

Eighty-seven percent support expanding job training programs for inmates while in prison, while 9 percent are opposed.

Ninety percent say the state should help offenders released from prison find jobs, while 6 percent are opposed to this.

Views of President Trump

President Trump has a 45 percent approval rating with 51 percent disapproving among registered voters. In the previous Marquette Law School poll, in July, his approval was 42 percent with 50 percent disapproving. Partisans are deeply divided on Trump’s job performance.

Table 4: Trump job approval by party ID

Rep Dem Ind
Approve 87 4 41
Disapprove 9 94 52
Don’t know 3 2 3

How has Trump changed the GOP: for better or worse?

Asked if Trump has changed the Republican party—and if so, how—26 percent say he has changed it for the better, while 44 percent say he has changed it for the worse and 23 percent say he hasn’t changed it much either way.

Partisans have differing views of Trump’s effect on his party.

Table 5: How Trump has changed GOP by party ID

Rep Dem Ind
For better 55 4 20
For worse 11 81 44
Not changed 28 13 27
Don’t know 6 3 9

Does Trump keep promises, care about you?

Trump is seen as keeping his campaign promises by 55 percent of respondents and as not having done so by 41 percent, with 4 percent saying they don’t know.

Partisan differences are shown in Table 6.

Table 6: Is Trump keeping promises by party ID

Rep Dem Ind
Is keeping 90 23 51
Is not keeping 10 70 44

Thirty-nine percent of respondents say that Trump cares about people like them, while 57 percent say he does not. Differences by party are shown in Table 7.

Table 7: Does Trump care about people like you by party ID

Rep Dem Ind
Cares 80 5 33
Does not care 18 92 62

Trump approval on immigration and Russia

On Trump’s handling of the issue of immigration, 41 percent approve while 54 percent disapprove.

Forty-one percent favor building a wall along the Mexico border while 54 percent oppose a wall. Four percent say they don’t know.

On Trump’s handling of relations with Russia, 37 percent approve while 52 percent disapprove.

The state of political conversations

Forty percent of Wisconsin registered voters say they talk about politics with family and friends more than once a week, and an additional 24 percent say they have such conversations about once a week. Fourteen percent say they talk politics once or twice a month, 13 percent talk a few times a year and 9 percent never talk about politics with family and friends.

Conversations about politics with coworkers are often avoided altogether, with 46 percent saying they never have these conversations and 11 percent saying they do so only once or twice a year. Fourteen percent talk about politics with coworkers more than once a week, and an additional 13 percent do so about once a week. Twelve percent say they talk politics with coworkers once or twice a month

Contrary to the idea that voters today live in “information bubbles,” hearing only opinions that agree with their own views, respondents report that their political conversations include a substantial mix of opinions. In talking to family and friends, 48 percent say they talk to about an equal mix of people with liberal and conservative views, and 41 percent say their conversations are an equal mix of pro-Democratic and pro-Republican opinions.

Seven percent say the family and friends they talk with are almost all liberal, 15 percent say they are mostly liberal, 19 percent say they are mostly conservative and 10 percent say they talk almost exclusively to conservatives.

In partisan terms, 13 percent say the family and friends they talk with are almost all Democrats, 15 percent say they are mostly Democrats, 13 percent say they are mostly Republican and 14 percent say they talk entirely with Republicans.

Thirty-one percent of respondents say they have tried to convince someone to vote for or against a particular candidate. Eighteen percent say there is someone they have stopped talking to due to political disagreements. When asked the week before the recall election in 2012, 35 percent said they had stopped talking to someone.

Marijuana legalization

Sixty-one percent say marijuana should be fully legalized and regulated like alcohol while 36 percent oppose legalization. When previously asked in July 2016, 59 percent supported legalization and 39 percent were opposed.

Foxconn

Forty-four percent think the state is paying more than the Foxconn plant is worth, while 41 percent think the plant will provide at least as much value as the state is investing in the plant. Fifteen percent say they don’t know if the plant will be worth it or not. In the July poll, 46 percent said the state was paying too much and 39 percent said it would provide at least as much value as the state was investing.

A majority (61 percent) of registered voters statewide believe the Foxconn plant will substantially improve the economy of the greater Milwaukee area, while 27 percent do not think it will and 11 percent say they don’t know. In the July poll, 53 percent said the Milwaukee area would benefit while 33 percent did not think so.

When asked if businesses where the respondent lives will benefit from Foxconn, 32 percent say businesses will benefit directly from the Foxconn plant, while 61 percent say their local businesses will not benefit and 7 percent don’t know. In the July poll, 30 percent said their local businesses would benefit, while 58 percent did not think so.

Effects of tariffs and of trade agreements

Thirty-four percent think increased tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will improve the U.S. economy while 48 percent think tariffs will hurt the economy. Seventeen percent say they don’t know. In the July poll, 24 percent said tariffs would improve the economy while 55 percent said tariffs would hurt the economy.

Partisan differences in views of tariffs are sharp, with a majority (60 percent) of Republicans saying tariffs are good for the U.S. economy, 19 percent saying they are bad for the economy and 22 saying they don’t know. A large majority of Democrats say tariffs are bad for the economy and a majority of independents see tariffs as a bad thing for the economy.

Table 8: View of tariffs by party ID

Rep Dem Ind
Good for Econ 60 6 33
Bad for Econ 19 74 55
Don’t know 22 21 11

On free trade agreements in general, 55 percent think these agreements have been a good thing for the U.S. economy, while 29 percent think they have been bad for the economy. Fourteen percent say they don’t know.

The Mueller investigation and Russian interference

Confidence in the Mueller investigation’s ability to be fair and impartial has become more polarized since June 2017, with growth in both “a great deal of confidence” and in “no confidence at all” categories. Twenty-eight percent say they have a great deal of confidence while 29 percent say they have no confidence in the investigation. The trend in confidence since June of 2017 is shown in Table 5.

 

Table 9: Confidence in Mueller Investigation Trend, 2017-2018

A great deal Some Only a little No confidence at all Don’t know
August 2018 28 20 14 29 7
June 2018 29 18 15 32 5
March 2018 24 22 20 23 10
June 2017 20 31 17 21 11

In this poll, 5 percent of Republicans have a great deal of confidence in the Mueller investigation while 53 percent have none at all. Among Democrats, 52 percent have a great deal of confidence while 7 percent have none at all. Thirty percent of independents have a great deal of confidence while 26 percent have none at all.

Wisconsin voters say they are very (35 percent) or somewhat (16 percent) concerned about possible Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election, while 16 percent are not too concerned and 31 percent are not concerned at all.

 

Table 9: Concern over Russia interference in 2016 election Trend, 2017-2018

Very concerned Somewhat concerned Not too concerned Not at all concerned Don’t know
August 2018 35 16 16 31 1
March 2018 33 22 19 26 0
March 2017 30 20 18 30 2

Republicans feel less concerned about Russian influence, with 53 percent not at all concerned, 23 percent not too concerned, 15 percent somewhat concerned and 9 percent very concerned. Among Democrats there is more concern, with 63 percent very concerned, 25 percent somewhat concerned, 5 percent not too concerned and 6 percent very concerned. Independents fall in between, with very concerned (38 percent), somewhat concerned (12 percent), not too concerned (18 percent) and not at all concerned (31 percent).

Enthusiasm for voting

Overall, 63 percent of registered voters say they are very enthusiastic about voting in this year’s elections, with 24 percent somewhat enthusiastic and 12 percent either not very or not at all enthusiastic.

Among Republicans, 69 percent are very enthusiastic, while among Democrats 67 percent are. Among independents, 56 percent say they are very enthusiastic about voting this year. In the July poll, 62 percent of Republicans and 69 percent of Democrats were very enthusiastic, as were 51 percent of independents.

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive statewide polling project in Wisconsin history. This poll interviewed 800 registered Wisconsin voters by landline or cell phone, August 15-19, 2018. The margin of error is +/-4 percentage points for the full sample.

For likely voters the sample size is 601 and the margin of error is +/- 4.5 percentage points.

Ten issue questions were asked of half the sample. The state issues have a sample size of 411 and a margin of error of +/- 5.6 percentage points. The national issues have a sample size of 389 and a margin of error of +/- 5.7 percentage points. State half-sample issues include Foxconn (3 items), priority for property tax cuts or public schools, and marijuana legalization. Half-sample national issues are tariffs, free trade, confidence in the Mueller investigation, concern over Russian interference in the 2016 election, and whether to build a wall along the Mexican border.

The partisan makeup of the sample, including those who lean to a party, is 45 percent Republican, 43 percent Democratic and 11 percent independent. The long-term total for the previous 46 statewide Marquette polls, with 40,952 respondents, is 43 percent Republican and 47 percent Democratic, with 9 percent independent. The partisan makeup of the current sample, excluding those who lean to a party, is 31 percent Republican, 29 percent Democratic and 38 percent independent, compared to the long-term totals of 27 percent Republican, 31 percent Democratic and 41 percent independent.

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