Tag Archives: Poll Release

New Marquette Law School Poll finds many Wisconsin primary voters remain undecided, unfamiliar with candidates

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll finds one in three Wisconsin voters remains undecided on August primary candidates in each party. Among Democratic primary voters, 34 percent say that they don’t know which of 10 candidates they will support for the gubernatorial nomination to run against Gov. Scott Walker in November. In the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, 30 percent of primary voters are undecided on who should face Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

In the previous poll, Feb. 25-March 1, 2018, 44 percent were undecided in the Democratic primary. Among Republican primary voters, 49 percent were undecided.

The non-incumbent candidates are not yet well known to registered voters in Wisconsin. Among Democratic gubernatorial candidates, the percentage who say they haven’t heard enough or don’t know if they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of each candidate is shown below.

  • Tony Evers: 61 percent
  • Matt Flynn: 77 percent
  • Andy Gronik: 87 percent
  • Mike McCabe: 83 percent
  • Mahlon Mitchell: 86 percent
  • Josh Pade: 94 percent
  • Kelda Roys: 88 percent
  • Paul Soglin: 72 percent
  • Kathleen Vinehout: 73 percent
  • Dana Wachs: 85 percent

The Republican Senate candidates are also not well-known.

  • Kevin Nicholson: 69 percent
  • Leah Vukmir: 72 percent

In contrast, relatively few respondents lack an opinion of the incumbents in each race.

  • Walker: 3 percent
  • Baldwin: 15 percent

Primary preferences

Among those who say they will vote in the Democratic primary, Tony Evers is the choice of 25 percent, while all other candidates are in single digits.

Table 1: Democratic gubernatorial primary

Candidate Percent
Tony Evers 25
Matt Flynn 7
Andy Gronik 4
Mike McCabe 7
Mahlon Mitchell 4
Josh Pade 1
Kelda Roys 2
Paul Soglin 7
Kathleen Vinehout 5
Dana Wachs 2
Someone else (volunteered) 1
Don’t know 34
Refused 1

Among those who say they will vote in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, Kevin Nicholson receives 37 percent and Leah Vukmir receives 32 percent.

Table 2: Republican Senate primary

Candidate Percent
Kevin Nicholson 37
Leah Vukmir 32
Someone else (volunteered) 1
Don’t know 30
Refused 1

The poll was conducted June 13-17, 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 the Democratic primary sample, the margin of error is +/- 6.4 percentage points, and for the Republican primary sample, the margin of error is +/- 6.9 percentage points. The gubernatorial matchups for Evers versus Walker and Roys versus Walker were asked of the full sample, with a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points. The other gubernatorial matchups were asked of half the sample and have a margin of error of +/- 5.6 percentage points.

November matchups

Looking ahead to possible November matchups, Baldwin receives 50 percent to 39 percent for Nicholson, with 7 percent undecided and 4 percent saying they would vote for neither. When matched against Vukmir, Baldwin receives 49 percent to 40 percent for Vukmir, with 8 percent undecided and 4 percent saying they would vote for neither.

The gubernatorial matchups are shown in Table 3. Walker’s support ranges from 44 to 49 percent, while Democratic candidates receive between 36 and 44 percent. Among Democrats, Evers has the highest vote percentage, at 44 percent to 48 percent for Walker. McCabe has the closest margin with Walker, 42 percent to 44 percent.

Table 3: Gubernatorial matchups

  Democrat Scott Walker Neither Don’t know
Evers v Walker 44 48 3 5
Flynn v Walker 42 46 2 10
Gronik v Walker 41 46 3 11
McCabe v Walker 42 44 4 9
Mitchell v Walker 41 45 3 11
Pade v Walker 36 49 4 11
Roys v Walker 40 48 4 7
Soglin v Walker 39 48 4 8
Vinehout v Walker 39 48 3 9
Wachs v Walker 38 49 4 9

State issues

Walker’s job approval stands at 49 percent, with 47 percent disapproving. The trend in approval in 2017 and 2018 is shown in Table 4. This is the first time since Oct. 23-26, 2014, that Walker’s approval has been higher than his disapproval in the Marquette Law School Poll. Approval was also 49 percent to 47 percent disapproval in that 2014 poll.

Table 4: Scott Walker Job Approval Trend, 2017-18

  Approve Disapprove Don’t know
June 2018 49 47 3
March 2018 47 47 6
June 2017 48 48 4
March 2017 45 48 6

Fifty-two percent of Wisconsin voters see the state as headed in the right direction, while 42 percent think the state is off on the wrong track. In March, 53 percent said right direction and 44 percent said wrong track.

Views of the Foxconn incentive package and the effects of the new manufacturing center to be built in Racine County are little-changed from the March 2018 poll. Forty-six percent think the state is paying more than the Foxconn plant is worth, while 40 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 March poll, 49 percent said the state was paying too much and 38 percent said it was worth it.

A majority—56 percent—of registered voters statewide believe the Foxconn plant will substantially improve the economy of the larger Milwaukee area, while 33 percent do not think it will and 10 percent say they don’t know. In the March poll, 57 percent said the Milwaukee area would benefit while 35 percent did not think so.

When asked if businesses where the respondent lives will benefit from Foxconn, 29 percent say businesses will benefit directly from the Foxconn plant, while 61 percent say their local businesses will not benefit and 9 percent don’t know. In the March poll, 25 percent said their local businesses would benefit, while 66 percent did not think so.

Given a choice of reducing property taxes or increasing spending on public schools, 59 percent answer public schools and 35 percent answer property taxes. When first asked in March 2014, 49 percent preferred to reduce property taxes while 46 percent favored increased spending for public schools. In March 2018, 63 percent preferred higher school spending versus 33 percent who preferred lower property taxes.

Act 10, the law that sharply limited collective bargaining for most public employees in Wisconsin, remains a major divide in the state. Forty-three percent favor keeping Act 10 as it is, while 47 percent favor a return to collective bargaining. When asked in March 2018, 46 percent favored Act 10 and 41 percent supported collective bargaining.

National issues

President Trump has a 44 percent approval rating, with 50 percent disapproving. In the previous Marquette Law School Poll in March, his approval was 43 percent, with 50 percent disapproving.

Asked about the results of the Singapore summit, 38 percent say it is likely to reduce nuclear weapons in North Korea while 52 percent say it is unlikely to do so. Ten percent say they don’t know.

Twenty-nine percent think increased tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will improve the U.S. economy, while 55 percent think tariffs will hurt the economy. Fifteen percent say they don’t know.

On free-trade agreements in general, 51 percent think these agreements have been a good thing for the U.S. economy, while 28 percent think they have been bad for the economy. Twenty percent say they don’t know.

Forty percent favor building a wall along the Mexico border while 55 percent oppose a wall. Four percent say they don’t know.

Confidence in the ability of the Mueller investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election and other matters to be fair and impartial has become more polarized since June 2017. Both the number of voters saying they have “a great deal of confidence” and the number saying they have “no confidence at all” have grown. Twenty-nine percent say they have a great deal of confidence, while 32 percent say they have no confidence. The trend in confidence since June 2017 is shown in Table 5.

Table 5: Trend in Confidence in Mueller Investigation, 2017-18

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

With respect to the FBI, 34 percent of Wisconsin voters say they have a great deal of confidence in the FBI and another 34 percent say they have some confidence. There are 17 percent who say they have little confidence in the FBI and 13 percent who say they have no confidence.

Thirty-eight percent say they trust President Trump more than they trust the news media to tell the truth on important issues, while 45 percent say they trust the news media more than Trump. Fourteen percent say they trust neither.

Enthusiasm for voting

In total, 61 percent of registered voters say they are very enthusiastic about voting in this year’s elections, with 27 percent somewhat enthusiastic and 11 percent either not too or not at all enthusiastic. Among Republicans, 67 percent are very enthusiastic, while among Democrats, 71 percent are. Among independents, 51 percent say they are very enthusiastic about voting this year. In March, 54 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Democrats were very enthusiastic, while the figure was 46 percent among 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, June 13-17, 2018. The margin of error is +/-4 percentage points for the full sample. For the Democratic primary sample, the margin of error is +/- 6.4 percentage points, and for the Republican primary sample, the margin of error is +/- 6.9 percentage points. The gubernatorial matchups for Evers versus Walker and Roys versus Walker were asked of the full sample, with a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points. The other gubernatorial matchups were asked of half the sample and have a margin of error of +/- 5.6 percentage points.

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 44 statewide Marquette polls, with 38,552 respondents, is 43 percent Republican and 47 percent Democratic, with 9 percent independent. The partisan makeup of the current sample, excluding those who lean to a party, is 29 percent Republican, 27 percent Democratic and 44 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 poll shows Milwaukee area’s divided feelings on Foxconn, views on other topics as Marquette Law School launches expanded public policy program

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll of residents in Milwaukee and surrounding counties finds that 54 percent of adults believe a new Foxconn factory in Racine County will substantially improve the economy of the Milwaukee area, while 37 percent think it will not. At the same time, 48 percent think the $3 billion in state incentives to Foxconn to be more than the plant is worth, while 38 percent believe the factory will provide that much or more in benefits to the state. Twenty-nine percent of Milwaukee area respondents think they or their families will directly benefit from the Foxconn factory, with 65 percent saying they will not personally benefit.

The poll results on Foxconn and other important issues facing the Milwaukee metropolitan area were released Tuesday as Marquette Law School hosted the inaugural event for its Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education.

A half-day conference at the Law School included the debut of the Milwaukee Area Project (MAP), a long-term research effort of the Lubar Center, which will provide detailed information about metropolitan trends. The conference also featured speeches by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow, who addressed the region’s future, and keynote remarks from former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, President and CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation. The Lubar Center is supported by a $7 million gift to the Law School from Milwaukee philanthropists Sheldon and Marianne Lubar, who were honored at the event.

The polling results on Foxconn offer the first in-depth look at public sentiment in this region about the planned factory for building flat-screen televisions. The poll finds that 71 percent of Racine County residents say the Foxconn factory will improve the area’s economy and 23 percent don’t think so. In Ozaukee and Washington counties combined (hereafter “Ozaukee/Washington”), 67 percent expect an economic boost, as do 59 percent in Waukesha County, 55 percent in Milwaukee County outside the city (hereafter “suburban Milwaukee County”), and 40 percent in the City of Milwaukee. Those who doubt a substantial economic impact make up 27 percent in Ozaukee/Washington, 32 percent in Waukesha County, 35 percent in suburban Milwaukee County and 50 percent in the City of Milwaukee.

Those who think the plant will provide economic gain that comes to as much as or more than the $3 billion in state incentives make up 56 percent in Ozaukee/Washington, 48 percent in Waukesha County, 42 percent in Racine County, 37 percent in suburban Milwaukee County and 23 percent in the City of Milwaukee. Those who think the Foxconn factory will not be worth that much to the state are 34 percent in Ozaukee/Washington, 39 percent in Waukesha County, 47 percent in Racine County, 51 percent in suburban Milwaukee County and 58 percent in the City of Milwaukee.

Racine residents are most likely to say they or their families will directly benefit, at 49 percent, while 34 percent in Waukesha County, 29 percent in Ozaukee/Washington counties, 28 percent in suburban Milwaukee County and 20 percent in the City of Milwaukee expect to directly benefit. Those who say they will not directly benefit make up 47 percent in Racine County, 61 percent in Waukesha, 68 percent in Ozaukee/Washington, 68 percent in suburban Milwaukee County and 72 percent in the City of Milwaukee.

The Marquette Law School Poll of the Milwaukee area was conducted Oct. 9-17 with 1,200 adult residents of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Washington and Waukesha counties. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points for items based on the full sample. Margins of error for the individual counties and for the City of Milwaukee are larger. Full details are provided in the methodology statement below.

Economic conditions

Nine percent of those polled rate economic conditions in their community as excellent, with 42 percent saying conditions are good, 33 percent rating them only fair, and 14 percent calling economic conditions poor. Looking to the future, 11 percent think the economy will get much better over the next 10 years, 30 percent say somewhat better, and 32 percent think conditions will remain about the same, while 13 percent think conditions will become somewhat worse and 9 percent say much worse.

Nine percent of Milwaukee area residents rate job opportunities for young people in their communities as excellent, with 30 percent saying opportunities are good, 38 percent fair and 18 percent poor.

There are substantial differences in economic perceptions between the wealthy suburban counties and the less well-off parts of the Milwaukee area. Seventy-eight percent of Ozaukee/Washington and 76 percent of Waukesha residents rate their community economic conditions as excellent or good, compared to 22 and 25 percent respectively rating them fair or poor. Fifty-eight percent of suburban Milwaukee County residents say economic conditions are excellent or good, with 41 percent saying fair or poor. Thirty-seven percent of Racine County residents give an excellent or good rating while 63 percent say fair or poor. In the City of Milwaukee, 28 percent say economic conditions are excellent or good and 70 percent say they are fair or poor.

Asked about their personal financial situation, 53 percent of area residents say they are living comfortably, while 34 percent say they are just getting by and 12 percent report that they are struggling. Those numbers are virtually identical to a June statewide Marquette Law School poll that found 53 percent living comfortably, 32 percent just getting by and 14 percent struggling.

Family finances differ across the area, with 67 percent in Ozaukee/Washington counties and 67 percent in Waukesha County saying they are living comfortably, while 57 percent in suburban Milwaukee County and 53 percent in Racine County say the same. In the City of Milwaukee, 37 percent say they are living comfortably. Those just getting by make up 24 percent in Ozaukee/Washington, 26 percent in Waukesha County, 36 percent in Racine County, 32 percent in suburban Milwaukee County and 42 percent in the City of Milwaukee. Those who report struggling with their finances are 8 percent in Ozaukee/Washington, 7 percent in Waukesha County, 11 percent in Racine County, 9 percent in suburban Milwaukee County and 20 percent in the City of Milwaukee.

Milwaukee area residents prefer secure and stable jobs over pursuing opportunities, with 62 percent saying it is better to stay in a stable and reliable job and 33 percent saying it is better to change jobs often whenever a better opportunity is available. Here there are few differences across regions in the area, with between 31 and 37 percent saying one should pursue better opportunities while 58 to 66 percent say they prefer a stable job.

Regional policy issues

The diversion of water from Lake Michigan for use by the City of Waukesha, as an alternative to ground water with radium contamination, was supported by 63 percent of area residents, while 24 percent opposed the diversion. The diversion of water receives majority support in every region of the area, including 57 percent in Racine County, through which the Waukesha water would be returned to Lake Michigan, and 54 percent support from those living in the City of Milwaukee.

Residents in the Milwaukee area support giving municipalities the ability to raise the sales tax by as much as 1 cent so long as the additional tax is approved by referendum. Overall, 53 percent favor this option while 41 percent oppose allowing this. Majorities of 51 percent in Ozaukee/Washington counties, 58 percent in Waukesha, 60 percent in Racine and 61 percent in suburban Milwaukee County favored this tax option, while the City of Milwaukee split 43 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed.

The area is less supportive of special taxes for highways in the region, despite cuts in state support for projects such as the zoo interchange. Forty-one percent would support a special sales tax dedicated to area highways while 55 percent oppose such a tax. A majority, 50 percent or more, in each of the five area regions are opposed to a special sales tax for highways.

Area residents are skeptical that a streetcar line in downtown Milwaukee will deliver the economic benefits supporters expect. Sixty-nine percent say the streetcar is too expensive and won’t produce the economic benefits hoped for, while 25 percent think the streetcar will be worth the cost. There are small regional differences with 26 percent of Waukesha, 27 percent of Racine and 28 percent of City of Milwaukee residents saying the project will be worth it, while 18 percent of Ozaukee/Washington and 20 percent of suburban Milwaukee County residents agree.

Fifty-three percent of area residents would support a half-cent regional sales tax in the five counties to support cultural institutions such as the Zoo, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee Public Museum and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Forty-four percent would oppose such a regional sales tax. Majorities are opposed in Ozaukee/Washington counties (61 percent) and Racine County (52 percent), while majorities support such a cultural-institutions tax in Waukesha County (55 percent), suburban Milwaukee County (55 percent) and the City of Milwaukee (59 percent.)

A special one-tenth of a cent tax to support the Miller Park baseball stadium was controversial when it was created two decades ago, but in the new poll, 68 percent think Miller Park was worth the tax, while 25 percent do not. Majorities of each region in the area say the tax was worth it, ranging from 78 percent in Waukesha County, 77 percent in Ozaukee/Washington counties and 73 percent in suburban Milwaukee County to 59 percent in Racine County and 58 percent in the City of Milwaukee.

While political divisions often separate parts of the Milwaukee area, a substantial majority of respondents profess to care about the region outside their own community. Eighteen percent either strongly agree or agree with the statement, “The most important thing to me is how well things are going where I live and I really don’t care what’s happening elsewhere in the Milwaukee area,” while 41 percent disagree and 39 percent strongly disagree. To take the question by region, 25 percent or fewer in each region of the Milwaukee area say they primarily care about where they live, while 72 percent or more in each region say they care about conditions elsewhere in the area.

Race relations and policing

Issues related to race remain important in shaping views in the Milwaukee area. Overall, 18 percent of respondents say race relations in their community are very good, 45 percent say somewhat good, 20 percent somewhat bad and 14 percent very bad. There is variation among the races in terms of perceptions of race relations. Among white respondents, 20 percent think race relations are very good. Only 8 percent of black respondents think the same, as do 12 percent of Hispanic respondents. At the opposite end, 10 percent of whites say race relations are very bad, compared to 26 percent of blacks and 19 percent of Hispanics.

In the middle categories, respondents say “somewhat good” more frequently than “somewhat bad” by more than a two-to-one rate, regardless of race. Among whites, 46 percent say “somewhat good” and 21 percent “somewhat bad.” Among blacks, 46 percent say “somewhat good” and 20 percent “somewhat bad.” Forty-six percent of Hispanics say relations are “somewhat good” and 22 percent say “somewhat bad.”

More respondents see a worsening of race relations over the past 20 years. Sixty-three percent think relations have gotten worse, while 30 percent think they have gotten better. Similar percentages of blacks and whites see some improvement, either “much better” or “somewhat better,” with 35 percent of blacks saying relations are better, 25 percent of whites saying they are better and 49 percent of Hispanics perceiving an improvement. Among blacks, 60 percent say race relations are somewhat or much worse, with 68 percent of whites and 48 percent of Hispanics saying relations are somewhat or much worse.

Perceptions of discrimination in housing also show substantial differences by race in the Milwaukee region. Overall, 63 percent of respondents say people can rent or purchase housing regardless of race, while 27 percent say there is significant racial discrimination in housing. Among blacks, however, only 41 percent say housing is free of discrimination while 48 percent say there is significant discrimination. In contrast, 71 percent of whites see housing opportunities as equal and 19 percent say there is significant discrimination. Among Hispanics, 52 percent say people can buy or rent housing without regard to race while 44 percent say there is significant discrimination.

Race also divides perceptions of the police. Fewer than half of all respondents, 43 percent, say the police in general are too willing to use deadly force, with 50 percent saying they are not. Among blacks, 70 percent say the police are too willing to use deadly force, and 25 percent say they are not. Thirty-four percent of whites see police as too ready to use force with 59 percent not seeing things this way. Hispanics fall in between, with 59 percent saying the police use force too willingly and 32 percent disagreeing.

With regard to recent fatal police shootings of black Americans in Wisconsin and nationally, 43 percent of all respondents say these are isolated incidents, while 46 percent say they are part of a larger pattern of police treatment of black Americans. Only 13 percent of blacks think these are isolated incidents, while 75 percent say they are part of a larger pattern. In contrast, 52 percent of whites say these are isolated incidents and 38 percent see a broader pattern. A majority of Hispanics, 59 percent, say these killings are part of a broader pattern, while 32 percent say they are isolated incidents.

Racial differences also arise in dealing with the criminal justice system. Overall, 31 percent of respondents say testifying about a serious crime would put them or their family in danger of retaliation, while 63 percent say they would feel safe testifying. Among blacks, 52 percent would feel in danger while 40 percent would feel safe. Forty-four percent of Hispanics would feel at risk, while 50 percent would not. Among whites, 24 percent say they would be in danger testifying while 71 percent would feel safe. Regardless of race, about one in five residents of Ozaukee/Washington (18 percent), Waukesha County (21 percent) and suburban Milwaukee County (23 percent) say they would feel at risk. In Racine, 30 percent and in the City of Milwaukee 46 percent say they would worry about testifying.

Community evaluations

Residents of the Milwaukee area are generally positive about the community in which they live, with 27 percent saying it is an excellent place to live, 41 percent a good place, 20 percent only fair and 11 percent saying it is a poor place. Asked specifically about their neighborhood, evaluations are a little more positive, with 38 percent saying their neighborhood is excellent, 39 percent saying it is good, 16 percent only fair and 7 percent rating their neighborhood poor.

Most area residents feel completely or pretty safe walking alone at night in their neighborhoods, with 40 percent saying they feel completely safe and 37 percent feeling pretty safe. However, 8 percent say they are afraid to walk alone at night and 15 percent say they never go out alone.

There are substantial differences in sense of security by sex, with 53 percent of men saying they feel completely safe while half as many women, 27 percent, say the same. Seven percent of men never go out alone while three times as many women, 22 percent, never go out alone.

Income also purchases a sense of security, with 58 percent of those in households earning over $75,000 per year saying they feel completely safe, which falls to 39 percent of those between $40,000 and $75,000 and just 23 percent among those with income below $40,000. Similarly, only 6 percent of those in the high-income group say they never go out alone, compared to 16 percent in the middle income and 21 percent in the lower income groups.

There are also sharp differences on this across regions within the Milwaukee area. Twenty-one percent of City of Milwaukee residents say they feel completely safe walking alone at night, as do 35 percent of suburban Milwaukee County residents and 38 percent of those in Racine County. In Waukesha County, 60 percent feel completely safe, and in Ozaukee/Washington counties this rises to 63 percent. At the opposite end, 25 percent of City of Milwaukee residents say they don’t go out alone, as do 12 percent of suburban Milwaukee County and 13 percent of Racine County residents. In Waukesha and Ozaukee/Washington counties, 9 percent and 5 percent respectively never go out alone.

Across the Milwaukee area, residents perceive crime as a problem in Milwaukee, but there are relatively modest differences in this perception across regions within the area. Asked how safe from serious crime the average person in Milwaukee is, overall 3 percent say very safe, 35 percent mostly safe, 37 percent mostly unsafe and 18 percent very unsafe. Those saying very or mostly safe ranged from 32 to 44 percent across each region in the area, with those saying mostly unsafe ranging from 32 percent to 40 percent. Those saying very unsafe ranged from 13 to 27 percent.

Education

Overall, residents of the Milwaukee area express satisfaction with public schools, although there are substantial regional differences. Twenty-nine percent of area residents are very satisfied with the public schools in their community, 34 percent are somewhat satisfied, 16 percent somewhat dissatisfied and 14 percent very dissatisfied. Satisfaction is highest in Waukesha and Ozaukee/Washington counties, with 80 percent and 81 percent respectively saying they are very or somewhat satisfied, and 13 and 15 percent respectively somewhat or very dissatisfied. Sixty-nine percent of suburban Milwaukee County residents are very or somewhat satisfied, with 22 percent somewhat or very dissatisfied. In Racine County, 58 percent are somewhat or very satisfied and 40 percent are somewhat or very dissatisfied. City of Milwaukee residents express 45 percent satisfaction and 48 percent dissatisfaction.

In addition to parochial schools, the Milwaukee area has had alternative education options though the school voucher and charter school programs for more than 20 years. Asked how satisfied they are that school children overall have access to affordable high-quality education, people express only modestly higher levels of satisfaction than people express regarding public schools specifically. Overall, 33 percent say they are very satisfied with access to quality education, 38 percent somewhat satisfied, 17 percent somewhat dissatisfied and 5 percent very dissatisfied. On this measure, 59 percent of City of Milwaukee residents say they are very or somewhat satisfied with access to quality education, with 34 percent not satisfied to some degree. In Racine County, 64 percent are satisfied with 30 percent dissatisfied. Seventy‑four percent of those in suburban Milwaukee County say they are satisfied and 18 percent not satisfied. In Waukesha and Ozaukee/Washington counties, 82 and 86 percent respectively say they are satisfied, with 11 and 8 percent respectively saying they are dissatisfied with access to a quality education.

Importance of sports and culture

A majority of respondents say it is very important that the Milwaukee area be the home of sports teams and cultural resources and events. Sixty-two percent say hosting Summerfest is very important, with 27 percent saying it is somewhat important. Ten percent say Summerfest is not very or not at all important.

Fifty-six percent say the Wisconsin state fair is very important to the area, 29 percent say it is somewhat important and 13 percent say it is not very or not at all important.

The Milwaukee Art Museum is rated very important by 53 percent, with 34 percent saying somewhat important and 13 percent saying it is not very or not at all important.

Fifty-two percent of residents rate professional sports teams such as the Brewers and Bucks as very important, 32 percent say somewhat important and 15 percent say not very or not at all important.

News consumption

Across the region’s residents, one half say they read a daily newspaper at least once a week, with 22 percent as daily readers, 15 percent a few times a week, and 13 percent reading just once a week. An additional 16 percent read a newspaper less than once a week, and 1 in 3 (34 percent) say they never read a paper. Generational differences are sharp, with over half, 53 percent, of those under 30 saying they never read a newspaper while 24 percent of those over 60 never read the news.

Consumption of television news, however, remains quite high. Just more than half, 52 percent, say they watch local TV news every day, 18 percent a few times a week, 7 percent just once a week, 10 percent less than once a week and 13 percent say they never watch local TV news. Among those under 30, 21 percent say they never watch TV news but about as many, 20 percent, say they watch every day. Viewership rises to 75 percent of those over 60 who watch every day, with just 7 percent of that age group never tuning in.

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive statewide polling project in Wisconsin history. This poll interviewed 1,200 adults in the Milwaukee area by landline or cell phone, October 9-17, 2017. The sample includes residents of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Washington and Waukesha counties. The sample sizes for each county are proportionate to their share of the population in the five counties.

The margin of error is +/-3.5 percentage points for the full sample. The individual regions within the sample have smaller sample sizes and larger margin of error. The sample sizes and margins of error for each region are City of Milwaukee, N=416, MOE=6.3; suburban Milwaukee County, N=218, MOE=8.0; Ozaukee/Washington counties combined, N=152, MOE=9.7; Racine County, N=133, MOE=10.2; and Waukesha County N=281, MOE=7.0.

New Marquette Law School Poll finds Trump approval rating at 41 percent in Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll finds that President Donald Trump receives a 41 percent approval rating among registered voters in Wisconsin, while 51 percent disapprove and 7 percent say that they don’t know whether they approve or not. In the previous Marquette Law School Poll in March, 41 percent approved and 47 percent disapproved, with 11 percent saying they did not know.

Thirty-nine percent of registered voters in the new survey approve of Trump’s firing of former FBI director James Comey, while 49 percent disapprove and 11 percent say they don’t have an opinion. Twenty percent say that they have a great deal of confidence in special counsel Robert Mueller to conduct a fair and impartial investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election, while 31 percent have some confidence, 17 percent only a little and 21 percent have no confidence at all. Eleven percent have no opinion.

Asked if Trump is cooperating with the investigation of Russian influence, 37 percent say he is cooperating, 53 percent say he is trying to interfere with the investigation and 8 percent lack an opinion.

The poll was conducted June 22-25, 2017. The sample includes 800 registered voters interviewed by cell phone or landline, with a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points.

Among Republicans, 85 percent approve of Trump, 8 percent disapprove and 8 percent lack an opinion. Among Democrats, 3 percent approve, 95 percent disapprove and 1 percent are without an opinion. Thirty-six percent of independents approve of how Trump is handling his job while 52 percent disapprove and 10 percent express no opinion.

Trump receives his strongest support in the Green Bay media market, where 51 percent approve and 40 percent disapprove. His second-strongest region, with 47 percent approval and 43 percent disapproval, is in the northern and western portions of the state, combining the La Crosse/Eau Claire, Wausau, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Duluth-Superior media markets. In the Milwaukee media market, excluding the city of Milwaukee, 45 percent approve and 46 percent disapprove, followed by the Madison market with 30 percent approval and 65 percent disapproval. The city of Milwaukee shows the lowest approval, 14 percent, with 80 percent disapproval.

As with presidential approval, there are sharp partisan divisions over matters related to the investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 election. Seventy-seven percent of Republicans approve of the decision to fire Comey, 12 percent disapprove and 10 percent say they don’t know, while 3 percent of Democrats approve, 85 percent disapprove and 11 percent lack an opinion. Thirty-eight percent of independents approve, 52 percent disapprove and 10 percent lack an opinion.

Among Republicans, 38 percent have a great deal or some confidence in the Mueller investigation while 46 percent have only a little or no confidence, with 14 percent lacking an opinion. Sixty-four percent of Democrats have a great deal or some confidence in the investigation, 27 percent have only a little or none and 9 percent say they don’t know. Fifty-one percent of independents have a great deal or some confidence, 40 percent have little or no confidence and 9 percent lack an opinion.

Trump is seen as cooperating with the investigation by 69 percent of Republicans, by 5 percent of Democrats and by 37 percent of independents. Eighteen percent of Republicans, 91 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of independents believe that he is trying to interfere with the investigation. Eleven percent of Republicans, 4 percent of Democrats and 9 percent of independents say they do not know.

Health care law

Asked what they would like to see Congress do about the 2010 health care reform law, 6 percent favor keeping the law as it is, 54 percent would keep and improve it, 27 percent favor repealing and replacing the law and 7 percent would repeal and not replace the law. These responses are virtually identical to the results in March, when 6 percent would keep the law, 54 percent would keep and improve it, 28 percent favored repeal and replace and 8 percent wanted to repeal and not replace the law.

Sixty-three percent of Republicans favor repeal and replace, with 8 percent favoring repeal and not replace. Two percent of Democrats favor repeal and replace, and 2 percent would repeal and not replace, while 19 percent of independents favor repeal and replace and 10 percent of independents want to see the law repealed and not replaced. Among Republicans, 21 percent would keep the law but improve it and 3 percent would keep the law as it is, compared to 78 percent and 13 percent of Democrats, respectively. Sixty-two percent of independents would keep the law and improve it, with 5 percent saying they would keep it as it is.

While details of a replacement for the 2010 health care reform law are currently being debated, 49 percent of respondents think a replacement law will decrease the number of people who have health insurance, 23 percent think the number of insured will not change and 20 percent think a replacement law will increase the number of insured people. That is little changed from March, before the House of Representatives passed its health care bill, when 49 percent thought a replacement would reduce coverage, 25 percent thought coverage would not change and 18 percent thought more people would be covered.

Forty-seven percent think a health care replacement bill will increase the cost of health insurance, 17 percent think the cost will not change and 29 percent think costs will decrease under a replacement bill. In March, 45 percent thought cost would rise, 21 percent thought there would be no change and 28 percent thought costs would go down under a replacement bill.

Paris accord and NATO alliance

Thirty-four percent approve of the U.S. withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, while 54 percent disapprove and 11 percent don’t know. Sixty-five percent of Republicans approve, 20 percent disapprove and 16 percent say they don’t know. Two percent of Democrats approve, 87 percent disapprove and 10 percent don’t know. Among independents, 34 percent approve, 58 percent disapprove and 8 percent do not have an opinion.

Fifty-seven percent say the U.S. should use military force to defend a NATO ally if Russia gets into a serious military conflict with that country. Twenty-nine percent said the U.S. should not use military force and 13 percent did not know. Sixty percent of Republicans, 54 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of independents say the U.S. should defend a NATO ally in this circumstance, while 22 percent of Republicans, 33 percent of Democrats and 31 percent of independents say the U.S. should not use force.

State issues and conditions

K-12 education, health coverage and road construction are the top priorities among respondents for increases in state spending, with 37 percent naming K-12 education as their first choice for more spending, 25 percent picking health coverage and 23 percent putting road construction and maintenance as their top priority. All other options offered receive only single-digit support, with 5 percent naming state aid to local government, 4 percent prisons and the criminal justice system and 3 percent the University of Wisconsin system. Two percent voluntarily say they do not support spending increases for any of these purposes and 1 percent say they don’t know.

When expanded to include either first or second choices for spending increases, K-12 education receives 63 percent support, health care 52 percent, road construction 42 percent, state aid to local governments 14 percent, the UW system 12 percent and prisons 9 percent.

Sixty-one percent say they would be willing to pay higher taxes for their most important spending priority while 35 percent are not willing to do so. Of those who pick K-12 education as their top priority, 75 percent are willing to pay more taxes for this while 21 percent are not. Fifty-nine percent of those picking health care as the top priority are willing to pay more while 35 percent are not. Of those picking roads as the most important area for spending increases, 46 percent say they are willing to pay more while 51 percent are not willing.

With the statewide unemployment rate at 3.1 percent in the latest May report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, voters were asked their best guess as to what that rate is. Thirty-one percent of respondents say unemployment is between 3 and 4 percent. Six percent of respondents think the rate is between 2 and 3 percent. Combined, a total of 37 percent are within approximately a percentage point of the actual unemployment rate.

Just 2 percent of respondents think unemployment is even lower at less than 2 percent, while 24 percent of respondents think it is between 4 and 5 percent, 11 percent think it is between 5 and 6 percent and 12 percent think unemployment is more than 6 percent. Wisconsin’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was last at 4 percent or more in December 2016, was last at 5 percent or more in October 2014 and was last at 6 percent or higher in January of 2014. During the recession, unemployment reached its recent peak in January 2010 at 9.2 percent.

Fifty-three percent say Wisconsin is headed in the right direction, with 42 percent saying it is off on the wrong track. When last asked in March, 49 percent said right direction and 47 percent said the wrong track.

Thirty-one percent of respondents say the state budget is in better shape than a few years ago, 30 percent say it is about the same and 31 percent say it is in worse shape, with 8 percent saying they don’t know. Earlier in this year’s legislative budget deliberation, perceptions were similar, with 29 percent saying the budget was better, 28 percent saying about the same and 33 percent saying it was in worse shape, while 9 percent didn’t know.

Internet use and access

Eighty-four percent of respondents say they use the internet or email, with 16 percent saying they do not. Internet or email use is most common in suburban areas, where 90 percent say they use the internet and 10 percent don’t. Urban and rural areas have similar rates of use with 82 percent in rural areas and 80 percent in urban areas saying they go online. Income is associated with internet usage, with 75 percent of those earning less than $40,000 per year using the internet, compared to 83 percent of those earning between $40,000 and $75,000 and 95 percent of those earning over $75,000.

Statewide, 78 percent of respondents say they or someone else in their household connect to the internet via high speed connections through DSL, cable TV modem or Wi-Fi. Six percent connect via cell phone and 1 percent use dial-up connections, with 12 percent saying no one in the household connects to the internet from home. High-speed connection is most common in suburban communities, where 86 percent say their household has a high-speed connection. Seventy-five percent of urban residents and 73 percent of rural residents say they have high-speed connections at home. Only 7 percent of suburban residents say they lack any kind of internet connection from home, compared to 13 percent of urban residents and 18 percent of rural residents.

Which level of government do you trust?

Trust in the federal “government in Washington” has steadily declined in national surveys since the 1960s. Wisconsin reflects the current low levels of trust of the national government, with 3 percent saying they trust the “government in Washington to do what is right” just about all the time, 19 percent trust it most of the time, 66 percent only some of the time and 10 percent allow that they never trust it.

When the focus shifts closer to home, trust rises. Asked about “the state government in Wisconsin,” 6 percent trust it all the time, 41 percent most of the time, 48 percent only some of the time and 4 percent respond that they never trust the state government.

Local city and town governments receive the highest level of confidence, with 14 percent trusting it all the time, 50 percent most of the time, 30 percent only some of the time and 4 percent none of the time.

Knowledge of congressional majorities

The 2016 elections restored single-party control of the presidency and both houses of Congress for the first time since the 2010 election. Asked if they happen to know which party has more members, 84 percent correctly say the House of Representatives has a Republican majority, 5 percent think Democrats control the House and 11 percent say they don’t know. For the Senate, 85 percent correctly identify Republican control, 6 percent incorrectly think Democrats hold the majority and 9 percent say they don’t know.

When these two questions are combined, 77 percent correctly identify Republican control of both houses, while 23 percent make at least one mistake or say they don’t know. This knowledge of control of the Congress is strongly related to how closely the respondent says he or she follows politics. Eighty-four percent of those following politics most of the time correctly identify Republican control of Congress, as do 66 percent of those who follow some of the time and 61 percent of those following either only now and then or hardly at all.

Seventy-nine percent of both Democrats and Republicans correctly perceive Republican congressional control, and a similar 80 percent of independents who lean to both the Democrats and Republicans hold correct perceptions. Among those independents who do not lean toward either party, 60 percent know which party controls Congress while 40 percent fail to recognize Republican control of both houses of Congress.

Voters are equally likely to say that Democratic opposition is preventing Trump from getting things done regardless of their knowledge of party control. Overall, 43 percent of both those who are aware of Republican control and those who are not aware say Democratic opposition blocks Trump’s initiatives. Knowledge of control, however, is reflected in the percentage who think division among Republicans is the primary reason for delay in Trump initiatives, with 27 percent of those unaware of Republican control citing internal divisions, compared to 42 percent among those aware of GOP control of Congress. Twenty-two percent of those unaware of party control say they don’t know why proposals face troubles while 10 percent of those aware of party control say they don’t know.

Perceptions of Trump

There has been little shift in perception of Trump since the March poll. Thirty-four percent of respondents say Trump shows good judgment while 61 percent say he does not, nearly the same as in March, when 33 percent said he showed good judgment and 62 percent said he didn’t.

Forty percent of registered voters say the phrase “cares about people like me” describes Trump while 55 percent say it does not describe him, exactly the same percentages as in the March poll.

Thirty-five percent say “honest” describes Trump, with 59 percent saying this does not describe him. That question was last asked in an October 26-31, 2016 poll, when 35 percent said honest described him and 61 percent said it did not.

Evaluation of Wisconsin officials

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker receives a 48 percent approval and 48 percent disapproval rating in this poll. In March, his approval rating was 45 percent with 48 percent disapproving. This is the first Marquette poll since October 2014 in which Walker’s disapproval was not higher than his approval.

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson is viewed favorably by 39 percent of respondents, with 32 percent holding an unfavorable view of him. Twenty-nine percent say they don’t know enough to have an opinion or they don’t know. In March, 39 percent had a favorable view, 34 percent were unfavorable and 26 percent lacked an opinion.

Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin is viewed favorably by 38 percent and unfavorably by 38 percent, with 23 percent lacking an opinion. In March, Baldwin was seen favorably by 40 percent and unfavorably by 35 percent, with 24 percent not giving an opinion.

Speaker Paul Ryan holds a 44 percent favorable to 44 percent unfavorable rating, with 12 percent unable to rate him. In October, 45 percent were favorable, 38 percent unfavorable and 17 percent gave no opinion.

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, June 22-25, 2017. The margin of error is +/-4.5 percentage points for the full sample.

The partisan makeup of the sample, including those who lean to a party, is 45 percent Republican, 45 percent Democratic and 8 percent independent. The long-term total for the previous 42 statewide Marquette polls, with 36,952 respondents, was 43 percent Republican and 48 percent Democratic, with 9 percent independent. The partisan makeup of the current sample, excluding those who lean to a party, is 30 percent Republican, 28 percent Democratic and 41 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.