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New Marquette Law School Poll finds Clinton leading Trump by 6 percentage points in Wisconsin; Senate race is virtually tied

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll finds 46 percent of Wisconsin likely voters supporting Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and 40 percent supporting Republican Donald Trump in the race for president. Libertarian Gary Johnson is supported by 4 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein by 3 percent. Six percent do not express a preference, saying that they will vote for neither candidate, will not vote or don’t know how they will vote.

In the most recent Marquette Law School Poll, conducted Oct. 6-9, Clinton received 44 percent, Trump 37 percent, Johnson 9 percent and Stein 3 percent, with 6 percent not expressing a preference.

The new survey, the final Marquette Law School Poll to be conducted before the Nov. 8 election, additionally finds a very close U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin, with 45 percent of likely voters supporting Democrat Russ Feingold and 44 percent supporting Republican Ron Johnson. Libertarian candidate Phil Anderson has 3 percent support, while 5 percent do not express a candidate preference, saying that they will vote for none of the candidates, will not vote or don’t know how they will vote. In the poll conducted Oct. 6-9, Feingold held 46 percent to Johnson’s 44 percent, with Anderson at 4 percent and 5 percent without a preference.

In the presidential race, undecided and third-party voters are evenly divided along partisan lines. Among those not choosing a major-party presidential candidate, 42 percent are Republicans and 43 percent are Democrats, with 15 percent saying that they are independent or identify with other parties. Among those not choosing a major-party Senate candidate, 39 percent are Republicans and 38 percent are Democrats, with 23 percent saying that they are independent or identify with some other party.

Early voters make up 16 percent of the sample consisting of those likely to vote or who have already voted. Among early voters, Clinton receives 64 percent to 25 percent for Trump, 1 percent for Johnson and no votes for Stein. Six percent of early voters declined to say how they voted, and 3 percent said they voted for someone else. Among early voters for the Senate, Feingold receives 58 percent, Johnson 29 percent and Anderson 2 percent. Eight percent declined to say how they voted, and 3 percent said they voted for someone else. One percent said they did not vote for the Senate. The Wisconsin Elections Commission reported Tuesday that 518,600 early ballots had been cast, which would have been 16.9 percent of the 2012 presidential turnout of 3.071 million voters.

The full sample of the Oct. 26-31 survey comprises 1,401 registered voters interviewed by cell phone or landline, with a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points. Results for likely voters are based on 1,255 respondents, with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.

Shifts following news of FBI investigation of Clinton emails

The poll began interviewing voters on Wednesday, Oct. 26, and continued through Monday, Oct. 31. News of the FBI’s informing Congress that it is investigating recently discovered emails related to Clinton’s private email server was released during this period: specifically, on Friday, Oct. 28. The sample can be divided by day of interview before or after that news, and comparing voter responses by the day of the interviews allows an estimate of how voters responded to this news. The margin of error is +/- 5.3 percentage points for Wednesday and Thursday‘s sample (541 respondents), +/-9.8 percentage points for the Friday sample (157 respondents) and +/-5.4 percentage points for the combined Saturday, Sunday and Monday samples (557 respondents).

Combining all interviews, 50 percent say they are bothered a lot by Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, 23 percent say they are bothered a little and 26 percent say this doesn’t bother them at all.

In interviews conducted Wednesday and Thursday, before the news of the FBI investigation, the responses were 50 percent bothered a lot, 23 percent bothered a little and 26 percent not bothered at all, the same as the overall results. In Friday interviews, mostly conducted after the news was released, 60 percent said they were bothered a lot, 18 percent bothered a little and 22 percent not bothered. In interviews completed Saturday, Sunday or Monday, 48 percent said the use of the private email server bothered them a lot, 24 percent said they were bothered a little and 28 percent said they were not bothered at all.

In Wednesday and Thursday interviews, 47 percent favored Clinton and 36 percent favored Trump. In Friday interviews, Trump was supported by 48 percent and Clinton by 40 percent. Interviews completed Saturday through Monday found Clinton with a 46 percent to 40 percent advantage over Trump.

When results are broken down by party identification, there is little change among Democrats, who supported Clinton by 88 percent on Wednesday and Thursday, 88 percent on Friday and 90 percent Saturday through Monday. Among Democrats, Trump received 6 percent, 2 percent and 3 percent on those days respectively.

Among Republicans, Trump received 73 percent support on Wednesday and Thursday, 87 percent on Friday and 86 percent on Saturday through Monday, with Clinton receiving 8 percent, 9 percent and 4 percent among Republicans on those days.

Independents shifted from a 41 percent to 34 percent Clinton advantage over Trump on Wednesday and Thursday, to a 44 percent to 34 percent Trump advantage over Clinton on Friday and a 43 percent to 35 percent Trump advantage in Saturday through Monday interviews.

For comparison, the Senate vote shifted little over those days, with a 45 to 45 tie in Wednesday and Thursday interviews, a 47-40 Johnson advantage on Friday and a 46-42 Feingold advantage in Saturday through Monday interviews.

“Concern about Clinton’s use of a private email system does not appear to have shifted much in the wake of the FBI news. The vote margin overall shows a little tightening, from an 11-point Clinton lead before the news to a 6-point lead after the news,” said Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law School Poll and professor of law and public policy. “Within partisan identifiers, there is evidence that some undecided Republicans moved to support of Trump over the survey period and that independents shifted from a Clinton advantage to a Trump advantage, though all the shifts are inside the margin of error.”

Gender and education gaps

Among likely voters, 46 percent of men support Trump and 41 percent support Clinton. Among women, Clinton is supported by 50 percent and Trump by 34 percent. Johnson receives 4 percent among each gender and Stein is supported by 2 percent of men and 3 percent of women.

Within the parties, the gender gap persists among Republicans, with 86 percent of men supporting Trump compared to 76 percent of women, and Clinton getting 6 percent of the vote from men and 7 percent from women. Differences among Democrats are small, with 88 percent of Democratic men and 90 percent of Democratic women supporting Clinton, while 3 percent of Democratic men and 5 percent of women say they will vote for Trump. There is a larger gender gap among independents, with Trump leading 45 percent to 37 percent among men and Clinton leading 39 percent to 32 percent among women.

An education gap among non-Hispanic whites has developed in this year’s polling. The new poll finds that 45 percent of non-Hispanic whites without a college degree support Trump while 41 percent support Clinton. Among non-Hispanic whites with a college degree, Clinton is supported by 46 percent and Trump by 39 percent.

Comparison of candidate traits

Asked if “honest” describes Clinton, 28 percent of likely voters say that it does, while 68 percent say that it does not. For Trump, 36 percent say “honest” describes him, while 61 percent say it does not. In the Oct. 6-9 poll, 29 percent of likely voters described Clinton as honest and 66 percent did not. Thirty-three percent described Trump as honest in that poll, while 64 percent did not.

Forty-seven percent of likely voters describe Clinton as someone who “cares about people like me” and 51 percent do not. Thirty-seven percent say Trump cares about people like them while 61 percent do not see him this way. In the previous poll, 47 percent described Clinton as caring while 50 percent did not. In that poll, 35 percent said Trump cares while 61 percent did not see him that way.

Asked if a candidate has the qualifications to be president, 59 percent say Clinton does, while 39 percent say she does not. Thirty-five percent say Trump has the qualifications to be president, while 61 percent say he does not. In early October, 58 percent described Clinton as qualified and 40 percent said she was not, while 33 percent described Trump as qualified and 65 percent said he was not.

Forty-seven percent of likely voters say “shows good judgment” describes Clinton, while 51 percent say it does not. For Trump, 28 percent say “shows good judgment” describes him, with 70 percent saying it does not. In the Oct. 6-9 poll, 48 percent said Clinton shows good judgment while 50 percent did not. For Trump in the previous poll, 28 percent said he shows good judgment and 70 percent did not.

Respondents were asked how comfortable they were with the idea of each candidate as president. Forty-seven percent of likely voters say they are very or somewhat comfortable with Clinton as president, with 52 percent very or somewhat uncomfortable, including 42 percent saying they are “very uncomfortable.” For Trump, 39 percent say they are very or somewhat comfortable with him as president, while 62 percent say they are very or somewhat uncomfortable, including 51 percent saying “very uncomfortable.” In the previous poll, 46 percent were very or somewhat comfortable with Clinton and 53 percent were very or somewhat uncomfortable. For Trump in early October, 35 percent were very or somewhat comfortable and 63 percent were very or somewhat uncomfortable.

Views of Senate candidates

Partisans remain strongly aligned with their Senate nominees, with 86 percent of Republicans backing Johnson and 85 percent of Democrats supporting Feingold. In the Oct. 6-9 poll, 89 percent of Republicans favored Johnson and 90 percent of Democrats supported Feingold. In the new poll, six percent of Republicans said they would vote for Feingold while 8 percent of Democrats said they would vote for Johnson. In the previous poll, Feingold received 7 percent of the Republican vote and Johnson got 5 percent of the Democratic vote.

Independents give Johnson a 46 percent edge to Feingold’s 40 percent, a reversal of the previous poll in which independents leaned to Feingold by 44 percent to 37 percent for Johnson.

Forty-five percent describe Johnson as someone who “cares about people like me,” while 41 percent say this does not describe him, unchanged from the previous poll. Forty-nine percent describe Feingold as caring about people like them, while 39 percent say that this does not describe him. Three weeks ago, 52 percent said Feingold cares and 36 percent said he did not.

Fifty percent say “honest” describes Johnson and 33 percent say it does not. Fifty percent say “honest” describes Feingold and 39 percent say it does not. In the previous poll, 49 percent said “honest” described Johnson and 33 percent said it did not. For Feingold, 52 percent described him as honest while 36 percent did not in the previous poll.

Among all likely voters, 43 percent have a favorable view of Johnson, 40 percent hold an unfavorable view and 18 percent say they haven’t heard enough or don’t know how they view him. Feingold is viewed favorably by 46 percent, unfavorably by 42 percent, and 12 percent say they lack an opinion of him. Anderson is viewed favorably by 3 percent, unfavorably by 6 percent, and 90 percent lack an opinion of him. In September, Johnson was seen favorably by 43 percent of likely voters and unfavorably by 37 percent, with 20 percent lacking an opinion. Feingold was viewed favorably by 45 percent and unfavorably by 40 percent, with 15 percent lacking an opinion of him. In the previous poll, 4 percent had a favorable view of Anderson, 7 percent an unfavorable view and 89 percent did not have an opinion of him.

Concerns about presidential candidates

Fifty-two percent of registered voters say that the video of Trump talking about his treatment of women “bothers them a lot,” while 23 percent say it bothers them a little and 23 percent say this doesn’t bother them. This is similar to the 50 percent who say they are bothered a lot by Clinton’s use of a private email server, with 23 percent bothered a little and 26 percent who say they are not bothered by it.

Asked about a leaked email quoting Clinton as saying politicians must have a public agenda and a private one, 41 percent say this bothers them a lot, 27 percent say it bothers them a little and 29 percent say it does not bother them.

Forty-two percent say they are bothered a lot by Trump’s decision not to release his tax returns, while 20 percent are bothered a little and 38 percent are not bothered about this.

Seventy-five percent of registered voters say Trump has the physical capacity to meet the demands of the presidency, while 21 percent say he does not. Sixty-seven percent say Clinton has the physical capacity for the presidency while 28 percent say she does not.

Issues regarding the election

Thirty-eight percent of registered voters say that they are very confident the votes for president will be accurately counted, with 30 percent somewhat confident, 18 percent not very confident and 12 percent not at all confident. Among Republicans, 22 percent are very confident the vote will be accurately counted, 36 percent somewhat confident, 28 percent not very confident and 13 percent not at all confident. Among Democrats, 57 percent are very confident of an accurate vote count, with 25 percent somewhat, 11 percent not very and 6 percent not at all confident in the vote count. Thirty-six percent of independents are very confident of an accurate count, with 30 percent somewhat, 18 percent not very and 16 percent not at all confident in the accuracy of the vote count.

Among registered voters, 25 percent are very concerned that the Russians may attempt to influence the election, 31 percent are somewhat concerned, 18 percent not very concerned and 23 percent not at all concerned. Among Democrats, 38 percent are very concerned, with 34 percent somewhat, 16 percent not very and 12 percent not at all concerned about Russian influence. Among Republicans, 15 percent are very concerned about Russian influence in the election, with 29 percent somewhat, 23 percent not very and 32 percent not at all concerned about Russian influence. Twenty-three percent of independents are very concerned, 31 percent somewhat concerned, 18 percent not very concerned and 26 percent not at all concerned about Russian influence in the American election.

New voters

Among all registered voters, 10 percent say this will be the first time they vote in a presidential election. Among Republicans, 8 percent say this will be their first presidential vote, among Democrats 9 percent are new voters, and among independents 14 percent are new voters.

Among new voters who are registered to vote, Clinton and Trump each receive 31 percent, with Johnson getting 14 percent, Stein 11 percent and 14 percent not expressing a preference. Among new likely voters Trump receives 41 percent to Clinton’s 34 percent, Johnson’s 5 percent and Stein’s 8 percent. However, the new-voter samples are too small to be considered reliable estimates. The margin of error is +/-14 percentage points for new likely voters. Among all new voters, the margin of error is +/- 12 percentage points.

Outlook for Congress and party leadership

Asked if it is appropriate for an opposition party in Congress to adopt the attitude that their greatest priority is to ensure that the president is not reelected in 2020, 72 percent of registered voters say that this is not appropriate while 16 percent say it is appropriate. Majorities of each partisan group say such an approach is not appropriate, with 67 percent of Republicans, 73 percent of Democrats and 77 percent of independents saying such an approach is not appropriate. Twenty percent of Republicans, 17 percent of Democrats and 13 percent of independents say such an approach is appropriate.

Asked whom they would rather see lead the Republican party in 2017, 20 percent of registered voters say Trump, 13 percent Sen. Ted Cruz and 51 percent Rep. Paul Ryan. Among Republicans, 36 percent prefer Trump, 16 percent Cruz and 42 percent Ryan. Democrats prefer Ryan by 58 percent to 12 for Cruz and 8 for Trump. Independents prefer Ryan by 53 percent to 13 percent for Cruz and 19 percent for Trump.

Talk about politics

Far more people talk about politics frequently with family and friends than they do at work. Seventy-two percent of registered voters talk at least weekly about politics with family and friends, with 13 percent doing so once or twice a month and 8 percent a few times a year. Six percent never discuss politics. With co-workers, 44 percent talk politics at least weekly, 10 percent once or twice a month and 8 percent a few times a year. Thirty-eight percent never discuss politics with co-workers.

Among all registered voters, 34 percent say they have stopped talking about politics with someone due to disagreements about the election. In 2012, the last polls before the recall election for governor of Wisconsin that June and before the November general election found that 35 percent and 33 percent respectively had stopped talking to someone about politics. Before the November 2014 election, 27 percent said they had stopped talking to someone because of politics.

Views of the vice-presidential candidates

Republican vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence is viewed favorably by 37 percent of registered voters and unfavorably by 30 percent, with 33 percent lacking an opinion about him. In the Aug. 4-7 poll following the national party conventions, Pence was viewed favorably by 24 percent and unfavorably by 21 percent, with 55 percent lacking an opinion.

Democratic vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine is viewed favorably by 27 percent of registered voters and unfavorably by 31 percent, with 42 percent lacking an opinion about him. In the Aug. 4-7 poll, Kaine was viewed favorably by 20 percent and unfavorably by 20 percent, with 60 percent lacking an opinion.

Job approval of Walker and Obama

Approval of how Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is handling his job stands at 42 percent, with disapproval at 51 percent among all registered voters. In the Oct. 6-9 poll, approval was 44 percent and disapproval was 51 percent.

President Barack Obama’s job approval stands at 52 percent, with 44 percent disapproval. In the previous poll, 52 percent approved and 43 percent disapproved.

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive statewide polling project in Wisconsin history. This poll interviewed 1,401 registered Wisconsin voters by landline or cell phone, Oct. 26-31, 2016. The margin of error is +/-3.3 percentage points for the full sample. For likely voters, the unweighted sample size is 1,255 and weighted sample size is 1,190, with a margin of error of +/-3.5 percentage points. When broken down by day of interview, the margin of error is +/- 5.3 percentage points for Wednesday and Thursday‘s sample (541 respondents), +/-9.8 percentage points for the Friday sample (157 respondents) and +/-5.4 percentage points for the combined Saturday, Sunday and Monday samples (557 respondents).

The partisan makeup of the full registered-voter sample, including those who lean to a party, is 42 percent Republican, 48 percent Democratic and 8 percent independent. The long-term estimate over the previous 40 statewide Marquette polls, with 34,751 respondents, is 43 percent Republican and 47 percent Democratic, with 9 percent independent. The partisan makeup of this sample, excluding those who lean to a party, is 27 percent Republican, 32 percent Democratic and 37 percent independent, compared to the long-term estimate of 27 percent Republican, 31 percent Democratic and 38 percent independent.

New Marquette Law School Poll finds Wisconsin voters shifting support to Clinton after Trump video release

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll finds 44 percent of Wisconsin likely voters supporting Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for president and 37 percent supporting Republican Donald Trump, with Libertarian Gary Johnson at 9 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 3 percent. Six percent do not express a preference, saying that they will vote for neither candidate, will not vote or don’t know how they will vote.

The poll was conducted Oct. 6-9 and was completed before the second presidential debate. The poll began interviewing voters the day before the Washington Post published a story and a 2005 recording in which Trump described, in graphic detail, his treatment of women.

“The publication appears to have caused a significant shift in Wisconsin voters’ attitudes, across several different demographics,” said Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law School Poll.

In the previous Marquette Law School Poll, conducted Sept. 15-18, Clinton was supported by 41 percent and Trump by 38 percent among likely voters, with Johnson at 11 percent, Stein at 2 percent and 7 percent not having a preference.

In the new poll’s head-to-head matchup (as opposed to the four-way race), Clinton receives 46 percent to Trump’s 42 percent of likely voters, with 9 not giving a preference. In the September head-to-head matchup, among likely voters, Clinton had the support of 44 percent and Trump was supported by 42 percent, with 12 percent not expressing a preference.

In Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race, 46 percent of likely voters support Russ Feingold, 44 percent back Sen. Ron Johnson and 4 percent choose Libertarian candidate Phil Anderson. Five percent do not express a preference. In September, Feingold was supported by 44 percent, Johnson by 39 percent and Anderson by 7 percent, with 10 percent not giving a preference.

In a head-to-head matchup, among likely voters, 48 percent support Feingold and 46 percent support Johnson, with 6 percent lacking a preference. In September, Feingold was the choice of 47 percent to Johnson’s 41 percent, with 11 percent not stating a preference.

The full sample of the Oct. 6-9 survey comprises 1,000 registered voters interviewed by cell phone or landline, with a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percentage points. Results for likely voters are based on 878 respondents, with a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percentage points. When broken down by day of interview, the margin of error for Thursday‘s sample is +/-5.9 percentage points and +/-7.8 percentage points for the Friday and combined Saturday and Sunday samples.

Shifts following release of Trump 2005 video

The October poll began interviewing voters on Thursday, one day before the Washington Post report on the 2005 Trump video. Comparing voter responses by the day interviews took place allows an estimate of how vote preferences shifted after the release.

Among all likely voters interviewed on Thursday, Trump led Clinton by 1 percentage point. Among those interviewed on Friday, Clinton led Trump by 6 percentage points. On Saturday and Sunday combined, Clinton led Trump by 19 percentage points.

All Likely Voters Thursday Friday Sat/Sunday
Clinton 40 44 49
Trump 41 38 30
Johnson 9 8 9
Stein 3 2 5
Clinton minus Trump margin -1 +6 +19

Shifts are also present across several demographic and political groups. Among men, Trump’s 12-point lead on Thursday expanded to a 16-point advantage Friday but reversed to a 1-point Clinton advantage Saturday and Sunday.

Among Men Thursday Friday Sat/Sunday
Clinton 35 28 40
Trump 47 44 39
Johnson 10 11 11
Stein 4 5 4
Clinton minus Trump margin -12 -16 +1

Among women, the shift was larger. A Thursday 9-point advantage for Clinton shifted to a 27‑point advantage on Friday and to a 33-point advantage on Saturday and Sunday.

Among Women Thursday Friday Sat/Sunday
Clinton 45 60 56
Trump 36 33 23
Johnson 8 4 8
Stein 2 0 5
Clinton minus Trump margin +9 +27 +33

Among evangelical or born-again Protestants, one of Trump’s stronger supporting groups, Thursday saw Trump leading Clinton by 40 percentage points. That advantage shrank to 23 percentage points on Friday and to 16 percentage points on Saturday and Sunday.

Among Protestant Evangelicals Thursday Friday Sat/Sunday
Clinton 24 32 31
Trump 64 55 47
Johnson 7 2 7
Stein 0 0 3
Clinton minus Trump margin -40 -23 -16

Non-Hispanic white voters without a college degree have been a strong supporting group for Trump. On Thursday, Trump held a 15-point advantage over Clinton with these voters. On Friday his advantage was 3 points, and on Saturday and Sunday this group of non-Hispanic whites without a degree favored Clinton by 7 points over Trump.

Non-college,

non-Hispanic whites

Thursday Friday Sat/Sunday
Clinton 33 38 42
Trump 48 41 35
Johnson 9 9 10
Stein 2 4 4
Clinton minus Trump margin -15 -3 +7

Among non-Hispanic whites with a college degree, Clinton led by 16 percentage points on Thursday, a margin that reversed to a 4-percentage-point Trump advantage on Friday before reversing again to a 26-percentage-point Clinton lead on Saturday and Sunday.

College,

non-Hispanic whites

Thursday Friday Sat/Sunday
Clinton 48 40 54
Trump 32 44 28
Johnson 11 10 6
Stein 5 0 6
Clinton minus Trump margin +16 -4 +26

The few Democrats supporting Trump on Thursday, 7 percent, fell to 2 percent on Friday and rose to 3 percent on Saturday and Sunday, while party loyalty to Clinton rose from 88 percent on Thursday to 95 percent on Friday and settled back to 89 percent on Saturday and Sunday.

Democrats Thursday Friday Sat/Sunday
Clinton 88 95 89
Trump 7 2 3
Johnson 2 0 3
Stein 2 0 4
Clinton minus Trump margin +81 +93 +86

Republicans maintained substantial party loyalty for Trump over the four days, though not as high as Democrats showed for Clinton. On Thursday, Trump received 80 percent support from Republicans, which slipped to 70 percent on Friday before rising to 78 percent on Saturday and Sunday. Clinton received 5 percent of Republicans’ support on Thursday, 9 percent on Friday and 3 percent on Saturday and Sunday. Support for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson rose from 8 percent of the Republican response on Thursday to 12 percent on Friday and 11 percent on Saturday and Sunday.

Republicans Thursday Friday Sat/Sunday
Clinton 5 9 3
Trump 80 70 78
Johnson 8 12 11
Stein 2 6 1
Clinton minus Trump margin -75 -61 -75

Among independents, Clinton led by 1 point on Thursday, by 4 points on Friday and by 15 points on Saturday and Sunday.

Independents Thursday Friday Sat/Sunday
Clinton 33 38 40
Trump 32 34 25
Johnson 18 11 15
Stein 5 0 7
Clinton minus Trump margin +1 +4 +15

 Comparison of candidate traits

Asked if “honest” describes Clinton, 29 percent of likely voters say that it does, while 66 percent say that it does not. For Trump, 33 percent say “honest” describes him, while 64 percent say it does not. In September, 32 percent of likely voters described Clinton as honest and 64 percent did not. Thirty-four percent described Trump as honest in that poll, while 63 percent did not.

Forty-seven percent of likely voters describe Clinton as someone who “cares about people like me” and 50 percent do not. Thirty-five percent say Trump cares about people like them while 61 percent do not see him this way. In September, 46 percent described Clinton as caring while 52 percent did not. In that poll, 36 percent said Trump cares while 61 percent did not see him that way.

Asked if a candidate has the qualifications to be president, 58 percent say Clinton does, while 40 percent say she does not. Thirty-three percent say Trump has the qualifications to be president, while 65 percent say he does not. In September, 60 percent described Clinton as qualified and 39 percent said she was not, while 37 percent described Trump as qualified and 61 percent said he was not.

The October poll asked for the first time if “shows good judgment” describes each candidate. For Clinton, 48 percent of likely voters said this describes her while 50 say it does not. For Trump, 28 percent say “shows good judgment” describes him with 70 percent saying it does not.

Respondents were asked how comfortable they were with the idea of each candidate as president. Forty-six percent of likely voters say they are very or somewhat comfortable with Clinton as president, with 53 percent very or somewhat uncomfortable, including 44 percent saying they are “very uncomfortable.” For Trump, 35 percent say they are very or somewhat comfortable with him as president, while 63 percent say they are very or somewhat uncomfortable, including 53 percent saying “very uncomfortable.” In September, 47 percent were very or somewhat comfortable with Clinton and 53 percent were very or somewhat uncomfortable. For Trump in September, 36 percent were very or somewhat comfortable and 64 percent were very or somewhat uncomfortable.

Views of Senate candidates

Each party has strongly aligned behind its candidate for the U.S. Senate. Johnson receives 89 percent of Republicans’ support, Feingold 7 percent and Anderson 2 percent. Among Democrats, Feingold receives 90 percent to 5 percent for Johnson and 2 percent for Anderson. Independents give 44 percent to Feingold, 37 percent to Johnson and 9 percent to Anderson. For comparison, among likely voters, Trump receives 77 percent of the Republican vote and Clinton 90 percent of the Democratic vote, while independents divide 37 percent for Clinton to 30 percent for Trump.

Forty-five percent describe Johnson as someone who “cares about people like me,” while 41 percent say this does not describe him. Fifty-two percent describe Feingold as caring about people like them, while 36 percent say that this does not describe him. In September, 37 percent described Johnson as caring while 43 percent said this did not describe him. At that time, 50 percent said Feingold cares and 33 percent said he did not.

Forty-nine percent in the October poll say “honest” describes Johnson and 33 percent say it does not. Fifty-two percent say “honest” describes Feingold and 36 percent say it does not. This question had not been asked before.

Among all likely voters, 43 percent have a favorable view of Johnson, 37 percent hold an unfavorable view and 20 percent say they haven’t heard enough or don’t know how they view him. Feingold is viewed favorably by 45 percent, unfavorably by 40 percent, and 15 percent say they lack an opinion of him. Anderson is viewed favorably by 4 percent, unfavorably by 7 percent, and 89 percent lack an opinion of him. In September, Johnson was seen favorably by 35 percent of likely voters, unfavorably by 39 percent and 26 percent lacked an opinion. Feingold was viewed favorably by 48 percent, unfavorably by 32 percent, and 19 percent lacked an opinion of him. When last asked in August, 3 percent had a favorable view of Anderson, 4 percent an unfavorable view and 92 percent did not have an opinion of him.

Job approval of Walker and Obama

Approval of how Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is handling his job stands at 44 percent, with disapproval at 51 percent among all registered voters. In September, approval was 43 percent and disapproval was 52 percent.

President Obama’s job approval stands at 52 percent, with 43 percent disapproval. In September, 54 percent approved and 41 percent disapproved.

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. 6‑9, 2016. The margin of error is +/-3.7 percentage points for the full sample. For likely voters, the unweighted sample size is 878 and weighted sample size is 839, with a margin of error of +/-3.9 percentage points. When broken down by day of interview, the margin of error for Thursday‘s sample is +/-5.9 percentage points and +/-7.8 percentage points for the Friday and combined Saturday and Sunday samples.

The partisan makeup of the full registered-voter sample, including those who lean to a party, is 44 percent Republican, 47 percent Democratic and 8 percent independent. The long-term estimate over the previous 39 statewide Marquette polls, with 33,751 respondents, is 42 percent Republican and 48 percent Democratic, with 9 percent independent. The partisan makeup of this sample, excluding those who lean to a party, is 30 percent Republican, 31 percent Democratic and 35 percent independent, compared to the long-term estimate of 27 percent Republican, 31 percent Democratic and 38 percent independent.

New Marquette Law School Poll finds tight presidential race, Feingold with edge in Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll finds 44 percent of Wisconsin likely voters supporting Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for president and 42 percent supporting Republican Donald Trump in a head-to-head matchup. Twelve percent do not express a preference, saying they will vote for neither candidate, will not vote, or don’t know how they will vote.

Among all registered voters in the new poll, Clinton is supported by 43 percent and Trump by 38 percent, with 15 percent not expressing a preference.

In the most recent Marquette Law School Poll, conducted Aug. 25-28, Clinton was supported by 45 percent and Trump by 42 percent among likely voters, with 10 percent not having a preference. Among registered voters in that poll, Clinton held 42 percent to Trump’s 37 percent, with 19 percent lacking a preference.

In a four-way matchup including Clinton, Trump, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Clinton is supported by 41 percent of likely voters in the new poll, with Trump at 38 percent, Johnson at 11 and Stein at 2. A total of 7 percent in that matchup do not give a preference. Among all registered voters, Clinton receives 39 percent, Trump 35 percent, Johnson 12 percent and Stein 3 percent, with 10 percent lacking a preference.

In the previous four-candidate matchup Aug. 25-28, Clinton received 41 percent among likely voters, with Trump at 38 percent, Johnson at 10 and Stein at 4, while another 7 percent did not pick a candidate. Among registered voters in the previous poll, Clinton received 37 percent, Trump 32, Johnson 11 and Stein 7, with 13 percent expressing no preference.

In a head-to-head matchup for Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race, among likely voters, 47 percent support Democrat Russ Feingold and 41 percent support Republican Ron Johnson, with 8 percent lacking a preference. Among all registered voters, Feingold receives 46 percent, Johnson 40 percent and 11 percent lack a preference.

In late August, Feingold had 48 percent and Johnson had 45 percent among likely voters.  Among all registered voters in that poll, Feingold had 46 percent support and Johnson 42 percent.

When Libertarian candidate Phil Anderson is included in the Senate contest, Feingold receives 44 percent among likely voters in the new poll, Johnson 39 percent and Anderson 7 percent, with 10 percent not expressing a preference. Among all registered voters, Feingold is supported by 44 percent, Johnson 37 percent and Anderson 8 percent, with 10 percent not holding a preference.

In late August, among likely voters, Feingold held 45 percent, Johnson 42 percent and Anderson 6 percent. Among all registered voters in the previous poll, Feingold received 42 percent, Johnson 38 percent and Anderson 8 percent.

The new poll was conducted Sept. 15-18, 2016. The full sample includes 802 registered voters interviewed by cell phone or landline, with a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points. Results for likely voters are based on 677 respondents, with a margin of error of +/- 4.8 percentage points.

Views of Senate candidates

Among all registered voters, 34 percent have a favorable view of Johnson, 36 percent hold an unfavorable view and 30 percent say they haven’t heard enough or don’t know how they view him. Feingold is viewed favorably by 46 percent, unfavorably by 29 percent and 25 percent say they lack an opinion of him. Favorability to Anderson was not asked in this poll. In the Aug. 25‑28 poll, Anderson was viewed favorably by 4 percent, unfavorably by 4 percent and 92 percent lacked an opinion of him.

Thirty-six percent describe Johnson as someone who “cares about people like me,” while 43 percent say this did not describe him and 20 percent say they do not know. Fifty percent describe Feingold as caring about people like them while 32 percent do not and 18 percent say they don’t know.

Asked how effective Johnson, who was elected in 2010, is as a senator, 13 percent say very effective, 36 percent somewhat effective, 16 percent not very effective and 17 percent not at all effective. Sixteen percent say they don’t know how effective he is. Twenty-two percent say Feingold, who was in the Senate from 1993 to 2011, was very effective as a senator, 37 percent somewhat effective, 16 percent not very effective and 12 percent not at all effective, with 13 percent lacking an opinion.

 Among all registered voters, Johnson is supported by 80 percent of Republicans in a head-to-head matchup against Feingold, who receives 84 percent support from Democrats. Ten percent of Republicans cross over to vote for Feingold, while 6 percent of Democrats support Johnson. Independents divide 43 percent for Feingold and 36 percent for Johnson.

When Libertarian candidate Anderson is added to the choices among registered voters, Johnson holds 76 percent of Republicans, with 9 percent crossing over to Feingold and 6 percent to Anderson. Feingold wins 82 percent of Democrats, while 6 percent cross over to Johnson and 3 percent support Anderson. Independents give Feingold 40 percent, Johnson 32 percent and Anderson 15 percent.

Among likely voters in the head-to-head matchup, Johnson holds 80 percent of Republicans, with 9 percent supporting Feingold. Feingold wins 85 percent of Democrats, with 5 percent going to Johnson. Independents divide 47 percent for Feingold and 42 percent for Johnson.

In the three-way Senate matchup among likely voters, Republicans give Johnson 78 percent support, 7 percent choose Feingold and 5 percent vote for Anderson. Among Democrats, 83 percent back Feingold, 6 percent Johnson and 2 percent Anderson. Independents divide 40 percent for Feingold, 35 percent for Johnson and 15 percent for Anderson.

Discontent with the presidential nominees

Unhappiness with their presidential nominee is prevalent among registered voters in both parties. Among Republicans and independents who lean Republican, 68 percent say they would have liked their party to nominate someone other than Trump, while 29 percent say they prefer Trump as the nominee. Among Democrats and independents who lean Democratic, 48 percent would prefer Bernie Sanders as the nominee while 43 percent prefer Clinton.

Even with a high percentage of voters preferring a different nominee, sixty-one percent of Republicans and independents who lean Republican hold a favorable view of Trump, with 28 percent unfavorable. Among Democrats and independents who lean Democratic, 78 percent have a favorable view of Clinton, with 15 percent unfavorable.

Among registered voters who say they are Republicans or independents who lean Republican, and who wish the party had a different nominee, Trump receives 65 percent of the vote, with 10 percent supporting Clinton and 22 percent lacking a preference in the head-to-head matchup. Among Republicans and Republican leaners who like Trump as the nominee, he receives 96 percent of the vote, with 1 percent for Clinton and 1 percent undecided.

For those Democrats and independents leaning Democratic who wish Sanders were the nominee, Clinton receives 72 percent of the vote, with 11 percent going to Trump and 9 percent lacking a preference. Among those who like to see Clinton as the nominee, she receives 94 percent, with Trump getting 2 percent and 3 percent lacking a preference.

When Libertarian candidate Johnson and Green party candidate Stein are added to the list of candidates, Trump receives 60 percent among those Republicans and leaners who would have preferred some other nominee, Clinton 9 percent, Johnson 17 percent and Stein 2 percent. Among those who like Trump as the nominee, he receives 90 percent to less than a half percent for Clinton, 8 percent for Johnson and 1 percent for Stein.

Among Democrats and those leaning Democratic who would have preferred Sanders as the nominee, Clinton holds 55 percent to Trump’s 9 percent, Johnson’s 15 percent and Stein’s 9 percent. Among those who like her nomination, Clinton wins 93 percent, Trump 2 percent, Johnson 2 percent and Stein zero percent.

Unified or divided government and ticket splitting

Fifty-three percent of registered voters say they prefer that Congress and the president be of the same party in order to get things done, while 39 percent prefer different parties because they can balance each other. Sixty-one percent of both Republicans and Democrats prefer one-party control, with 34 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats preferring divided government. Independents prefer divided government by a 48 percent to 43 percent margin over unified control.

Despite a majority preference for unified government, 51 percent of registered voters say they typically split their votes between parties, with 45 percent voting a straight ticket. Sixty-four percent of Democrats vote a straight ticket, as do 54 percent of Republicans, but just 21 percent of independents. Thirty-three percent of Democrats, 43 percent of Republicans and 75 percent of independents say they vote a split ticket.

Sixty-seven percent of straight-ticket voters prefer unified party control of Congress and the presidency, with 29 percent preferring divided control. Among ticket-splitters, 43 percent prefer unified control and 48 percent prefer divided government.

Vote fraud and voter disenfranchisement

Vote fraud and voter disenfranchisement have been important issues in policymaking and legal challenges over the past several years. Respondents were asked how many illegally cast votes by people not legally eligible they expected in November’s election and how many legal voters might be prevented from voting because of lack of proper identification. Respondents were offered a wide range of options for each item.

Answer option Illegally cast votes Legal voters prevented from voting
Less than 10 people 27% 15%
10-100 18% 15%
100-1,000 18% 23%
1,000-10,000 14% 17%
10,000-100,000 6% 12%
More than 100,000 3% 5%
Don’t know 12% 11%

Comparing each individual’s responses to the two items: 18 percent think more illegal votes are cast than legal votes are prevented, 26 percent think the two are equal and 37 percent think more legal votes are prevented than illegal votes cast. Nineteen percent don’t know on either or both questions.

Among Republicans, 27 percent think there are more illegal votes than legal voters prevented from voting, 30 percent think the two are equal and 24 percent think more legal voters are prevented from voting. Among Democrats, 7 percent think there are more illegal votes, 23 percent think the two are equal and 55 percent say there are more legal voters who are prevented from voting. Twenty-one percent of independents think there are more illegal votes, 26 percent think they are equal and 36 percent think more legal voters are denied their ability to vote.

International issues

The approach the United States should take toward the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) has emerged as an issue in the presidential campaign. Thirty percent of registered voters favor limiting military action against ISIS to air strikes alone, 42 percent support committing combat troops on the ground as well, while 15 percent oppose any military action and 11 percent don’t have an opinion.

Among Trump voters, 61 percent favor committing both air and ground forces, 20 percent prefer air only and 9 percent oppose any military action. Among Clinton supporters, 27 percent favor both air and ground commitments, 40 percent favor air only and 18 percent oppose any military action.

Among those who have served, or who have a close family member who has served, in the armed forces since 2001, 46 percent support both air and ground action, 26 percent support air action only and 14 percent oppose any military action. Among those who have not served nor have any family who has served in the armed forces, 39 percent favor air and ground action, 33 percent support air action only and 15 percent oppose any military action.

While 72 percent support some form of military action against ISIS, a majority, 57 percent, say the war in Iraq was not worth the cost, while 37 percent say it was worth fighting. Views of those who served or who had family who served differ little from those who did not, with 55 percent of those who served (or who had family who served) saying the Iraq war was not worth the cost and 40 percent saying it was worth it, while among those who did not serve 58 percent say it was not worth it and 35 percent saying it was.

Among Trump voters, 50 percent say the Iraq war was worth fighting, while 45 percent say it was not. Among Clinton voters, 24 percent say it was worth fighting and 70 percent say it was not.

Views of military action against ISIS also reflect views of the Iraq war. Among those saying the Iraq war was worth fighting, 64 percent support committing both air and ground forces against ISIS, 23 percent support an air campaign only and 4 percent oppose any military action. Among those who think the Iraq war was not worth fighting, 28 percent support air and ground action, 37 percent support air action only and 23 percent oppose any military action.

Asked which is the best way to reduce international threats to the United States, 58 percent say diplomatic negotiations are best, while 24 percent say the use of military force is best, with 12 percent saying both.

Among Trump supporters, 43 percent say military force is the best way to reduce international threats, 36 percent choose diplomatic negotiations and 16 percent say both. Among Clinton voters, 79 percent favor diplomatic negotiations, 8 percent say use of force is best and 7 percent say both.

Views of presidential candidates

Trump is viewed favorably by 31 percent and unfavorably by 61 percent of registered voters. Seven percent say they either haven’t heard enough or don’t know how they feel about him. In late August, Trump’s rating was 28 percent favorable and 63 percent unfavorable.

Clinton is viewed favorably by 43 percent and unfavorably by 50 percent of registered voters. Six percent say they haven’t heard enough or don’t know how they feel about her. In late August, 35 percent rated Clinton favorably and 58 percent unfavorably.

Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate, is seen favorably by 17 percent of registered voters and unfavorably by 21 percent, with 62 percent lacking an opinion of him. Three weeks ago, 14 percent had a favorable view of Johnson, 14 percent an unfavorable view and 72 percent lacked an opinion.

Stein, the Green Party candidate, is viewed favorably by 8 percent and unfavorably by 12, with 79 percent saying they haven’t heard enough or don’t know how they feel about her. This is the first time the Marquette Law School Poll has measured feeling toward Stein.

Comparison of candidate traits

Asked if “honest” describes Clinton, 31 percent of registered voters say it does while 63 percent say it does not. For Trump, 34 percent say “honest” describes him while 63 percent say it does not. In late August, 26 percent described Clinton as honest and 68 percent did not. Thirty-one percent described Trump as honest in that poll, while 64 percent did not.

Forty-six percent describe Clinton as someone who “cares about people like me” and 51 percent do not. Thirty-four percent say Trump cares about people like them while 63 percent do not see him this way. In late August, 40 percent described Clinton as caring while 54 percent did not. In that poll, 31 percent said Trump cares while 65 percent did not see him that way.

Asked if a candidate has the qualifications to be president, 60 percent say Clinton does, while 38 percent say she does not. Thirty-five percent say Trump has the qualifications to be president, while 62 percent say he does not. In late August, 54 percent described Clinton as qualified and 44 percent said she was not, while 32 percent described Trump as qualified and 65 percent said he was not.

Respondents were asked how comfortable they were with the idea of each candidate as president. Forty-six percent say they are very or somewhat comfortable with Clinton as president, with 54 percent very or somewhat uncomfortable, including 42 percent saying they are “very uncomfortable.” For Trump, 33 percent say they are very or somewhat comfortable with him as president, while 65 percent say they are very or somewhat uncomfortable, including 51 percent saying “very uncomfortable.”

In late August, 41 percent were comfortable with Clinton and 57 percent were uncomfortable, with 45 percent very uncomfortable. For Trump, 32 percent were comfortable and 67 percent uncomfortable, with 52 percent very uncomfortable.

Minimum wage increase

Asked if they favor or oppose increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour, 51 percent favor the increase while 47 percent oppose it.

Seventy-five percent of Republicans oppose this increase in the minimum wage while 23 percent support the hike. Seventy-six percent of Democrats favor the increase while 23 percent oppose it. Among independents, 53 percent support and 44 percent oppose the increase.

Opinions of major political leaders

Approval of how Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is handling his job stands at 43 percent, with disapproval at 52 percent. In late August, approval was 43 percent and disapproval was 49 percent.

President Obama’s job approval stands at 54 percent, with 41 percent disapproval. In early August, 49 percent approved and 45 percent disapproved.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin receives a 38 percent favorable rating and a 32 percent unfavorable rating, with 30 percent saying they haven’t heard enough or don’t have an opinion. When last measured in June of this year, 37 percent were favorable, 33 percent unfavorable and 31 percent lacked an opinion.

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan receives a 47 percent favorable rating and a 32 percent unfavorable rating, with 21 percent unable to provide a rating. When last measured Aug. 4-7, 2016, his favorable rating was 54 percent, unfavorable 33, and 18 percent were unable to rate him.

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive statewide polling project in Wisconsin history. This poll interviewed 802 registered Wisconsin voters by landline or cell phone, September 15-18, 2016. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percentage points for the full sample. For likely voters, the unweighted sample size is 677 and weighted sample size is 642, with a margin of error of +/-4.8 percentage points.

The partisan makeup of the full registered-voter sample, including those who lean to a party, is 45 percent Republican, 47 percent Democratic and 7 percent independent. The long-term estimate over the previous 38 statewide Marquette polls, with 32,949 respondents, is 42 percent Republican and 48 percent Democratic, with 9 percent independent. The partisan makeup of this sample, excluding those who lean to a party, is 31 percent Republican, 31 percent Democratic and 34 percent independent, compared to the long-term estimate of 27 percent Republican, 31 percent Democratic and 38 percent independent.