President Trump is still underwater, voters remain split on Gov. Scott Walker’s job approval and the challengers in both the guv and U.S. Senate fields are largely unknown at this point, according to the latest Marquette University Law School Poll.
The survey, the first of the year conducted by pollster Charles Franklin, also found the government incentive package to land Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn is not popular statewide and Dems are more excited to vote in the upcoming fall elections than Republicans.
Franklin said the latter helps explain the results in two legislative special elections this year that saw Dems over-perform compared to past elections even though there was not a corresponding uptick in the share of voters who identify themselves as aligned with the party.
In the March 2014 Marquette poll, 55 percent of self-identified Republicans said they were “very enthusiastic,” while 52 of Dems said the same. The election that fall was a GOP wave.
In the latest poll, 54 percent of Republicans said they were very enthusiastic about voting, while 64 percent of Dems said so.
With leaners included, 45 percent of respondents identified as Dems, compared to 41 percent who said they’re Republicans. The long-term average for the poll is 47 and 43, respectively.
“But you can make up for an awful lot if you have a 10-point advantage in enthusiasm and, therefore, turnout,” Franklin said.
Some of the top results include:
*43 percent of registered voters approve of Trump’s job performance, while 50 percent do not. In June, his split was 41-51.
*voters are split at 47-47 on Walker’s job approval, compared to 48-48 in June.
*the Dem field looking to challenge Walker in November is largely unknown. State Superintendent Tony Evers was the best known with 20 percent of registered voters having a favorable opinion of him and 13 percent an unfavorable one. Sixty-six percent didn’t know enough about him or had no opinion.
*Madison Mayor Paul Soglin was next among Dem guv candidates with 15 percent viewing him favorably. Milwaukee attorney Matt Flynn was at 13 percent and state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, of Alma, was at 12 percent. No other Dem cracked double digits.
*of those planning to vote in the Dem primary, 18 percent backed Evers, while 9 percent supported Soglin and 7 percent for Flynn. Forty-four percent were unsure.
*37 percent had a favorable impression of U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, while 39 percent did not. In June, the split was 38-38 for the Madison Dem.
*in the GOP Senate primary, state Sen. Leah Vukmir was viewed favorably by 10 percent and unfavorable by 6 percent. Former Marine and business consultant Kevin Nicholson was at 7-7.
*of those planning to vote in the GOP Senate primary, 28 percent backed Nicholson, while 19 percent supported Vukmir. Franklin said of those GOP voters who can’t identify either candidate, Nicholson was favored 22-7.
*in the state Supreme Court race, 75 percent of voters haven’t heard enough or don’t have an opinion of either candidate. Milwaukee County Judge Rebecca Dallet was viewed favorably by 14 percent and unfavorably by 9 percent. Sauk County Judge Michael Screnock was at 10-9.
The poll also found 38 percent believe the state’s investment to lure Foxconn will return at least as much as the state is putting into the project. Forty-nine percent said it wasn’t worth the investment, while 13 percent weren’t sure.
The proposed plant will be located in Racine County, and 57 percent of voters statewide think it will substantially improve the economy of the greater Milwaukee area, while 35 percent don’t.
The poll also found 25 percent of voters statewide believe Foxconn will benefit businesses where they live, while 66 percent said it won’t.
The survey of 800 registered voters was conducted Feb. 25-March 1 and had a margin of error of plus or minute 4.5 percentage points. The poll used live interviewers, who conducted 60 percent of the surveys via cell phones.
See more of the results: