Presumptive Dem nominee Joe Biden opened up an 8-point lead over Donald Trump in the latest Marquette University Law School Poll as Wisconsin voters gave the president poor marks on his handling of the protests that have swept the country following the death of George Floyd.

The president’s stewardship of the economy has long been his strong point in the Marquette Poll, but his numbers slipped on that front. He also saw his backing among self-identified Republicans and independents drop in the head-to-head with Biden.

The poll found 49 percent of voters backed Biden, while 41 percent supported the president. The polls in May and March found a 3-point spread in Biden’s favor, while the two were tied in the February poll.

The shift in the horserace comes as Trump’s approval has dipped with voters on several fronts.

Overall, 45 percent approved of the job he’s doing, while 51 percent disapproved. That’s compared to 47-49 in May, though poll Director Charles Franklin noted August was the last time Trump’s job approval in Wisconsin was as low as 45 percent.


*30 percent approve of how Trump has handled the protests over Floyd’s death in late May, while 58 percent disapproved.

*44 percent approve of his handling of the coronavirus, while 52 percent disapproved. That’s compared to 44-51 in May.

*50 percent approved of his handling of the economy, while 46 percent disapproved. Last month, that spread was 54-40.

“Even his strong suit of the economy seems to have weakened a little bit,” Franklin said, adding the protest issue was “really a strikingly weak spot for him.”

Meanwhile, 83 percent of Republicans said they back Trump, compared to 93 percent last month. Independents favored Biden 38-30 after supporting Trump 34-27 in May.

Biden, meanwhile, was backed by 97 percent of Dems, up from 93 percent in May.

Forty-four percent of voters surveyed had a positive view of Biden, while 46 percent had a negative one. For Trump, that split was 42-54.

The phone survey of 805 registered voters was conducted June 14-18 with 65 percent of the live interviews conducted over cell phones. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.3 percentage points, and the partisan makeup of the sample was in line with long-term trends.

Forty-five percent of respondents were Republicans, while 44 percent were Dems and 9 percent independents. The long-term average is 45-45 and 9.

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