Joe Biden’s edge on Donald Trump was largely unchanged among likely Wisconsin voters in the latest Marquette University Law School Poll.
Forty-six percent of likely voters backed Biden, while 41 percent favored Trump. Libertarian Jo Jorgensen was at 4 percent, while 8 percent said they were undecided or planned to vote for someone else.
Biden had a 4-point edge in the last poll at 47-43 with Jorgensen at 4 percent.
The survey went into the field the day after the first presidential debate, while about half of the interviews were conducted after the president announced he was positive for COVID-19.
Poll Director Charles Franklin noted a series of events in recent months have failed to swing the race either way. Biden’s edge has been between 4 and 6 points since early May.
“This is just a function of people being very, very dug in on their choices,” Franklin said.
Biden’s favorability rating was one of the few numbers related to the presidential race to show movement in recent months.
Biden’s favorability rating was minus-19 in February before starting to rebound. It was minus-11 in March before dropping to single digits. This month was the first time Biden had a net-positive rating with 48 percent having a favorable view of him and 45 percent an unfavorable one.
In other presidential numbers:
*44 percent of registered voters approve of the job Trump is doing, while 52 percent disapprove. It is the third straight month Trump’s job approval number has been 44 percent.
*41 percent approved of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, while 56 percent disapproved. That number was unchanged from last month.
*37 percent approved of the way Trump has handled the protests sparked by the deaths of Black men at the hands of police, while 54 percent disapproved. It was 36-54 last month.
*The economy continues to be Trump’s strong point with 51 percent approving, compared to 45 percent disapproving. Last month it was 52-44.
Franklin said with past administrations, negative events such as an economic downturn would affect the standing of presidents with voters of their party as well as the other side. But going back to early in Barack Obama’s first term, that’s changed.
“When bad things happened in the Obama administration or bad things happened in the Trump administration, their partisans did not lower their approval at all of the president. That’s creating some of the stability that we see.”
Among registered voters, 41 percent said Biden did the best job in last week’s debate, while 20 percent said Trump did. Fourteen percent said both performed poorly, while 21 percent didn’t pay much attention.
Among those who were interviewed after the president’s COVID-19 diagnosis, more than half believe both candidates should stop in-person campaign rallies, while more than two-thirds believe the debates should be held as scheduled.
The phone survey was in the field Sept. 30-Oct. 4. The sample of 805 registered voters included 700 likely voters. The margin of error for registered voters was plus or minus 4.2 percentage points and plus or minus 4.6 points for likely voters.
The sample was 45 percent Dem and 44 percent Republican. The long-term split is 45-45.
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