Gov. Tony Evers’ standing with Wisconsin voters has improved since October, President Biden’s stayed the same and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s has dipped, according to the latest Marquette University Law School Poll.
The poll also took a first look at the Dem primary for the U.S. Senate and GOP race for guv, finding a large section of the electorate is undecided.
Pollster Charles Franklin said during yesterday’s presentation on the results that name recognition drove some of the primary results.
“We’re a long ways from people having tuned in to the primary elections or the fall general election,” he said.
In both primary matchups, the best-known candidate led the fields.
For the Dem U.S. Senate nomination, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes was at 23 percent, while Alex Lasry, on leave from his job with the Milwaukee Bucks, was at 13 percent. Outagamie County Exec Tom Nelson was at 5 percent, while state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski was at 3 percent.
Lasry on Tuesday released an internal poll conducted over almost the same window as the Marquette poll that had Barnes leading the Dem primary field with 35 percent to his 27 percent.
In yesterday’s Marquette release, just more than half of Dems and independents who plan to vote in the Dem primary who were surveyed didn’t have an opinion of Barnes. Forty-three percent had a favorable opinion of him, while 4 percent had an unfavorable one. Sixty-five percent didn’t have an opinion of Lasry, while his fav-unfav split was 29-6. For the rest of the candidates, at least 81 percent of Dem primary voters didn’t have an opinion of them.
For the GOP guv nomination, former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch was at 30 percent, while businessman Kevin Nicholson was at 8 percent and state Rep. Tim Ramthun was at 5 percent.
Among Republicans and independents who plan to vote in the GOP primary, half didn’t have an opinion of Kleefisch. Thirty-nine percent viewed her favorably, while 10 percent viewed her unfavorably. Seventy-three percent didn’t have an opinion of Nicholson, who ran for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination in 2018. Eighteen percent had a favorable view of him, while 8 percent had an unfavorable one. Ramthun’s split was 5-10.
Voters’ view of Evers’ job performance was back in positive territory.
In the October poll, 45 percent approved of the job he was doing, while 46 percent disapproved.
Now, 50 percent approve of his performance, while 41 percent disapprove.
Among independents, 39 percent approved of the job Evers is doing, while 49 percent disapproved.
Among Dems and those who lean Dem, the split was 85-7, while it was 18-73 among Republicans and those who lean Republican.
Meanwhile, the Legislature is underwater with 37 percent approving of the job it’s doing, while 46 percent disapproving.
And Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, was seen favorably by 13 percent of voters and unfavorably by 28 percent. His split was 15-20 in August 2019, the last time the question was asked.
Franklin noted Vos’ standing with Republicans has declined. In the August 2019 poll, 26 percent of Republicans viewed him favorably, while 7 percent didn’t. In the latest poll, that split was 21-16.
For Biden, his job approval split was 43-52, in line with the 43 percent who approved and 53 percent who disapproved of his performance in October. Franklin noted the poll went into the field before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Biden’s split with independents was 31-57, while it was 6-91 with Republicans and those who lean Republican. Among Dems and those who lean Dem, his split was 84-11.
Johnson, who announced in January that he will seek a third term, was viewed favorably by 33 percent of voters and unfavorably by 45 percent. In October, his split was 36-42.
Going back to January 2020, Johnson’s favorable rating has only been lower in late summer 2020, when it was 32 percent.
Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, saw an uptick in her numbers. Forty-two percent view her favorably, while 36 view her unfavorably, compared to a 38-39 split in October. That poll was her lowest favorable rating going back to January 2020.
Donald Trump continues to be underwater with voters. Thirty-six percent view him favorably, while 57 percent don’t. In the October 2020 poll, his split was 44-54.
Voters continue to be pessimistic about the direction the state is headed.
Thirty-nine percent said it is headed in the right direction, while 53 percent say it’s on the wrong track. In October, that split was 41-51.
Sixty-eight percent said they’re very concerned about inflation, while 28 percent are somewhat concerned. That’s a slight bump from the October poll.
Sixty-six percent said they were very or somewhat concerned over unemployment, which was at a record low 2.8 percent in January.
And 61 percent said they’re very or somewhat concerned about the coronavirus “here in Wisconsin,” while 39 percent are not too concerned or aren’t concerned at all.
The poll of 802 registered voters was conducted by landline and cell phone Feb. 22-27. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for the full sample.
The sample size for the GOP primary questions was 363 with a margin of error of plus or minus 5.8 percentage points, and it was plus or minus 5.7 points for the Dem primary questions with a sample of 354. The difference between the two margins of error was due to rounding.
The partisan makeup of the sample was 44 percent Republican, 43 percent Dem and 13 percent independent, when leaners are included. That is in line with the poll’s long-term trend since January 2020.
Watch the poll presentation:
See the release: