Tag Archives: approval rating

Scott Walker’s approval rises 3 percent

Gov. Scott Walker’s approval rating is at 45 percent as he prepares for a likely run for a third term.

The Marquette University Law School poll released last week showed that 45 percent of respondents approve of the job Walker is doing while 48 percent disapprove. That’s up 3 percent from the 42 percent rating he had last October.

The poll also found more respondents had an unfavorable view of Walker (51 percent) than Donald Trump (48 percent), though Walker’s favorable rating (45 percent) was also higher than Trump’s (42 percent).

Walker’s approval level has been up and down in the Marquette poll over the past few years, bottoming out at 37 percent in September 2015 shortly after he ended his presidential campaign.

But his rating is below the 50 percent approval he had at this point before he ran for a second term in 2014.

The poll finds that 39 percent approve of the job performance of Republican Sen. Ron Johnson while 40 percent approve of Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan’s approval rating sits at 45 percent.

The poll surveyed 800 registered voters between March 13 and March 16 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.



Walker’s approval rating drops to 37 percent, Trump leads among Wisconsin Republicans

Gov. Scott Walker’s approval rating in Wisconsin has eroded since August to a new low of 37 percent, according to a poll released today by Marquette Law School.

In Marquette’s August poll, 39 percent of those surveyed said they supported the governor, and 57 percent disapproved. The poll released today showed Walker’s disapproval rating remains unchanged, but his support has fallen by 2 percent.

Sixty percent of those surveyed in the poll said they would not like for Walker to run for a third term.

Walker’s standing in the poll was 49 percent in October 2014, just before he faced re-election against Democrat Mary Burke. But by April, he’d suffered a significant decline, with a Marquette Law School Poll showing he’d dropped to a support level of 41 percent. At that time, the governor was embroiled in a high-profile intraparty battle with the state’s Republican leadership over his proposed 2015–17 biennial budget. Various items in the budget had come under critical scrutiny, not only from Democrats but also by Republicans.

Walker’s support probably was further damaged by his brief, calamitous run for the GOP presidential nomination. Walker, who had promised not to run for the presidency if he was re-elected in November 2014, garnered only 39 percent support in Marquette’s August poll. That was several months after conducting an unofficial presidential campaign and about a month after formally throwing his hat in the ring.

Walker’s current 37 percent approval rating likely has something to do with the way he handled his campaign, which drew ridicule from the national media and criticism from Wisconsinites for neglecting his job as governor.

Although pollsters didn’t ask respondents directly about the connection between the governor’s presidential bid and their approval of his performance in office, another set of questions on the survey suggests the two were linked. They were asked whether:

(1) They were pleased that Walker had run for the nomination and if they wish that he’d stayed in the race?

(2) They approved of his run but thought that he dropped out of the race at the right time?

(3) They wish that he’d never sought the nomination?

The answers were revealing, according to poll director Charles Franklin.

Only 11 percent of the registered voters surveyed answered yes to the first question, but 60 percent answered yes to the third, Franklin said.

Among registered Republicans, 30 percent answered yes to the third question; 51 percent of Republican-leaning independents answered yes; and 67 percent of all independents answered yes.

Although there were no questions asked concerning voters’ attitudes about the 2015–17 budget, Franklin believes that Walker’s absence in the state during the budget negotiations left a lot of the governor’s proposals unexplained and undefended.

In the aftermath of Walker’s withdrawal from the GOP presidential race, Donald Trump has moved into first place among Wisconsin’s registered Republican voters. Trump garners 20 percent of their support, followed by Ben Carson at 16 percent, Marco Rubio at 14 percent and Carly Fiorina at 11 percent.

Franklin says that about 22 percent of Wisconsin voters who were for Walker have switched their support to Trump now that Walker is out of the race. That’s ironic, Franklin added, given Walker’s final shot at the real estate tycoon when he announced that he was dropping out of the race.

“Today I feel I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field so that a positive, conservative message can rise to the top of the field,” Walker said during his brief exit speech in Madison.

Although Trump tops the Republican field in Wisconsin, there are signs of weakness for him in the poll as well. Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee all placed higher than Trump in the poll as voters’ second choice. Combining Wisconsin Republicans’ first and second choices, Rubio leads with a total of 31 percent, followed by Carson at 28 percent and Fiorina at 26 percent.

Trump, who was chosen second by only 5 percent of voters, scores a combined 25 percent.

Looking at first-place candidates in the crowded GOP field: Bush polls at 17 percent; Cruz and Rand Paul are tied at 5 percent support; Huckabee, Christie and John Kasich are each at 3 percent; Rick Santorum gets one percent; Bobby Jindal, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore are at less than one percent (which is where Walker stood prior to exiting the race); and Lindsey Graham receives no support.

The poll also revealed that if the 2016 presidential election were to be held now, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders would beat Republicans Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump in Wisconsin. Sanders polls more strongly than Clinton over Trump and Rubio, while Clinton polls more strongly over Bush.

Clinton, however, leads Sanders among Democrats, with the support of 42 percent of registered Wisconsin Democrats compared with Bernie Sanders’ 30 percent and Joe Biden’s 17 percent. The other Democrats receive less than one percent support.

The Marquette Law School poll also looked at the 2016 rematch between U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and the incumbent he defeated in 2012 — Russ Feingold. The latter, who represented Wisconsin in the Senate from 1993 to 2011, is supported by 50 percent of registered voters, while Johnson’s support is at 36 percent. In August, Feingold’s lead was narrower at 47 percent to Johnson’s 42 percent. Feingold might have benefitted from early advertising and support from groups like the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, which is highly critical of Johnson’s votes on environmental issues. Johnson is a climate-change denier.

But the race between Feingold and Johnson is far from settling into a pattern. In April’s Marquette poll, Feingold led by 54–38.

Perhaps the most surprising finding of the latest poll is how few voters know anything about Feingold or Johnson, Franklin said. Only 55 percent of registered voters knew enough about the two candidates to answer whether they have a favorable or unfavorable view of the two in a matchup. Seven percent said they could rate Johnson but not Feingold, while 18 percent said they could rate Feingold but not Johnson. Nineteen percent said they were unable to rate either candidate.

“It’s a little surprising to see a sitting senator and a long-term senator at these rates,” Franklin says.

Although only about 35 percent of Wisconsin voters were familiar with U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, when he was selected at Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012.

But Franklin says it’s more unusual for the holder of a statewide office to have such little visibility. 

Pollsters interviewed 803 registered Wisconsin voters, by both landline and cell phone, from Sept. 24 to 28. The margin of error is +/- 4.1 percentage points for the full sample. For Republicans and independents who lean toward the Republican Party, the sample size is 321, with a margin of error of +/- 6.5 percentage points. For Democrats and independents who lean toward the Democratic Party, the sample size is 394, with a margin of error of +/-5.9 percentage points. 

New poll shows Clinton beating Walker in Wisconsin as his popularity in the state fades

A A new Marquette Law School Poll finds Scott Walker losing by 10 points in the state against Hillary Clinton in a presidential matchup. The poll also finds that Walker is still the leading contender in Wisconsin in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, but with far less backing than he had among members of his party in April.

In the new poll, 25 percent of voters who are Republican or lean Republican say that Walker is their first choice for the nomination. In April, the Marquette poll had Walker at 40 percent. Following Walker in the new poll are Ben Carson at 13 percent, Donald Trump at 9 percent, and Ted Cruz at 8 percent. Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio receive 7 percent each. Jeb Bush is the choice of 6 percent, and each of the remaining candidates garners 4 percent or less. In April, Rand Paul stood at second place with 10 percent. Trump was not included in the April list of candidates.

Looking ahead to possible general election preferences of Wisconsin voters, pollsters found Clinton beating all of the top Republican candidates. The results of possible match-ups are:

• Clinton 47, Bush 42.

• Clinton 52, Walker 42.

• Clinton 50, Cruz 38.

• Clinton 51, Trump 35.

In April, the results showed Clinton leading Bush 49-38. She led Walker 52-40 and Cruz 52-36. Trump was not matched against Clinton in the April poll.

Walker’s approval

The dip in Walker’s presidential support is reflected in his approval rating in the state, which continues to decline. Thirty-nine percent of those polled approve of the job Walker is doing as governor, while 57 percent disapprove. In April, 41 percent approved while 56 percent disapproved.

Thirty-three percent say that they like Walker’s decision to run for president, while 63 percent say they do not. That’s down slightly from April, when 34 percent of all those polled said they would like him to run while 62 percent said they would not. Republicans support Walker’s presidential bid at a much higher rate — 70 percent — while 28 percent do not like his running. Among independents who lean Republican, 44 percent say they like his bid while 53 percent do not. Among independents, independents who lean Democratic, and Democrats, support for his run is 15 percent or less.

Asked whether the phrase “cares about people like you” describes Walker, 37 percent say it does, while 59 percent say it does not. When last asked in October 2014, shortly before the gubernatorial election, 46 percent said this described Walker, while 50 percent said it did not. Fifty percent say the state is lagging behind other states in creating jobs, 36 percent say it is creating jobs at about the same rate as others and 9 percent say the state is growing jobs faster than other states. In April, 52 percent said Wisconsin was lagging, 34 said it was adding jobs at the same rate as others and 8 percent said the state was adding jobs faster.

After the legislative debate over the budget in the spring and summer, 41 percent say the state budget is in worse shape than a few years ago while 36 percent say it is better and 19 percent say it is about the same. In April, 38 percent said the budget was worse, 33 percent said better and 25 percent said it was about the same.

Results for the Republican nomination are based on 334 registered voters who consider themselves Republicans or independents who lean to the Republican Party. The Democratic results are based on 396 Democrats or independents who lean Democratic. The margin of error for the Republican sample is +/-6.6 percentage points and for the Democratic sample it is +/-6.1 percentage points

Democratic support

Hillary Clinton continues to lead among Wisconsinites in her race for the Democratic nomination, although by a far narrower margin than she did in April. In the new Marquette poll, Clinton is backed by 44 percent, followed by Bernie Sanders at 32 percent and Joe Biden at 12 percent. Lincoln Chaffee, Martin O’Malley and Jim Webb each receive less than 1 percent support. In April, Clinton had 58 percent support and Biden 12 percent while Sanders was not included in the April poll. Elizabeth Warren, who was not included in this poll, had received 14 percent support in April.

In the 2016 race for the U.S. Senate, Democrat Russ Feingold receives 47 percent support and Republican Ron Johnson 42 percent. In April, Feingold received 54 percent to Johnson’s 38 percent. Feingold is viewed favorably by 42 percent and unfavorably by 30 percent, with 28 percent unable to give a rating. Johnson is seen favorably by 30 percent and unfavorably by 31 percent, with 38 percent unable to rate him. In April, Feingold’s rating was 47 percent favorable and 26 percent unfavorable, with 26 percent unable to rate. For Johnson in April, 32 percent had a favorable view, 29 percent unfavorable, and 39 percent were unable to rate.

Political issues

Forty-eight percent say they support Wisconsin’s recently enacted ban on almost all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy while 44 percent oppose the ban. Party affiliations on this issue are substantial, with 77 percent support among Republicans, 67 percent among independents who lean Republican, 54 percent among independents, 30 percent among independents who lean Democratic and 23 percent among Democrats. There is only a slight difference by gender, with women supporting the ban 48 to 46 and men supporting it 49 to 42.

Cuts to the University of Wisconsin system receive a mixed review. Asked whether the university system could absorb the $250 million cut that was approved in the budget, 38 percent say it could while 58 percent say the cut would reduce educational quality. However, 52 percent say the university could absorb the extension of a tuition freeze on in-state students, while 44 percent say this would reduce educational quality.

A majority, 52 percent, say they agree with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the country, while 40 percent say they disagree with the ruling. Among Republicans and independents who lean Republican, 25 percent agree with the ruling while 68 percent disagree. Among Democrats and independents who lean Democratic, 76 percent agree with the ruling and 18 percent disagree. For independents who lean toward neither party, 52 percent agree with the ruling while 31 percent disagree with it.

Asked what policy should apply to those immigrants currently in the country illegally, 49 percent say they should be allowed to stay and apply for citizenship, 25 percent say they should be allowed to stay as guest workers only and 23 percent say they should be required to leave the country. When last asked in October 2014, 52 percent favored a path to citizenship and 20 percent a guest worker option, while 24 percent said they should be required to leave. Among Republicans and independents who lean Republican, 32 percent support a path to citizenship and 28 percent a guest worker option, while 37 percent say they should be required to leave. Among Democrats and independents who lean Democratic, 63 percent favor a citizenship process and 22 percent a guest worker program, while 11 percent say they should be required to leave.

Fifty-four percent of independents favor a citizenship path, 19 percent a guest worker program, and 24 percent a requirement to leave.

Republican presidential debate

Forty-three percent of respondents say they watched the Aug. 6 Republican debate, while 56 percent did not. Fifty-one percent of Republicans and independents who lean Republican say they watched, while 40 percent of independents and 37 percent of Democrats did.

Among the Republicans and independents who lean Republican who watched the debate, Walker is the first choice for the GOP nomination of 21 percent while he is chosen by 30 percent of those who did not watch. Carson is the first choice of 17 percent of watchers and 10 percent of non-watchers. Trump is the choice of 5 percent of debate watchers and 13 percent of non-watchers.

Among those Republicans and leaners who read or talked a lot or some about the debate, Carson is the top choice of 17 percent, followed by Walker at 16 percent and Cruz at 12 percent. For those who read or talked about the debate only a little or not at all, Walker is the first choice of 38 percent, followed by Trump at 11 percent and Carson and Bush at 7 percent each.

Environmental issues

Sixty-one percent of all registered voters say they support strict limits on carbon-dioxide emissions for existing coal-fired power plants, while 34 percent oppose those limits. ambitious The question mentioned both positive and negative effects of such a limit: “Do you support or oppose setting strict carbon dioxide emission limits on existing coal-fired power plants to reduce global warming and improve public health. Power plants would have to reduce their emissions and/or invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The cost of electricity to consumers and companies would likely increase.”

Thirty-six percent of Republicans and Republican leaners support this regulation while 58 percent oppose it. Among Democrats and independents who lean Democratic, 83 percent support this and 14 percent oppose this. Independents divide 66 percent in favor and 31 percent opposed. Walker and Wisconsin Republicans are suing the Obama administration over the president’s carbon emissions restrictions.

Opinions of other political figures Approval of how President Barack Obama is handling his job stands at 48 percent, with 48 percent disapproving. In April, 49 percent approved and 47 percent disapproved. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s favorable rating stands at 36 percent, with 40 percent unfavorable and 24 percent unable to give a rating. In April, 39 percent viewed her favorably, 38 percent unfavorably and 23 percent could not say.

Poll: Walker’s approval down to 41 percent, Clinton ahead of him by 12 percent in Wisconsin

A Marquette University poll released today shows Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s approval rating at 41 percent, down from 49 percent in October. The poll found that 56 percent of voters in the state disapprove of Walker’s performance as governor.

The poll also showed that home-state advantage would not benefit Walker in a presidential matchup against Democrat Hillary Clinton. Fifty-two percent of Wisconsinites would support Clinton over 40 percent for Walker, if they both win their party’s nominations, according to the MU poll.

Only 34 percent of Wisconsin voters said that Walker should run for president, while 62 percent said he should not. Although Walker has not formally entered the race, his candidacy is considered very likely.

The poll also found Democrat Russ Feingold ahead of Republican Sen. Ron Johnson 54 percent to 38 percent. In 2010, Johnson ousted Feingold in the same Republican-wave election that brought Walker to power.

Marquette’s poll of 803 registered voters was conducted between April 7 and April 10. The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.