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Marquette poll: Clinton’s Wisconsin lead expands to 15 percent of likely voters

The latest Marquette Law School Poll finds Hillary Clinton at 46 percent with Wisconsin registered voters and Donald Trump at 36 percent.

About 16 percent of voters in the state told Marquette they will: vote for neither candidate, will not vote or don’t know how they will vote, according to a news release issued on Aug. 10.

In July, the poll had Clinton at 43 percent and Trump at 37 percent.

Clinton’s numbers go up among likely voters in November. The Democratic candidate is at 52 percent and Trump is back at 37 percent. In July, on this question, Clinton was at 45 percent and Trump was at 41 percent.

About 65 percent of registered voters have an unfavorable view of Trump and about 53 percent have an unfavorable view of Clinton.

About 47 percent of voters say Clinton “cares about people like me” and 31 percent say that about Trump.

Fifty-eight say Clinton has the qualifications to be president. Just 29 percent say Trump has what’s needed to occupy the Oval Office.

The poll shows about 79 percent of Republicans support Trump and 90 percent of Democrats support Clinton. Independents are split 36 percent for Clinton, 34 percent for Trump and 29 percent saying they would vote for neither, they wouldn’t vote or they don’t know.

Marquette said Republicans and independents who lean Republican see their party as divided —47 percent saying it is divided now and still will be divided in November. The numbers has barely moved from July, when 46 percent said the GOP would remain divided.

Among Democrats and independents who lean Democratic, 16 percent say the party is divided and will remain so. In July, 19 percent thought the party would remain divided.

The Marquette poll also looked at the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican Ron Johnson and Democratic challenger Russ Feingold. In the November contest, Feingold is at 49 percent and Johnson is at 43 percent. Last month, Feingold was at 48 percent and Johnson at 41 percent.

About 53 percent of likely voters support Feingold and 42 percent support Johnson.

On other questions, Scott Walker’s approval rating is at 38 percent, unchanged from July. His disapproval rating is 59 percent, a point higher from July.

About 54 percent of registered voters have a favorable view of House Speaker Paul Ryan and the president’s approval rating is at 53 percent, two points up from July.

The poll was conducted by phone Aug. 4-7, after the Republican and Democratic national conventions. The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive statewide polling project in Wisconsin history.

On the web

The Marquette Law School Poll.

Poll: Clinton, Feingold lead in Wisconsin, Walker’s approval down

A new Marquette Law School Poll finds Hillary Clinton with 42 percent and Donald Trump with 35 percent support among Wisconsin registered voters in a presidential race matchup. Seventeen percent say they will vote for neither candidate.

Approval of how Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is handling has fallen to 39 percent, with disapproval at 57 percent. In March, approval was 43 percent and disapproval was 53 percent.

In the previous Marquette Law School Poll, in March, Clinton had 47 percent support and Trump 37 percent.

Among likely voters — those who say they are certain they’ll vote in November — Clinton receives 46 percent to Trump’s 37 percent in the new poll, with 13 percent saying they will support neither candidate.

In Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race, among registered voters, Democratic candidate Russ Feingold leads incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson by 45 to 41 percent. In March, Feingold had 47 percent and Johnson 42 percent.

Among likely voters, Feingold does even better. He’s supported by 51 percent while Johnson is backed by 42 percent. Two percent say they will support neither and 5 percent say they don’t know whom they will support.

Feingold is viewed favorably by 40 percent of registered voters and unfavorably by 33 percent. Another 26 percent say they haven’t heard enough or don’t know how they feel about him. In March, Feingold’s ratings were 41 percent favorable, 35 percent unfavorable and 25 percent not able to rate him.

Johnson is seen favorably by 33 percent of registered voters and unfavorably by 31 percent, with 35 percent saying they have not heard enough or don’t know how they feel. In March, Johnson’s ratings were 32 percent favorable and 31 percent unfavorable, with another 36 percent unable to rate him.

TheMarquette Law School Poll also shows Wisconsin Democrats are more fired up than Republicans about the November elections. Seventy-eight percent of Republicans say they are certain they will vote in November, a drop of 9 percentage points from the 87 percent who said so in March. But, the intention to vote among Democrats has increased from 81 percent in March to 84 percent in June.

By contrast, in June 2012, 90 percent of Republicans said they were certain to vote in November, while only 80 percent of Democrats said they were likely to vote. Democrats prevailed in the state in November.

Partisanship
Each party faces divisions left over from the primary season. Among Democrats and independents who lean Democratic, supporters of Sanders remain reluctant to vote for Clinton in November. Sixty-seven percent of Sanders supporters say they will vote for Clinton, 4 percent say they will vote for Trump, while 24 percent say they will vote for neither and 5 percent say they don’t know. By comparison, 88 percent of Clinton supporters say they would vote for Sanders over Trump, who gets 5 percent of such supporters, with 7 percent saying they would support neither and 1 percent saying they don’t know.

Among Republicans and independent leaners, 12 percent say their party is currently united, 41 percent say it is divided now but will unite by November and 45 percent say the party will still be divided in November. Among Democrats and independent leaners, 18 percent say the party is united now, 53 percent say it is divided now but will unite by November and 26 percent believe the party will remain divided. Among Republicans who think their party will remain divided, Trump gets 63 percent of the vote. Among Democrats who think their party will still be divided in November, Clinton gets 58 percent support.

Asked about House Speaker Paul Ryan’s endorsement of Trump, 38 percent of all respondents say it was the right decision while 54 percent say it was a mistake. Among Republicans and independent leaners, however, 69 percent say the endorsement was the right decision and 23 percent say it was a mistake.

Images of presidential candidates
Trump and Clinton are both viewed negatively by a majority of voters. Among registered voters, 64 percent have an unfavorable view of Trump while 26 percent have a favorable view. Clinton is seen unfavorably by 58 percent and favorably by 37 percent. Within their parties, both candidates are seen more positively, with 52 percent of Republicans holding a favorable view of Trump and 35 percent unfavorable. Among Democrats, 67 percent have a favorable view of Clinton while 27 percent view her unfavorably.

Voters were asked how comfortable they would be with the idea of each candidate as president. For Clinton, 38 percent say they would be very or somewhat comfortable while 61 percent said very or somewhat uncomfortable, including 42 percent saying very uncomfortable. For Trump 28 percent say very or somewhat comfortable with 72 percent saying very or somewhat uncomfortable, including 55 percent saying very uncomfortable.

Favorability
Respondents were asked whether each of four traits described Clinton and Trump. Clinton is described as “someone who is honest” by 28 percent while Trump is seen as honest by 32 percent.

Forty-two percent say Clinton is someone who “cares about people like me” while 27 percent say this describes Trump.

Forty-eight percent say Clinton is someone who “could handle a national crisis well” while 31 percent say this is true of Trump.

Asked if each candidate “has the qualifications to be president,” 56 percent say this is true of Clinton while 30 percent say it is true of Trump.

Respondents were asked if the FBI investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State was something that bothers them about Clinton. Sixty-one percent say this bothers them while 38 percent say it does not.

Sixty-three percent say they are bothered by pending lawsuits against Trump for his Trump University real estate seminars while 34 percent say this does not bother them.

Thirty-five percent of respondents say they are bothered by both of these matters while 10 percent are bothered by neither. Twenty-seven percent are bothered by the Trump University issue but not by the Clinton email issue, while 24 percent are bothered by the emails but not by Trump University.

Views on issues
The Marquette Law School Poll found that voters are sharply divided on several issues surveyed in this month’s poll.

Sixty percent of registered voters favor an eventual path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S., while 18 percent prefer a permanent guest worker status and 17 percent say these immigrants should be required to leave the country. Among Republicans, 44 percent favor a path to citizenship, 24 percent prefer a guest status and 26 percent would require undocumented immigrants to leave. Among Democrats, 75 percent favor eventual citizenship, 14 percent prefer a guest worker option and 8 percent would favor removal from the country.

Fifty-four percent of respondents favor an increase in the minimum wage while 42 percent think it should not be raised. Among Republicans, 24 percent support a hike in the minimum wage while 73 percent oppose an increase, while 79 percent of Democrats support and 17 percent oppose an increase.

Support for allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally stands at 64 percent while 28 percent are opposed. Among Republicans, 43 percent favor marriage equality, while 48 percent oppose it. Among Democrats, 84 percent are in favor while 11 percent are opposed.

Sixty-three percent of registered voters say they would favor increasing taxes on wealthy Americans and large corporations in order to reduce income inequality, while 33 percent are opposed to this. Among Republicans, 33 percent favor such a tax increase to reduce inequality while 63 percent oppose it. Fully 90 percent of Democrats favor reducing inequality by increasing taxes on the wealthy, while just 8 percent are opposed.

However, when asked a slightly different question, opinion shifts substantially. Asked if “it is the responsibility of the government to reduce the differences in income,” 40 percent say they agree while 55 percent disagree. Eighteen percent of Republicans say this is government’s responsibility while 81 percent say it is not. Among Democrats, 60 percent say this is government’s role, while 33 percent say it is not.

The subject of free trade is one issue where partisan views appear to be shifting from traditional party positions. Forty-one percent say free trade agreements have in general been a good thing for the United States, while 44 percent say they’ve been a bad thing. Republicans now take a more negative view of free trade than do Democrats. Thirty-six percent of Republicans say trade agreements have been a good thing while 52 percent say they have been bad for the U.S. Among Democrats, 46 percent say trade agreements have been good for the U.S. while 37 percent say they have been bad.

More voters see trade agreements as costing the United States jobs. Fifty-three percent say trade agreements have cost the U.S. jobs, while 22 percent say they make no difference and 11 percent say trade leads to more job creation. Among Republicans, 58 percent say trade costs jobs, 20 percent say it has no effect and 13 percent say trade creates jobs. Of Democrats, 49 percent say trade costs jobs, 24 percent see no impact and 10 percent say trade increases jobs.

State of the state
Forty-six percent of registered voters say Wisconsin is headed in the right direction, while 50 percent say it has gotten off on the wrong track. When last asked in February, 44 percent said the state was moving in the right direction and 52 percent that it was on the wrong track. Fifty percent or more have said wrong track in each of four polls asking this question since January 2015.

Thirty-seven percent say the state budget is in worse shape than a few years ago, 31 percent say it is in better shape and 25 percent say it is about the same. Combining five polls taken in 2015 and 2016, 38 percent say the budget is in worse shape, 32 percent say better shape and 24 percent about the same.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents think the economy got worse over the past year while 25 percent say it got better and 44 percent say it has remained about the same. This is little changed from March, when 28 percent said the economy had worsened, 25 percent saw improvement and 45 percent saw no change.

Looking ahead to the next 12 months, 25 percent expect the economy to improve, 23 percent think it will worsen and 43 percent expect no change. In March, 29 percent expected improvement, 18 percent thought the economy would worsen and 44 percent thought it would not change much.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is viewed favorably by 37 percent of respondents and unfavorably by 33 percent, while 31 percent say they haven’t heard enough or don’t have an opinion. When last measured in August of 2015, Baldwin had a 36 percent favorable and 40 percent unfavorable rating, with 24 percent unable to give an opinion.

Speaker Ryan is viewed favorably by 49 percent of registered voters and unfavorably by 32 percent. Eighteen percent do not have an opinion of him. In March, 48 percent had a favorable opinion, 31 percent unfavorable and 21 percent were unable to say.

President Obama’s job approval stands at 51 percent, with 43 percent disapproval. In March, 50 percent approved and 45 percent disapproved. As in national polling, Obama’s job approval has moved slightly upward since 2014.

The Marquette Law School Poll was conducted June 9-12, 2016. The full sample includes 800 registered voters interviewed by cell phone or landline, with a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points. Results for likely voters are based on 666 respondents with a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percentage points.

 

He’s back — with a vengeance

In formally launching his quixotic White House bid in July, Scott Walker tweeted right-wing activists that his presidential run was “God’s plan for me.”

When he abruptly shut down his campaign two months later, Walker said he was responding to a different message from the Almighty. “I am being called to lead by helping to clear the race,” he said, asking other low-polling GOP hopefuls to do the same and allow the party to coalesce behind a candidate who is not Donald Trump.

But within hours of Walker’s departure from the crowded GOP field, his former opponents were scrambling for dollars from his former backers like vultures picking clean a carcass. To date, not one of them has followed Walker and stepped out of the ring. 

Back in Wisconsin, Walker faces increasingly hostile voters. Only 37 percent of registered Wisconsin voters approve of the job he’s doing as governor, while 57 percent disapprove, according to a recent Marquette Law School poll.

Walker ran for president with the off-putting goal of “wreaking havoc on Washington” and, unfortunately for Wisconsin, that’s exactly what he seems intent on doing now in Madison. Is he smarting over the humiliation of his train wreck of a presidential run? He certainly seems angry about something.

He could have come back chastened and ready to help the state that he formerly sacrificed to build up a presidential resume. But he didn’t.

With all the pressing challenges facing Wisconsin, including lagging economic growth, fleeing businesses, a broken state budget, inadequate education funding, crumbling infrastructure, overcrowded prisons, the fastest-shrinking middle class in the nation, and a rate of job growth that lags the national average, he and Republicans in control of state government have chosen to focus on divisive, unwanted and unneeded legislation.

One of Walker’s first priorities upon returning home to do the job he’s paid to do is a bill cutting off federal funding for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. That ideologically motivated bill serves no practical purpose for anyone, since none of the federal Title X dollars that the GOP wants to deny PPWI can be used for abortions in the first place. What the bill will do is reduce the availability of quality affordable health care for tens of thousands of poor women in the state.

Walker and his so-called “pro-business” GOP allies also want to pass a law setting back medical research by forbidding the use of fetal tissue in Wisconsin laboratories. That law will not only help to stymie advances in controlling diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s, it will also cost jobs and reduce state revenue by forcing the proliferating Madison businesses that specialize in cutting-edge biomedical research to move elsewhere.

Walker’s also dead set on eliminating the civil service reforms adopted by the state over a century ago to eliminate one the oldest forms of political corruption: rewarding donors and campaign workers with lucrative government jobs. The Republicans’ so-called “reform bill” will overwhelm state government with workers who are not hired for their skills or fired for poor job performance. All they need is the right connections.

For evidence, look at the parade of unqualified cronies Walker has placed with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, an intended job-creation agency that is among his administration’s greatest failures.

Not one of these bills work on any of the challenges that the majority of Wisconsin citizens want their government to address. They represent the same kind of pandering and self-serving political scheming that has characterized the Walker years and dragged Wisconsin downward in so many ways.

He’s back, and the past is prologue.

Now Walker says exiting the race allows him to help re-elect Ron Johnson

With his run for the White House behind him, Gov. Scott Walker says that now he’ll be free to campaign aggressively for U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson win re-election to the U.S. Senate in a rematch against Democrat Russ Feingold.

The question for Johnson is whether that’s good or bad news.

A Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday showed that Walker’s approval rating has fallen to a new low, Johnson remains unknown to more than a third of registered voters and Feingold — a former U.S. senator — has a 14-point lead in the race that won’t be determined until November 2016.

Wisconsin’s Johnson-Feingold race is critical to Democratic hopes of recapturing majority control of the Senate, and they would seem to have the edge considering the election comes in a presidential year in a state that hasn’t backed a Republican’s White House bid since Ronald Reagan.

Even worse for Johnson: No Republican has won a Senate seat in a presidential election year in Wisconsin since 1980.

Walker’s victories in 2010, a June 2012 recall effort and his re-election last year all came in off-cycle elections when the president was not on the ballot and Democratic turnout was low. The number of votes cast for Walker in each of those elections was lower than what Republican Tommy Thompson received when he ran for and lost a Senate seat in 2012 — a presidential year.

Thompson received 1.38 million votes in his loss to Democrat Tammy Baldwin. Walker never received more than 1.33 million votes in any of his three victories. In Johnson’s 2010 victory over Feingold, Johnson received just over 1.1 million votes.

The latest Marquette poll found that 37 percent of registered voters still don’t know enough about Johnson after five years in office to form an opinion. Twenty-six percent said they didn’t know enough about Feingold, who served 18 years in the Senate before Johnson ousted him in 2010, to form an opinion.

Johnson was viewed favorably by 27 percent of respondents, compared with 42 percent for Feingold. Feingold’s 14-point lead compares to a 5-point advantage in the August poll.

But pollster Charles Franklin cautioned about reading too much into the numbers, given how many voters still hadn’t made up their mind about either candidates.

“Voters are just not focused in on the race,” Franklin said.

The poll of 803 registered voters was conducted between Sept. 24 and Monday and has a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points.

Feingold is trying to become only the third senator nationwide since 1956 to return to the Senate after losing re-election. And it’s been even longer — 1934 — since someone beat the same person who knocked them out of office.

Walker will be a “nonfactor” in the Senate race because it will focus on national issues and be influenced by turnout in the presidential race, said Paul Maslin, a Democratic pollster who worked on Feingold’s losing 2010 campaign.

Johnson backers said Walker’s commitment to being involved in the race can only be a benefit. And whether Walker is campaigning for Johnson or not, the Republican apparatus he helped build the past five years will be in place to spend money on the race and help get out the vote, they said.

“Any time you have the governor back full-time in the state, that’s a good thing for all of us,” said Republican Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke. “Scott Walker has always done a good job getting out the base and getting out our supporters.”

Johnson, who had not endorsed Walker when he was running for president, welcomes his support in his re-election campaign, said the senator’s spokesman Brian Reisinger.

Johnson “has no doubt Gov. Walker’s continued efforts to move Wisconsin forward will benefit our state, as well as Republican chances in 2016,” Reisinger said.

“I’m sure he could move the base to some degree,” Democratic Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca said of Walker getting involved in Johnson’s Senate race. “But I’m not sure how popular he is with the base.”

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.