Marquette poll: Evers, Michels tied in race for governor

The latest Marquette University Law School poll released on Wednesday, Nov. 2 found races for both Wisconsin governor and U.S. Senate are "tossups."

Conducted from Oct. 24 through Nov. 1, the poll surveyed 802 registered Wisconsin voters. It is the university's last poll before Election Day, Nov. 8.

Among registered voters, 83% of Republicans, 89% of Democrats and 72% of independents said they are "absolutely certain" to vote or have already voted early. These voters are included among "likely voters" whose positions are reflected in the data below.

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U.S. Senate

The poll found incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson leading Democratic challenger Mandela Barnes by two points. The poll is within the margin of error. In October, the poll found Johnson with a six-point lead.

Among independent voters, the poll found, Johnson holds a seven-point edge – 53% over Barnes' 46%. The August poll found Barnes with a 15-point lead among independent voters.

Wisconsin governor

Gov. Tony Evers and challenger Tim Michels are tied, each with 48% backing. An additional 2%, the poll found, supported Joan Beglinger; she is out of the race, but has backed Michels. The October poll found Evers with 47% backing – a one-point edge over Michels. 

Among independent voters, the poll found, Evers also holds a one-point edge – 47% over Michels' 46%.

In 2018, the final poll before Election Day also showed a tie between Evers and then-Gov. Scott Walker. Evers went on to win by 1.1% of the vote. 

Key issues

The latest poll also measures public opinion on the direction of the state, state funding for police, parental leave, public schools, abortion policy, and confidence in the accuracy of this year’s elections and in the 2020 election.

Most Wisconsin voters (58%) feel the state is headed in the wrong direction, the poll found, while roughly one-third (34%) feel it is headed in the right direction. The October poll found 63% felt the state was headed in the wrong direction, compared to 31% 

Attention to news about the Supreme Court’s June 2022 abortion decision, and the January 6 committee hearings is also measured. Concern about several issues is surveyed, including public schools, inflation, crime, abortion policy, taxes, gun violence, illegal immigration, coronavirus, and ensuring votes are accurately counted.

The poll found 45% of Wisconsin voters are "very confident" in the accuracy of the Nov. 8 election, while 8% are "not at all confident."

Additionally, 41% of Wisconsin voters approve of President Joe Biden's job while 54% disapprove. The gap is greater among independents – 36% approve, 56% disapprove.

About the poll

The survey was conducted Oct. 24-Nov. 1, 2022, interviewing 802 Wisconsin registered voters, with a margin of error of +/-4.6 percentage points. The margin of error among 679 likely voters is +/-4.8 percentage points.

FULL RESULTS: Marquette University Law School Poll – Nov. 2, 2022

The poll includes the public's views of incumbent office holders and candidates, including approval ratings for President Joe Biden and Gov. Tony Evers, along with the favorability ratings for U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, former President Donald Trump, and candidates Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Tim Michels, among others.

The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive statewide polling project in Wisconsin history.