MU Law Poll: Joe Biden holds slight lead over President Trump among likely Wisconsin voters

The latest Marquette University Law School Poll released on Tuesday, Aug. 11 says 49 percent of likely voters in Wisconsin support Joe Biden -- and 44 percent of likely voters here support President Donald Trump.

The MU Law poll shows support of Biden and President Trump has been relatively stable since June -- with big Biden leads in Milwaukee and Madison and a President Trump lead in the rest of the Milwaukee area.

President Trump’s overall job performance is rated as follows: 44 percent approve, 54 percent disapprove. In June, it was 45 percent approve, 51 percent disapprove.

The new poll was conducted Aug. 4-9 with 801 interviews by landline and cellphone with registered Wisconsin voters. It also indicates there is a great deal of enthusiasm among Democrats and Republicans alike when it comes to voting in the upcoming November election.

The poll showed 65 percent of Democrats said they were “very enthusiastic,” Republicans 64 percent “very enthusiastic,” and independents 37 percent “very enthusiastic.” Democrats and Republicans equally are likely to say they are certain to vote in November (87 percent each); independents less so (60 percent say they are certain).

Voting absentee by mail

Among all registered voters, 35 percent say they plan to vote absentee by mail in November, while 46 percent say they will vote in-person on election day and 12 percent say they will vote early in-person. In May, 43 percent said they would vote absentee, 39 percent in person on election day, and 11 percent would vote early.

There are substantial partisan differences in plans to vote by mail or in-person with Democrats far more likely to vote by mail than Republicans, and Republicans far more likely to vote in-person on election day. 

Approval of Gov. Evers and coronavirus measures

In August, 57 percent approve of Gov. Tony Evers’ handling of his job and 37 percent disapprove. In June, 54 percent approved and 38 percent disapproved. 

Evaluation of Evers’ handling of the coronavirus issue is 61 percent approve and 35 percent disapprove. In June, 58 percent approved and 37 percent disapproved. 

Sixty-nine percent agree that masks should be required in all public places, while 29 percent disagree

Forty-five percent say they feel comfortable letting students return to school in the fall and 48 percent say they are uncomfortable with reopening schools. Among those with school age children at home, 53 percent are comfortable and 45 percent are uncomfortable.

Forty percent agree that we should keep schools and businesses open even if coronavirus cases rise, while 54 percent disagree with this. Among those with school age children, 44 percent agree and 51 percent disagree that schools and businesses should stay open if cases increase. 

By a three-to-one margin, those comfortable returning students to school also think schools and businesses should stay open even if COVID-19 cases rise. Conversely, almost 90 percent of those who are uncomfortable reopening schools also oppose keeping schools and businesses open in the face of rising numbers of cases.

Views of the candidates

Thirty-six percent say President Trump generally shows good judgment, while 61 percent say he does not. Forty-five percent say Biden generally shows good judgment and 46 percent say he does not.

President Trump is viewed favorably by 42 percent and unfavorably by 55 percent, while Biden is seen favorably by 43 percent and unfavorably by 48 percent. 

Vote by region

Regional support for each candidate has been relatively stable between June and August, as shown in Tables 20 and 21. Biden holds leads in the City of Milwaukee and the Madison media market. President Trump leads in the Milwaukee area outside the city. The race is very close in the Green Bay area and in the rest of the state, with President Trump regaining the lead in the north and west of the state in August.

Views of protests

Forty-eight percent of Wisconsin registered voters approve of the mass protests since the death of George Floyd, while 48 percent disapprove. That is a drop in approval from June, when 61 percent approved and 36 percent disapproved.

In August, 48 percent said the protests had been mostly peaceful, while 41 percent said they had been mostly violent. This question was not asked in June.

Forty-nine percent had a favorable view of the Black Lives Matter movement and 37 percent had an unfavorable view. In June, 59 percent had a favorable and 27 percent an unfavorable view of the movement.

Police are viewed favorably by 76 percent and unfavorably by 13 percent. In June, 72 percent had a favorable and 18 percent had an unfavorable view of the police.

CLICK HERE to read through the entire results of the poll.

NOTE: The margin of error for the full sample is +/-3.9 percentage points. For the sample of 675 “likely” voters, the margin of error is +/-4.2 percentage points.

Marquette poll shows 69% agree masks should be required in all public places

There was a majority of support for mask mandates across every region of Wisconsin, the poll shows.