Newest Law Poll results show little change as election nears

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The latest Marquette Law School Poll released Sept. 9, revealed Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden’s slight lead over incumbent President Donald Trump among Wisconsin registered voters as the November election approaches.

The poll, which sampled 802 registered Wisconsin voters between Aug. 30 and Spet. 3 showed Biden leading Trump by 4%, holding a slight lead at 47% support over Trump’s 43%. In August, Biden’s support was at 49% while Trump’s was at 44%. The poll had a margin of error of +9-4%.

Biden’s support has decreased from 50% in June, while Trump had 44% that month.

September’s poll included Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen, who did not appear as an explicit choice to respondents in previous polls. Jorgensen polled at 4% in last week’s poll, while 7% of respondents were unsure of their choice or did not give an answer.

Topics on the poll discussed the recent events in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man from Kenosha, Wisconsin, was shot seven times in the back Aug. 23 as he walked away from a police officer. Blake is paralyzed from the waist down. Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old white teenager, traveled to Kenosha from his home in Illinois and, after an altercation, killed two people and wounded a third in the protests that followed the shooting.

The Sept. 9 poll results showed that approval of the protests in response to police brutality has decreased by 14% since June. In June, 61% of poll respondents approved of the protests. This number dropped to 47% in the September poll, whereas disapproval rose from 36% to 48% in the last two months.

Similarly, favorable views of the Black Lives Matter movement fell from 59% to 49% between June and September while unfavorable views rose from 27% to 37%.

Views of the police among Wisconsin registered voters has hovered within two points of 74% over the past several months, with 72% favorable views in June, 76% in August, and 73% in September.

Approval of Trump’s handling of the protests has increased from 30% in June to 36% in September, with disapproval falling from 58% to 54% in the same time period.

Trump visited Kenosha during the polling period, and poll responses after his visit showed a 4% jump in approval, increasing from 34% before he came to the city to 38% after.

Overall, favorable views of Trump among Wisconsin registered voters has decreased from 46% in January to 42% in September and unfavorable views have risen from 51% to 54% in the same time period.

Favorable views of Biden have increased from 41% to 45% between January and September. Unfavorable views have hovered around 46% during most of the polls this year, spiking to 53% in February but dropping back down to 46% in May.

Additionally, the poll found that Gov. Tony Evers’ job approval had fallen to levels below what they were before the coronavirus after an uptick of approval.

In January and February, the law poll results showed Evers to 51% approval among Wisconsin registered voters. In March, his approval abruptly increased to 65%. However, the September poll showed his approval back down at 51%.

Worries over the pandemic have dropped slightly over the past several months. In March, 30% of respondents were very worried, 40% were somewhat worried, 18% were not very worried and 11% were not worried at all. In September, 21% of respondents were very worried, 39% were somewhat worried, 19% were not very worried and 19% were not worried at all.

Approval of Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has dropped from 51% in March to 41% in September. Similarly, disapproval has increased from 46% to 56% in the same time period.

Comfort with reopening schools had also dropped from 54% in June to 43% in September as confirmed cases in the state rise to 89,956 and deaths pass 1,200, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Website.

The poll, which sampled 802 Wisconsin registered voters, was conducted between Aug. 30 and Sept. 3 and has a margin of error of +/- 4%.

This story was written by Shir Bloch. She can be reached at shir.bloch@marquette.edu