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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

2024 Wisconsin election outlook


With less than a year out from the 2024 Presidential Election, Wisconsin aims to play a pivotal role in the Electoral College. An election outlook was held with a panel of guests who spoke on what to look for in the coming election in Eckstein Hall, Nov. 29. The Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education sponsored the event. 

Republican Party outlook:

Republican candidates running to compete with President Biden are Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, Chris Christie, Doug Burgum, Ryan Binkley and Asa Hutchinson. President Biden announced his re-election campaign on April 25. 

Charles Franklin, part of the panel at the civic dialogues, director of the Marquette Law School Poll and professor of law and public policy, said that DeSantis’ original lead over Trump has vanished and Trump is dominating.

The poll surveys statewide races and measures the opinions of Wisconsin citizens on state and national issues.

“About 30% of Republican voters have an unfavorable view of Trump, which has led to Nikki Haley pulling ahead among the 30% of Republicans not in favor of Trump making her the biggest alternative to Trump,” Franklin said.

Franklin said Haley is performing better against President Biden than Trump is in the polls. 

Haley was the governor of South Carolina until Trump nominated her to be the 29th United States ambassador to the United Nations. 

Professor Julia Azari, political science professor in the College of Arts & Sciences, said DeSantis is trying to be like Trump and carry his ideas, whereas Haley wants to be Trump-like, backing away from cases like the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Azari said Haley’s success comes as a surprise due to her criticism of Trump and her relation to Trump in his cabinet during his presidency.

“The conflict the Republican candidates running against Trump face is consolidating the support of anti-trump voters in their party without alienating all the pro-Trump voters,” Craig Gilbert, Lubar Center Fellow and longtime journalist in Washington, D.C. and civic dialogues panelist said.

Democratic Party outlook: 

“As for Democrats, they don’t necessarily dislike Joe Biden, they just wished they had someone else,” Franklin said. “Biden is viewed more favorably among Democrats than Trump is viewed favorably among Republicans.” 

Other Democratic candidates running for presidency are Dean Phillips and Marianne Williamson.

“The old standards used for analyzing approval ratings have lost their meaning as election predictors because everyone is unpopular and everyone is unhappy,” Gilbert said. “Voters are labeled as “double haters” being left unsatisfied with candidates they are provided with to vote for.”

Voters were unsatisfied in 2016 because a Green Party candidate received 1% of the national vote. This led some Democrats to say the 1% took votes away from Hillary Clinton and helped Trump win.

In the midterm 2022 election polls, Republicans were poised to take the House, but they underperformed.

Third-party outlook: 

Franklin said the unsatisfied voters open up the opportunity for a third-party candidate to make progress. Independent and third-party candidates running are Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cornel West and Jill Stein.

“The big question about third party candidates is if voters who are discontent with the Democrat and Republican candidates now, will they still be discontent with them come time for the election in November,” Franklin said. “Will that lead voters to vote for a third party or keep it simple and choose between the lesser of two evils?”

Recent polls found that 5% of voters would vote for Kennedy and 23% said will likely vote in favor of Kennedy.

The polls also found voters don’t know enough about West to have an opinion on him.

Franklin said polling a year out has little correlation with the outcome of the election. Franklin said the polls will continue to change up until election day.

This story was written by Gabe Mannion. He can be reached at g[email protected].

NOTE: an earlier version of this story incorrectly identifies Civic Dialogues as the host of the program. The headline and associated comments have since been removed and corrected to reflect the Lubar Center’s hosting of the event.

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About the Contributor
Gabriel Mannion
Gabriel Mannion, News Reporter
Gabriel Mannion is a freshman from Janesville, Wisconsin studying journalism and is a news reporter on the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Journalism has been one of his passions, and he hopes to develop his skills through the Wire by bringing important information to fellow students. In addition, he works in Campus Ministry. Outside of the Wire, he enjoys running, playing sports, and hanging out with friends.

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