Tag Archives: Marquette Law School

Key State Shock Poll:
Stunning Presidential Results

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023


President Joe Biden / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Wisconsin Poll: Key State Indicates Trouble for Biden — Marquette Law School surveyed the Wisconsin electorate as they do every quarter (Sept. 18-25; 781 registered Wisconsin voters; live interview) and arrived at some stunning results. Since the Badger State will be one of four places that decides the next presidential election, the importance factor of data coming from this domain merits greater attention.

Wisconsin is known for close political races. In the past two presidential elections, the winner, Donald Trump in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020, scored a victory margin with less than one percentage point. In the 2022 governor’s race, incumbent Tony Evers (D) was re-elected with a 51-48 percent margin and Sen. Ron Johnson (R) won a third term with only a 50.4 – 49.4 percent spread.

What makes this poll particularly interesting is that the sampling universe, while now preferring Trump over Biden by a slim 51-48 percent margin when leaners to both candidates are included, claims to have voted for President Biden in a seven percentage point margin when asked whom they supported in 2020. In actuality, Biden’s final Wisconsin victory spread was just 49.4 – 48.8 percent.

The presidential support discrepancy, therefore, suggests that these polling results actually skew left, so it is reasonable to assume that Trump is faring even better than the three-point spread that this poll calculates.

As mentioned above, Wisconsin is part of a quartet of states that will likely determine who ultimately wins the 2024 presidential campaign. In order to deny President Biden a second term, Trump must convert some combination of Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Trump is now ahead in the Marquette Wisconsin survey, and approximately tied in Pennsylvania (Quinnipiac University posts Trump to a 47-45 percent lead; Susquehanna Polling & Research sees President Biden leading in exactly the same percentage, suggesting the race is already a dead heat).

The latest Georgia poll, from Rasmussen Reports (Sept. 8-11; 1,061 likely Georgia general election voters; interactive voice response system) posts Trump to a surprising 47-38 percent advantage. There is no recent polling from Arizona.

Therefore, as the key state polling data suggests, if the election were held this past September, Trump would have had enough swing votes to wrest the White House away from President Biden. Yet, much will happen to potentially alter these results between now and November 2024.

This poll also confirms a rather unique pattern seen nationally. That is, either the Republican Party or former President Trump is viewed more favorably to handle certain issues by generally a wide margin, but those perceptions do not commensurately transform into votes for the party candidates or Trump.

For example, in the Marquette Wisconsin poll, Trump is viewed as “better at handling,” the economy (52 percent say Trump; 28 percent Biden), immigration/border (52:28 percent), inflation (50:27 percent), job creation (49:30 percent), and foreign relations (43:38 percent). Conversely, Biden is favored on climate change (44:24 percent), better viewed on abortion (43:34 percent) and has a slight edge on Social Security/Medicare issues (39:37 percent).

Yet these generally favorable Republican ratios translate into only a three-point advantage among responses to the ballot test question. This discrepancy problem is not confined to Trump. It appears to affect most Republican candidates, meaning the GOP again has a messaging disconnect with the general election voter base.

In order to best take advantage of their current stronger issue standing, the Republican consultants must revamp their messaging operation to concentrate on the future and explain in a resonating fashion how their ideas will solve the nation’s problems.

The window will soon close on Republicans’ ability to formulate that message for the current election cycle. We can count on seeing an aggressive effort from the Biden campaign, the Democratic National Committee apparatus, and their outside allies to improve the issue area perception for their side and relate to what likely voters want in terms of national policy goals and objectives.

While the latest polling suggests that former President Trump would be in position to unseat President Biden if the election were held during this period, there is no guarantee we will see similar numbers once the campaign messages are cemented and actual votes are cast and recorded.

Wisconsin Primary Moving Forward

By Jim Ellis

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers

April 8, 2020 — Whether or not the Wisconsin primary would be held as scheduled took rulings from two Supreme Courts to decide, but we will see voting today throughout the Wolverine State.

The Democratic presidential primary is interesting since the Wisconsin electorate will be the first to vote post-March 17, and so far, becomes the only group to cast ballots during the COVID-19 lockdown situation. How this affects today’s vote in terms of turnout and candidate loyalty will be interesting to analyze.

Whether or not this election would even happen today has been a point of discussion for the past two weeks. Many Democratic strategists were lobbying Gov. Tony Evers, a fellow Democrat, for several days to move the election, but he was slow to act. Late last week, Gov. Evers decided to ask the legislature to pass a bill changing the election date, but the Republican majority leadership in the two chambers refused. Gov. Evers then made a last-ditch effort to declare a state of emergency and attempted to move the election.

The latter action drew the Republican leadership’s ire, and they immediately petitioned the state Supreme Court arguing that the governor has no power to arbitrarily move an election. They also went to the US Supreme Court attempting to get a lower-court ruling to extend the absentee ballot return deadline past the original election schedule countermanded.

At the heart of the election date becoming a political football was not the presidential race, but rather an important state Supreme Court election. Though the race is ostensibly nonpartisan, it is clear that Democrats believe chances for the candidate they are backing improve in a later election, while Republicans think the appointed incumbent they support fares better in a quicker, and presumably lower turnout contest.

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Will Michigan & Wisconsin Voters Determine 2020 Presidential Election?

By Jim Ellis

April 6, 2020 — Polls were just released in both Michigan and Wisconsin, obviously two critically important states that will weigh heavily in determining the final outcome of the next presidential election. While it’s too early to take any general election poll as a true projection of what may happen in November, particularly in light of the current unique situation, the survey did reveal some interesting points.

Progress Michigan’s Lake Effect newsletter: “The governors’ approval ratings pertaining to the [coronavirus] crisis are better than those of the president.”

Public Policy Polling tested the Michigan electorate for the Progress Michigan progressive left organization (March 31-April 1; 1,01 registered Michigan voters) and Marquette Law School just completed their quarterly survey of Wisconsin voters (March 24-29; 81 registered Wisconsin voters). Both made public their results.

We won’t pay too much attention to the ballot tests because it is so far away from the actual vote and the political situation is obviously going to change during the coming months, but the two pollsters found President Trump and former vice president Joe Biden within the margin of error in each state. In both cases, it was Biden who enjoyed a three-point lead.

Within this prism, it is important to recall the 2016 race in which polling badly underestimated Trump’s strength against Hillary Clinton in these two places. According to the 270 To Win organization, which tracked polling throughout that election year, the final averages going into the final weekend found Trump trailing by six points in Michigan and seven in Wisconsin. He won each state by approximately one percentage point, thus proving a large error factor in virtually all of the late polling.

A post-election analysis in which the Pew Research Center and CNN participated, among other firms and media outlets, concluded that a major reason for the flawed projections were the much larger number of Democrats willing to respond to the polling questions than Republicans. Even understanding this was the case at the time, the pollsters’ weighting formulas and algorithms still badly missed the mark throughout the crucial Great Lakes region.

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Political Overtime – Part II

By Jim Ellis

Nov. 30, 2016 — Aside from the two Louisiana run-off elections on Saturday, all of the US House campaigns have now been projected. As expected, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA-49) was confirmed as the winner of his re-election campaign, the last remaining undecided contest. Statistically, not enough votes remain to overturn the congressman’s 2,348 district-wide vote margin. Rep. Issa defeats retired Marine Corps Colonel Doug Applegate (D) with at least 50.4 percent of the vote, even though he scored only 47 percent in the anchor county of San Diego.

More information is forthcoming about the presidential election re-count requests for Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, which are attracting more than their share of national attention. Green Party nominee Jill Stein, now joined by the Hillary Clinton Campaign, initiated the move to re-verify the electoral counts but the effort is already running into trouble.

Because there is no evidence of computer hacking or voting machine doctoring, as Stein portends, the Wisconsin Elections Commission rejected her request for a hand re-count, so now the minor candidate is suing to overturn that ruling. The mechanical re-count will move forward, however, if Stein pays $3.5 million to finance the process today.

In Pennsylvania, local election authorities say there will be no re-count because Stein missed the filing deadline.

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Confirmation & Conflict

By Jim Ellis

July 15, 2016 — New just-released Senate polls either confirm or contradict other data that we covered earlier in the week.

An unusual identical confirmation occurred in Iowa, where two pollsters arrived at the exact same result when testing the contest between Sen. Charles Grassley (R) and former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge (D). Wednesday, NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist College released their Hawkeye State poll of 822 registered voters, and the Senate results determined Grassley to be leading Judge, 52-42 percent.

As noted earlier this week, Monmouth University (July 8-11; 401 registered Iowa voters) projected the exact same 52-42 percent spread. This gives us a solid indication that Sen. Grassley has increased his lead to low double-digits after taking a dip over the Supreme Court hearing controversy.

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Swinging Wisconsin Numbers

By Jim Ellis

April 1, 2016 — A new Marquette Law School political poll (March 24-28; 1,405 registered Wisconsin voters, 471 “certain” Wisconsin Republican primary voters, 405 “certain” Wisconsin Democratic primary voters) reveals a major swing involving the Republican presidential candidates when compared to the organization’s previous survey taken one month earlier.

With the Wisconsin primary being decided on Tuesday, the latest polls are being taken seriously. According to the just-released data, a net 31-point swing now puts Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) into a significant lead well beyond the margin of error. The late March Marquette results find Cruz leading Donald Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, 40-30-21 percent, respectively. At the end of February, Trump held a 30-19-8 percent lead over Cruz and Kasich.

Wisconsin Republican Party leaders chose the Winner-Take-All by congressional district delegate apportionment system, meaning 24 of the state’s 42 delegates will be awarded to the candidate placing first in each of the eight congressional districts (three in each CD). Another 15 are awarded to the statewide winner, while the three Republican National Committee delegates also go to the top at-large vote-getter.

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Will History Repeat in Alabama?

Bradley Byrne

Bradley Byrne

According to a brand new flash poll, history may repeat itself in Alabama’s 1st Congressional District special run-off election scheduled for next Tuesday.

In 2010, Alabama state Sen. Bradley Byrne scored 27.9 percent of the statewide Republican gubernatorial vote to finish in first place and advance to the two-person run-off election. He was paired with Tuscaloosa dermatologist and state Rep. Robert Bentley, who qualified for the secondary vote with the barest of margins over the man placing third, Tim James, the son of former Gov. Fob James. Backed by the various Tea Party organizations and his strongly conservative base voter, Bentley soared past Sen. Byrne to capture a 56-44 percent Republican nomination run-off victory, and then was elected governor in the general election.

Now, as a candidate in the special congressional election for resigned Rep. Jo Bonner’s (R-AL-1) former position, Byrne again placed first in the original primary, garnering 35 percent of the total Republican vote. He faces businessman and conservative activist Dean Young, who scored 23 percent on Sept. 24, but is now running much closer according to late race polling.

Byrne is leaving no stone unturned in this run-off campaign, employing aggressive fundraising and advertising techniques, capturing more endorsements, benefiting from outside independent expenditure advocacy, and attracting establishment Republican support. But, according to a new Cygnal consulting firm flash poll conducted on Oct. 30, Byrne has dropped behind his opponent, Young, by a 43-40 percent  Continue reading >