Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Candidates poll closely in Wisconsin

A poll released Monday suggests Wisconsin will continue to be a so-called “swing state” in November’s presidential election, regardless of which Democrat gets the nomination.

The poll, conducted by the University of Wisconsin Survey Center, found that in a match-up between U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., 48 percent currently support Obama to McCain’s 41 percent.

If Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., won the nomination, 47 percent of Wisconsinites would choose McCain, and 44 percent would vote for Clinton.


The survey of Wisconsin residents between April 15 and 24 had a 4 percent margin of error.

Sara Mikolajczak, chair of the University of Wisconsin College Republicans, said the results of the McCain-Clinton matchup reflect the electorate’s desire for a more experienced candidate.

“I’m not surprised that he beat Hillary,” she said. “I’m a little surprised about the Obama and McCain numbers, but I think people eventually will want someone with experience and who isn’t too extreme.”

Mikolajczak added she was confident McCain would beat Obama in Wisconsin in the general election, despite the results of the poll.

Some Democrats have voiced concern about party defection among Clinton or Obama supporters when the Democratic nominee is chosen.

Maggie Raiken, chair of UW Students for Obama, said though this may be somewhat problematic, it will not result in a loss for whoever the nominee is.

“I am somewhat concerned about this,” Raiken said. “But I don’t see it as that big of a split. People are sick of the Bush administration and want to see a change.”

Raiken attributed the strong support for Obama in Madison to his resonance with college students in general.

“Obama and his wife just paid off their student loans a few years ago,” she said. “He appeals to our generation, who hasn’t known a president other than a Bush or a Clinton in the White House.”

Mikolajczak said people supporting McCain on campus ranged from traditional conservatives to more centrist and left-leaning groups.

“Many independents, moderates and conservative Democrats are supporting John McCain,” she said. “Once we figure out the Democratic nominee, McCain will gain momentum and support.”

Erica Buthmann, chair of UW Students for Hillary Clinton, disagreed that McCain would gain momentum on campus once the democratic nominee is decided.

“Support for Hillary is strong in Madison,” she said. “Maybe not as strong as Obama, but if Hillary is the nominee, Madison will likely vote for her.”

Wisconsin, a key battleground state in the 2000 and 2004 election, will likely get much attention from the candidates in this election season as well.

“If McCain wants to win Wisconsin, he’s going to have to come here,” Mikolajczak said. “Both candidates will have to come when the election gets closer.”

The poll, which asked 521 Wisconsinites about various issues relating to the upcoming election, found that 67 percent of Wisconsinites are “dissatisfied” with the current direction of the country and 68 percent disapprove of President Bush’s job performance.

The respondents gave Republicans high marks in handling issues such as terrorism and immigration. Democrats received high approval ratings for their handling of the economy and foreign affairs.

Correction: Due to a reporting error this article should have cited Maggie Raiken as the vice-chair of Students for Obama. We regret the error.

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