Clinton retains lead in Wisconsin poll

One point separates Senate candidates Johnson, Feingold

· Nov 2, 2016 Tweet

Marissa Haegele, Dan Chinitz

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton continues to lead Republican candidate Donald Trump in Wisconsin, though the margin has changed incrementally since an early October survey, according to a new poll.

The final Marquette University Law School poll showed Clinton ahead of Trump 46 to 40 percent among likely voters. She led Trump by seven points in early October at 44 to 37 percent support.

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson took a five-point hit since October, leaving him with 4 percent of likely candidates, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein remained the same at 3 percent. Six percent of voters said they won’t vote for either candidate, won’t vote at all or don’t know how they will vote, which remains unchanged since the previous poll.

Charles Franklin, director of the MU poll, said in a public analysis of the data the drop in support for Johnson follows historic and national trends as voters reconsider voting for a third party candidate.

Among their own parties, 81 percent of Republicans support Trump and 89 percent of Democrats support Clinton. Trump saw a small change in his favor among independents with both candidates, now at about 40 percent support.

The Democratic candidates show a strong lead for early voters, who comprised 16 percent of the sampled likely voters. Among them, 64 percent said they voted for Clinton and 25 percent said they voted for Trump.

In the Senate, 29 percent of early voters said they voted for Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and 58 percent said they voted for Democratic challenger Russ Feingold.

Undecided and third-party voters are equally divided at about the Democratic and Republican candidates. Approximately 40 percent of likely voters not choosing a major-party candidate identify as Republicans or Democrats, while 15 percent identify with other parties.

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News regarding the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state emerged while callers were conducting the polls. Half of responding registered voters said they were bothered “a lot” about the emails, while about a quarter said they were bothered a little and a quarter said they weren’t bothered at all.

Franklin said though there may have been minor shifts in support for Clinton, it is not nearly as large as the backlash Trump experienced after the release of a video in which he spoke derogatorily about women. These short-term changes may not have much of an effect considering support for the candidates hasn’t wavered much over the campaign period, he said.

“The big effects we saw three weeks ago for Trump seem to have largely dissipated at this point,” Franklin said.

Three weeks after it was released, 52 percent of registered voters still said they were bothered “a lot.” Clinton’s comments about politicians’ agendas bothered 41 percent of voters a lot, while Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns bothered 42 percent a lot.

The majority of likely voters still would describe neither Clinton nor Trump as “honest.”

Franklin said a notably low level of all voters polled, less than 40 percent, said they are very confident presidential votes will be accurately counted. He said there appears to be a partisan divide in this level of confidence, with 58 percent of Republicans very or somewhat confident of vote accuracy compared to 82 percent of Democrats.

In the race for the Senate, Feingold leads Johnson by a slim one point, 45 to 44 percent of likely voters. Feingold lost one point compared to the October poll while Johnson remained the same. Libertarian Phil Anderson also lost a point, going from 4 percent support to 3 percent. Only 5 percent surveyed said they are still undecided or not voting.

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Independents, who previously favored Feingold 44 to 37 percent, now favor Johnson 46 to 40 percent.

In President Barack Obama’s final approval rating poll, he goes out at above 50 percent approval and 44 percent unfavorable.

Franklin said the purpose of the poll is to put the election in context, but that it only matters if people get out to vote.

Poll workers interviewed more than 1,400 registered Wisconsin voters over six days to get a larger sample size than previous polls. More than 1,200 of these voters said they were certain to vote and were considered likely voters.


This article was published Nov 2, 2016 at 10:24 pm and last updated Nov 2, 2016 at 10:24 pm


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