Marquette Law School’s most recent poll surveyed Wisconsin voters on a variety of issues — from voters’ views of Trump after the release of Robert Mueller’s investigative report to opinions of newly-elected Governor Tony Evers.
Pollsters interviewed about 800 registered voters in Wisconsin and found there was only a minor uptick in favorable opinions of Trump following the release of Mueller’s report, which found no evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia. Forty-six percent of registered voters approve of Trump, while 52 percent disapprove. In January, before the report was released, 44 percent approved and 52 percent disapproved.
Even though the entirety of the Mueller report hasn’t yet been released, 42 percent of respondents believe the report was “fair and impartial” and 25 percent said they have some confidence it was “fair and impartial.” Ten percent had little confidence in the report, and 14 percent said they had no confidence at all. These numbers are an increase from last October, when only 31 percent said they had a great deal of confidence it would be fair and 26 percent had no confidence at all.
Republicans’ confidence in the report’s fairness tended to increase, while Democrats’ tended to fall. For independents, confidence levels increased significantly — from 29 percent to 41 percent. When asked whether they believe Trump attempted to obstruct Mueller’s investigation, 45 percent said he did, while an equal percentage said he didn’t.
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University of Wisconsin political science professor Barry Burden said the partial release of the report supplied vindication for Republicans.
“The initial response has been relief that Mueller did not apparently find a smoking gun to connect President Trump with illegal activity,” Burden said in an email to The Badger Herald. “It has emboldened many Trump supporters to push the president’s agenda on immigration and other issues more aggressively now that the threat of a damaging report seems to have passed.”
The poll also examined approval rates of Wisconsin’s government. Evers’ approval rating was 47 percent for his first three months in office, while 37 percent disapproved. For the legislature, 50 percent approved and 38 percent disapproved. This is a slight decrease from October, when 52 percent approved and 31 percent disapproved.
The poll also investigated which Democratic candidate voters would like to see run against Trump in the 2020 presidential race.
Pollsters surveyed voters on 12 of the potential candidates. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders were either the top choice or an acceptable choice for the largest percentage of those surveyed. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris came in third and fourth for voter preference.
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But Biden, Sanders and Warren also received the highest rates of “would not support” responses. Between 18 percent and 20 percent of voters said they would not support each of the three candidates.
The poll also found majority support for several state issues, including the legalization of marijuana and the expansion of Medicaid.
Fifty-nine percent of voters said marijuana use should be legal, while 36 percent said it shouldn’t. However, when asked if marijuana for medical purposes should be legal, a “substantial” majority — 83 percent — said yes.
Seventy percent of respondents said the state should accept federal funds to expand Medicaid coverage, while 23 percent opposed it.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin is the only state in the nation that “partially expanded eligibility for Medicaid but didn’t take the additional federal dollars available through the Affordable Care Act to cover most of the cost,” an approach taken by former Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature that will cost the state $1.1 billion through the current fiscal year.
Evers’ budget would expand the state’s Medicaid program. He has also expressed support for the legalization of marijuana for medicinal use.
Overall, Burden said that the poll provided insight into the shifting positions of Republicans and Democrats.
“The Marquette Law Poll does show that in recent days Republicans have become more confident in the Mueller investigation and Democrats have become less confident,” Burden said. “So supporters of the two parties have switched sides somewhat in how they view the investigation now that some of its findings have been aired.”