Thursday, June 27, 2024

Biden, Trump neck-and-neck; Baldwin has slight lead over Hovde, according to latest Wisconsin poll

From The Journal

All signs point to another nail-biter general election in Wisconsin this fall, with the battleground state’s presidential and U.S. Senate races appearing neck and neck, a Marquette Law School Poll released Wednesday shows.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump remain dead even, with both candidates receiving support from 50% of registered voters — largely mirroring results from Marquette’s previous polling.

Biden leads Trump 51% to 49% among likely voters, well within the poll’s 4.6% margin of error. All told, the latest survey underscores that voters’ opinions are largely unchanged from April, when Marquette’s poll found 51% of respondents — including both registered and likely voters — backed the Republican Trump, while 49% supported the Democrat Biden.

The latest poll reflects little change from April, when Baldwin held a narrow lead over Hovde among registered voters, with 52% compared with Hovde’s 47%. That poll found the race to be evenly split among likely voters, with both candidates receiving 50%.

Wednesday’s poll comes one day before Biden and Trump are set to square off in their first debate of the election cycle in Atlanta.

Hovde and Baldwin, meanwhile, have agreed to debate in Madison on Oct. 18.

Wednesday’s poll, conducted by phone and online June 12-20, surveyed 871 registered voters.

Trump’s conviction

Wednesday’s poll is the first after a Manhattan jury found Trump guilty on 34 counts for falsifying business records to cover up payments to a porn star.

Seventy-six percent of respondents said they read or heard a lot about Trump’s trial, while 21% said they had read or heard a little. Another 3% said they were not at all familiar with the former president’s conviction.

Fifty-five percent of respondents said they believe Trump is guilty, while 36% said the jury made a mistake and the former president is not guilty.

In addition, 42% of respondents said Trump should not have been prosecuted at all, while 50% said prosecution was the right judgment call. Another 8% said they didn’t know.

Asked about whether Biden’s son Hunter Biden should have been prosecuted for felony gun charges, 76% of respondents said prosecution was the correct decision, while 11% said he should not have been brought to trial. Thirteen percent of respondents said they didn’t know.

Voter enthusiasm

As previous surveys have shown, Wednesday’s poll continues to underscore an overall lack of enthusiasm among Wisconsin voters heading toward November, particularly Democratic voters.

Forty-six percent of respondents said they are very enthusiastic to vote in November, compared with 21% who say they are somewhat enthusiastic. Those not very enthusiastic to vote made up 19% of respondents, while 14% said they are not at all enthusiastic.

Among those who say they are very enthusiastic to vote, 61% support Trump, compared with 39% for Biden. Respondents who are somewhat, not very and not at all enthusiastic to vote this November lean in Biden’s favor.

“This race is a big question about turnout and what matters here, because Biden has real strength among the voters who are not that engaged,” Franklin said. “Trump has real strength among the people who are really excited to participate, so how does this balance out?”

Of voters who say they are very enthusiastic to vote, 98% say they are absolutely certain to cast a ballot this fall. Among somewhat enthusiastic respondents, 87% say they are certain to vote, while that certainty drops to 73% for those not too enthusiastic and 67% for those not at all enthusiastic to vote.

The lack of enthusiasm among many voters has been largely consistent in previous polls dating back to October 2023. In Marquette’s June 2020 poll, 59% of respondents said they were very enthusiastic to vote, while just 7% said they were not at all enthusiastic.

Biden defeated Trump in Wisconsin by 20,682 votes in 2020, while Trump won the state in 2016 by securing 22,748 more votes than Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Franklin said Democrats do hold an advantage in that their voters traditionally turn out better than Republicans, but he added “enthusiasm plays a role in this as well.”

“That’s where Democrats are really suffering right now,” Franklin continued. “So, I don’t know how this is going to turn out.”

Third-party candidates

Another lingering question surrounding the upcoming presidential election is how many voters third-party candidates such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Jill Stein, Cornel West and Chase Oliver could pull from either major political party if they remain in the race this fall.

In a six-way matchup, Trump leads the field with 43% of support among registered voters, compared with 40% for Biden.

Kennedy, who was backed by 17% of respondents in Marquette’s January poll, received support from just 8% of those who responded to Wednesday’s poll. Stein, West and Oliver saw single-digit support among respondents in the June survey.


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