Thursday, June 27, 2024

New Marquette poll puts Biden and Trump in a dead heat but with ominous signs for Biden

From JSOnline:

Molly Beck
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are in a dead heat with just about four months until Election Day, when Wisconsin voters could again be a tipping point for the nation.

According to the latest Marquette University Law School poll, the incumbent Democratic president is tied with his Republican predecessor among registered Wisconsin voters in the battleground state where statewide races are often decided by just a few thousand votes. Among likely voters, Biden leads Trump 51% to 49%.

Voter enthusiasm, however, is overwhelmingly on Trump's side and that could be decisive in November, according to Marquette University Law School poll director Charles Franklin.

"Here's a path for Joe Biden to lose this election pretty badly, is that he's failed to inspire his supporters," Franklin said Wednesday at an event on Marquette's campus. "They're unenthusiastic about him and his campaign, and they're much less likely to vote than those who are very enthusiastic, who overwhelmingly are for Trump."

Wednesday's poll shows voters who think of themselves as very enthusiastic to vote are siding with Trump over Biden 61% to 39%, and voters who describe themselves as having lower levels of enthusiasm lean toward Biden by significant margins, Franklin said.

"This raises a big question about turnout and what matters here, because Biden has real strength among the voters who are not engaged," he said. "Trump has real strength among the people who are really excited to participate. And so how does this balance out?"

Franklin said Democrats' tendency to vote at higher rates if they have enthusiasm also could keep the race a guessing game.

"Democrats have an advantage now that their voters who are higher turnout voters. That is true, but enthusiasm plays a role in this as well, and that's where Democrats are really suffering right now. So I don't know how this is going to turn out," he said.

More:Biden's Wisconsin campaign plans 'massive mobilization effort' centered around CNN debate

When factoring in third-party candidates, Trump leads Biden by two percentage points (43% to 40%) in Wednesday's poll.

The poll surveyed 871 registered voters in Wisconsin between June 12 and June 20. In that sample, 784 are considered likely voters. The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 4.6 percentage points.

In April, Marquette pollsters found Biden and Trump effectively tied with an edge to Trump, separated by just 2 percentage points — within the margin of error.

Among both registered voters and likely voters surveyed in April, 51% supported Trump while 49% supported Biden. That includes undecided voters (8% of those polled) who were then asked, if they had to choose right now, who they would support. Undecided voters tended to break toward Biden, Franklin said in April.

Pollsters also surveyed Wisconsin voters on Trump's recent criminal conviction, with 50% of registered voters supporting the prosecution of Trump over allegations he paid a porn star to keep quiet about a sexual encounter ahead of his 2016 presidential campaign. A New York jury found him guilty on 34 felony counts in the matter

Forty-two percent of Wisconsin voters said they should not have been prosecuted while 8% said they didn't know enough to have an opinion.

On whether Biden's son Hunter Biden should have been prosecuted for felony gun charges, 76% of voters agreed it was the right call. Eleven percent said he should not have been brought to trial while 13% said they didn't know.

Molly Beck can be reached at

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