Empower Wisconsin | Feb. 28, 2020
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — President Trump’s approval numbers are up and more Democrats are feeling the Bern, according to the latest Marquette University Law School Poll.
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders leads the diminishing field of fellow Democrats for the first time since the presidential preference poll rolled out in August. The Vermont U.S. Senator and self-proclaimed democratic socialist picked up 29 percent support from those who said they will vote in Wisconsin’s April 7 primary.
The presidential preference portion of the Marquette poll, with a margin of error of plus or minus 5.1 percent, is also the latest gauge on how low can Joe go. Former Vice President Joe Biden once dominated as frontrunner in the chase for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. The latest poll finds Biden in a distant third in Wisconsin, at 15 percent support. Billionaire liberal Mike Bloomberg, who has spent hundreds of millions of dollars buying his way into the race, has the support of 17 percent of Badger State primary voters.
Former Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is at 13 percent, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota received 11 percent support, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts finished with 9 percent.
In January, Sanders was the choice of 19 percent, Bloomberg held 6 percent and Biden led the way with 23 percent.
While Bloomberg had surged in the polls, the former New York Mayor is not well liked, His favorability number, at 35 percent, is lower than his unfavorable rating (37 percent), according to the poll. He is the only Democratic candidate with upside down favorable ratings. National polls suggest his momentum has stalled ahead of Super Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Marquette poll finds Trump ahead or within the margin of error of his potential Democratic challengers. That’s a huge swing from Marquette’s August poll, when then-frontrunner Biden outpaced Trump 51 percent to 42 percent. The latest poll has the two tied, at 46 percent. Trump and Buttigieg, too, are tied, at 45 percent. Sanders is up by two points, 48 percent to 46 percent. And Trump leads Warren 47 percent to 44 percent.
Trump’s approval numbers continue to trend up.
“The Democratic candidates are all less favorably perceived than is Trump. With the exception of Klobuchar, all candidates have more unfavorable than favorable evaluations among all registered voters,” the poll release notes.
Trump’s job approval rating in Wisconsin hit 48 percent, with 48 percent disapproving. It’s the first Marquette poll since Trump took office in which the president’s disapproval is not higher than his approval rating.
And 56 percent of those polled approve of Trump’s handling of the economy.
More than half of Wisconsin voters surveyed (52 percent) believe the Senate was right to acquit Trump of impeachment charges related to his discussions last year with Ukraine’s president.
On the state level, Gov. Tony Evers’ job approval rating stands at 51 percent, but his favorability rating is at 43 percent while 40 percent of respondents have an unfavorable view of the Democratic governor.