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Marquette Poll: Trump Approval Rating at 41 Percent in Wisconsin

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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a bill signing ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House March 21, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Wisconsin was one of three states that tipped the scales for Donald Trump in the November election. But where does the Republican president stand in the dairy state now? The latest Marquette Law School poll shows 41 percent of registered voters approve of Trump’s job performance, since he took office. That’s a slightly higher number than Trump earned in the last Marquette poll. Shortly before the election, 40 percent of the state’s registered voters said they planned to support Trump.

According to the poll released Wednesday, President Trump received his strongest support in the Milwaukee media market, excluding the city of Milwaukee. Poll Director Charles Franklin says the president's numbers in Wisconsin seem to fall in line with the rest of the country.

“That’s pretty close to where national polling has been. Last week when the average across the polls was about 42 approve and low 50s disapprove,” Franklin says.

How Wisconsinites feel about Trump’s job performance perhaps was the highlight of the poll. But Franklin's team also surveyed voters on a number of hot topics. On the issue of health care, only 28 percent want to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, one of Trump’s signature campaign promises.

“Repeal and replace has been a minority position every time we’ve polled on it. So, the question is going to be, do voters see what the alternative is as offering an improvement, but the better and cheaper and more universal plan that Trump talked about during the campaign. Or, whether voters are concerned or fearful about what the replacement might look like, and our data suggests that they are, with more people saying they expect fewer people to be covered and the price to increase under some reform,” Franklin says.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has been at the center of the health care debate for the last couple weeks, after unveiling the GOP proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act. Some of the plan's harshest critics have blasted Ryan. Yet Franklin's poll shows Ryan's approval rating in Wisconsin at 45 percent, about the same as in previous surveys.

Franklin says the results also show that more people recognize Ryan’s name than in the past. “So it does help if you are Speaker of the House as well as a hometown Janesville boy,” Franklin says.

Franklin delivered the results to a full room of voters and other concerned citizens, at the Marquette Law School. The size of the crowd may indicate people continue to have confidence in political polls. Some voters doubted the surveys after the election, because they had paid attention to polls that showed Hillary Clinton consistently in the lead.

Jim, who was in the audience Wednesday, says his faith in the surveys hasn’t been shaken. “This is my fourth or fifth. I just started coming and I find them absolutely fascinating,” Jim says.

The poll was based on the responses of 800 registered voters, who were interviewed by land line or cell phone from March 13-16.

Marti was a reporter with WUWM from 1999 to 2021.