Updated at 4:55 p.m. CT
The Marquette Law School Poll released Wednesday shows Joe Biden with a 5-point lead over President Donald Trump among likely voters, 48% to 43%. Since May, Biden has held a 5-point lead over Trump, plus or minus 1 point, in the poll.
The survey was conducted Oct. 21 through Sunday of 749 likely voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
The poll comes as more than 1.5 million people in Wisconsin have already voted by mail or in person. That is 51% of the total votes cast in the 2016 election. There were just over 287,000 unreturned absentee ballots as of Wednesday morning.
Professor of law and public policy Charles Franklin directs the poll. He says for months, the polls have shown the race is surprisingly stable.
“I’d say the most striking thing this year is how little things have changed despite a cacophony of events," Franklin says. "We first started asking a match-up between Biden and Trump in August of 2019 and over that whole period, 13 polls now, President Trump has led in one and there was a tie in February. But the average of all of them is about a 5 point Biden lead and since May every poll has been Biden by 5, plus or minus one."
Franklin predicts “late deciders” – people who will vote but haven’t yet made up their minds for whom – won’t shift those numbers.
But Franklin says no poll is infallible. Going into election night four years ago, the Marquette Law School Poll showed Hillary Clinton 6 points above Trump.
Franklin says election outcomes rest in the hands of voters.
"The outcome of the election doesn't depend on what the polls show. The outcome depends on people casting their ballots, having those ballots counted and controlling American government in the way our Constitution calls for," he says.
Trump plans to hold a rally in Green Bay on Friday, marking his third stop in a week to Wisconsin as part of a final push from both sides to capture the key swing state.
Biden is also scheduled to campaign in Wisconsin on Friday, but he has not said where.