Latest Marquette Law School Poll Suggests A Shift To Republican Voters

Apr 11, 2019

A lot of things have shifted since the last Marquette Law School Poll back in January. According to the newest poll released Wednesday, President Trump's honesty rating has gone up, so has the percentage of people who say they’d vote for him in 2020.

Here are some opinions that didn't really change: a majority of those surveyed expressed overwhelming support for Medicaid expansion, favored a substantial increase for special education funding, and said no to a gas tax.

However, there have been some new developments since that poll. Since Gov. Tony Evers took office, the Legislature has tried to make the case that the Democrat is uncooperative. Evers has tried to make the case that it’s the Republican-controlled Legislature that is uncooperative. According to Charles Franklin, the director of the Marquette Law School Poll, the public has weighed in.  

“Oh, it's not even close. People perceive Evers as the one who is more willing to cooperate and see the legislative leaders as the ones not interested in cooperation," says Franklin.

Wisconsinites were also asked if they believe the word honest describes Trump. Franklin says there was a shift in public opinion on this question.

“So, actually, his honesty rating did move up. In April, it was 35-59. If we back up to January, it was 31-62,” says Franklin.  

But, the big takeaway, according to Franklin, wasn’t the respondents' answers. It was actually a shift Franklin has been noticing in the respondents themselves: While the sample size has always leaned a bit more democratic, after the 2016 elections the sample size has shifted more Republican.

Non-college white men are responsible for the shift, according to Franklin. "We have seen the emergence of strong voting patterns of non-college white men becoming more and Republican with their votes,” he says. 

This demographic makes up about 30 percent of the Wisconsin population and are responsible, according to Franklin, for a 13-point shift to Republicans. A data point that Michelle, who's from from Shorewood, found to be particularly interesting but not that shocking. 

“I think that probably makes sense. That seems to be the national average and trends that are occurring elsewhere,” she says.

She’s not wrong. According to Pew research data, nationally white men who do not have a college degree voted Republican by a ratio of about 2-1 in the 2018 midterm elections.

Also, the poll finds that 41 percent support a freeze on the number of students in voucher schools and a suspension of new independent charter schools, while 46 percent are opposed.