New Poll Finds Biden Lead Grows In Wisconsin, Responses To Policing Questions Differ By Race

Jun 24, 2020

Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden has an eight-point lead over President Donald Trump among registered voters in Wisconsin. That’s according to a new Marquette University Law School Poll released on Wednesday.

This is up from the May Marquette poll, where 46% of voters supported Biden and 43% supported Trump.

The latest poll was conducted June 14-18 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 points. The roughly 800 participants were also asked about their views of the Black Lives Matter movement, citizen interactions with police, and the use of deadly force by officers. 

The Marquette Law School Poll found a striking difference in views of police among different racial groups. Overall, 11% of respondents said they feel mostly anxious about the police. But among Black respondents, 44% feel mostly anxious. So do 28% of Hispanics. White respondents feel little anxiety.

Here’s Poll Director Charles Franklin: "African Americans, and to a substantial extent, Hispanics, have different experiences with police and have very different perspectives on the police use of violence and the comfort you feel around them. Whereas whites are much more positive towards the police."

When it comes to the question of whether police are too quick to use deadly force, there are also racial divides. Sixty-eight percent of African Americans say yes, police are too quick to use deadly force. Seventy-one percent of Hispanics and 38% of white respondents agree.

The poll also asked whether police killings of Black men such as George Floyd in Minneapolis last month are isolated incidents or part of a larger pattern of how police treat Black Americans.

Eighty-six percent of Black registered voters say the deaths are part of a larger pattern. Seventy-two percent of Hispanics agree. Only 44% of whites say the incidents are part of a broader issue.

Franklin says the different responses among groups points to one thing. “And again, I think the point is how different the world looks through these different sets of eyes,” Franklin says. 

Opinions on what to do about the police depended heavily on the wording of the poll’s questions. Overall, 70% oppose “calls to defund the police.” Meanwhile, 81% of respondents said they would support “calls to restructure the role of the police and require greater accountability for police misconduct."