Poll: Democrats inch forward in Wisconsin

Poll: Democrats inch forward in Wisconsin
© Keren Carrion

Democratic candidates in Wisconsin’s Senate and gubernatorial races opened up leads against their Republican challengers, according to a new Marquette University Law School poll released Tuesday.

Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinSchumer reelected as Senate Democratic Leader Number of LGBT lawmakers in Congress hits double digits Senate GOP readies for leadership reshuffle MORE (D-Wis.) is up 11 points over challenger state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R). About 53 percent of likely Wisconsin voters support Baldwin, while 42 percent support Vukmir. The same poll had Baldwin up 2 points in August.

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Baldwin is also buoyed by a favorability rating that is above water. About 48 percent of likely voters have a favorable opinion of Baldwin, while 40 percent have an unfavorable view. Vukmir has a negative favorability rating, with 26 percent of likely voters having a favorable view of her and 38 percent an unfavorable view. 

An average of polls on the race calculated by RealClearPolitics has Baldwin up eight points. The Cook Political Report rates the race as “likely" win for Baldwin.

Baldwin is one of 10 Democratic senators running for reelection in states Trump won in 2016. Wisconsin went for Trump by about 1 point two years ago. 

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers, the superintendent of Wisconsin’s public schools, opened up a 5-point lead over incumbent Gov. Scott Walker (R). About 49 percent of likely voters support Evers, compared to 44 percent who support Walker. The same poll had a 46-46 split in August. 

Like the Senate race, the Democrat has a positive favorability rating while the Republican has a negative one. About 40 percent of likely voters have a favorable view of Evers, while 29 percent have an unfavorable view. Approximately 45 percent of likely voters have a favorable view of Walker, while 52 percent have an unfavorable view.

Another boon for Evers is satisfaction among registered voters with their local public schools, with 64 percent saying they are satisfied, including 18 percent who are “very satisfied.” He’s also opened up a 20-point lead with likely independent voters, beating Walker 52-32. 

An average of polls on the race calculated by RealClearPolitics has Evers up 3.5 points. The Cook Political Report rates the race as a “toss up.” 

Vukmir and Walker both cast themselves as allies of President TrumpDonald John TrumpMia Love pulls ahead in Utah race as judge dismisses her lawsuit Trump administration denies exploring extradition of Erdoğan foe for Turkey Trump congratulates Kemp, says Abrams will have 'terrific political future' MORE and have received his endorsement. 

“Congratulations to Leah Vukmir of Wisconsin on your great win last night. You beat a very tough and good competitor and will make a fantastic Senator after winning in November against someone who has done very little. You have my complete and total Endorsement!” Trump tweeted in August.

“Scott Walker is very special and will have another great win in November. He has done a fantastic job as Governor of Wisconsin and will always have my full support and Endorsement!” he added.

But Trump has an underwater approval rating among registered voters, with 42 percent approving of his job performance and 54 percent disapproving, down from a 45-51 approve/disapprove rating in August. 

These numbers bode well for Democrats, who are trying to hold on to as many incumbents as possible in the Senate and have high hopes for flipping the governor’s seat. 

Marquette University Law School polled 614 likely voters and 800 registered voters from Sept. 12 to 16. The poll’s margin of error for likely voters is 4.4 percentage points and 4 percentage points for registered voters.