Evers, Baldwin trending into leads in MU Law polls

Little change in views on Foxconn project

Democrats Tony Evers and Tammy Baldwin are both trending into the lead in their races against Republicans Scott Walker and Leah Vukmir, according to the latest Marquette University Law School poll.

Evers and Walker

Evers, the state superintendent of public instruction, is challenging Walker for governor. In the June poll, Walker led Evers 48 to 44 percent among registered voters. In the August poll, the first to use likely voters, found a tie between the two candidates at 46 percent.

The September poll, released Tuesday, shows Evers with a 49 to 44 percent lead over Walker.

In the lead up to the 2014 gubernatorial election, Walker trended in the opposite direction. The August Marquette poll showed him barely trailing Democrat Mary Burke 49 to 47 percent. He took a 49 to 46 percent lead in the first September poll. The lead grew to 51 to 45 later in the month and Walker eventually won with 52.3 percent of the vote.

Vukmir, a state senator from Wauwatosa, is challenging Baldwin, currently the junior senator from Wisconsin, for a second term. The June poll showed Baldwin ahead 49 to 40 percent. The race tightened in the August poll to a 49 to 47 percent lead for Baldwin.

Baldwin pushed out to a lead again in the September poll, up 53 to 47 percent over Vukmir.

The September poll included 614 likely voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

Respondents were also asked for their views on Foxconn’s plans for a $10 billion LCD manufacturing campus in Mount Pleasant, with opinions little changed.

Nearly half of respondents, 48 percent, said Wisconsin’s $3 billion incentive package to support Foxconn will not be worth it, compared to 39 percent who say it will be worth it, a similar result to previous polls.

More than half of respondents, 54 percent, said they do not expect to see businesses near them benefit from the Foxconn project. Poll director Charles Franklin said there has been a “steady but slow” increase in the number who expect businesses near them to benefit, up from 25 percent in March to 34 percent in the latest poll.

“It’s not sort of taking off despite announcements around the state,” he said.

Foxconn has announced plans this year for innovation centers in Green Bay and Eau Claire along with a partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Franklin pointed out that the reality is the outcome of the Foxconn project will not be determined for a number of years, even though both Republicans and Democrats have developed strong points of view on the project.

“It’s about who persuades who at this point,” he said.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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