Governor, Senate races tight in first MU Law poll since primary

Little change in views on Foxconn

Scott Walker
Gov. Scott Walker

The first Marquette University Law School poll since Tony Evers won the Democratic gubernatorial primary showed the state superintendent of public instruction in a tie with Gov. Scott Walker among likely voters.


Evers and Walker each received support from 46 percent of respondents who said they were absolutely certain to vote. Among all registered voters, Walker held a 48 to 46 percent lead, well within the poll’s 4-point margin of error.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, and state Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, are also in a dead heat among likely voters in their Senate race, the poll found. Baldwin held a slight 49 to 47 percent edge over Vukmir, within the margin of error. Among registered voters, Baldwin was up 51 to 43 percent.

Few likely voters lack an opinion of Baldwin and Walker, the two incumbents in the major races this fall. Just 4 percent said they had no opinion of Walker and 11 percent said they had no view of Baldwin.

Voters are also becoming more aware of the two challenges. In July, 60 percent of registered voters said they had no opinion of Evers. That number fell to 46 percent in the latest poll. The percentage with no opinion of Vukmir dropped from 66 percent to 48 percent.

At the same time, there was little change in opinions of Foxconn Technology Group’s planned $10 billion LCD manufacturing campus in Mount Pleasant and the $3 billion incentive package supporting it. The poll has asked a series of questions since last year about whether the state is paying too much, if the project will improve the Milwaukee area’s economy and if businesses near the respondent will benefit.

Forty-nine percent of likely voters said the state is paying too much in the latest poll, up slightly from 46 percent in the June and July polls

Nearly six in 10 likely voters, 58 percent, said the project will improve the Milwaukee area economy, up from 53 percent in July and 56 percent in June.

Voters remained skeptical businesses near them will benefit from Foxconn with just 29 percent expecting a benefit. In July, 30 percent expected a benefit and 29 percent expected one in the June poll.

Voters are coming around somewhat on President Donald Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs with 34 percent saying they will help the economy, up from 24 percent in July. The percentage who say the tariffs will hurt the economy also declined from 54 to 48 percent.

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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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