Marquette Poll: Trump leads GOP, Dems in tight race

Voters say they lack info on U.S. Senate candidates

Donald Trump is leading the Republican primary race in Wisconsin while the top Democratic candidates are now essentially tied, according to the latest Marquette University Law School poll released today.

Donald Trump
Businessman Donald Trump after the Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee Nov. 10.

Trump led on the Republican side with 24 percent, followed by Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio at 18 percent and Texas U.S. Ted Cruz at 16 percent. Dr. Ben Carson led the poll at 22 percent when it was conducted in November with Trump and Rubio both at 19 percent.

On the Democratic side, the race has tightened with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton supported by 45 percent and Vermont U.S. Bernie Sanders at 43 percent, well within the margin of error. Clinton was up 50 to 41 percent in November.

The Wisconsin primary is set for April 5.

Trump was seen as the most likely nominee by 49 percent of Republican primary voters regardless of who they support, followed by Cruz at 20 percent and  Rubio at 10 percent.

A total of 65 percent of Democrats expect Clinton will emerge from the primary, while 27 percent think Sanders will be the nominee.

The poll was conducted from Jan. 21 to Jan. 24 and included 806 registered voters giving it a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points. The samples for each party were limited to just over 300 respondents and had a margin of error of 6.5 percentage points.

Hilary Clinton will debate the other Democratic candidates in Milwaukee Feb. 11. / JStone
Hilary Clinton will debate the other Democratic candidates in Milwaukee Feb. 11. / JStone

In potential head-to-head matchups, Sanders had statistical leads over Rubio, Cruz and Trump. Clinton on the other hand only had a lead on Trump and was tied with Rubio and Cruz.

The U.S. Senate rematch between Republican Ron Johnson and Democrat Russ Feingold remained essentially unchanged from November with Feingold up 50 to 37. Many voters said they hadn’t heard enough about either to have an opinion.

Views on Waukesha water

The city of Waukesha’s request to divert water from Lake Michigan to address its radium contaminated drinking supply was among the other issues the poll asked about. Statewide, just 27 percent of respondents had heard the city could not currently meet state and federal radium standards, although that figure jumped to 38 percent in the Milwaukee media market.

The city’s proposal calls for it to take water from Lake Michigan and treat it before returning an equal amount. Statewide, 34 percent of respondents were in favor of the proposal, which is currently awaiting approval of the governors from Great Lakes states. Fifty-one percent of respondents said the city should find another solution. The figures were slightly better for the city in the Milwaukee and Green Bay media markets but worse in Madison and the rest of the state.

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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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