PPP poll shows divided views on Foxconn, skepticism of Walker’s motivation

Nearly half say Walker struck deal to boost reelection

Foxconn is seeking Foreign-Trade Zone status for its TV assembly operations.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:12 pm

Roughly one-third of voters support the $3 billion agreement the state struck with Foxconn while nearly half say Gov. Scott Walker made the deal to boost his reelection, according to a poll released Thursday by the Democratic-learning firm Public Policy Polling.

Attendees visit the Foxconn lounge at MMAC’s all-member meeting

The poll is also the second one this week to show the partisan divide that has emerged on the Foxconn project ahead of next year’s gubernatorial race.

A Marquette University Law School poll released Tuesday found Milwaukee-area residents were divided on the project, with nearly half feeling the state is paying too much but 54 percent believing it would substantially improve the region’s economy.

The poll from PPP, which generally leans towards Democrats, found 34 percent of respondents statewide support the deal, compared to 41 percent who are opposed. More than a quarter of those polled weren’t sure how they felt.

Just 17 percent of Democrats said they supported the deal, compared to 61 percent who were opposed. The results were nearly flipped among Republicans with 57 percent in support and 18 percent opposed. Independents were closer to Democrats with 29 percent supportive and 43 percent opposed.

The Marquette poll found a similar partisan split with 69 percent of Democrats saying the state is paying too much compared to 25 percent of Republicans who felt that way.

Nearly half of respondents, 49 percent, said Gov. Scott Walker made the Foxconn deal mainly to help his reelection campaign while 38 percent said he did it because it would be good for the state long-term. The partisan divide was even stronger on this question with 80 percent of Democrats saying the deal was reelection focused while 68 percent of Republicans said it would be good for the state.

PPP also asked voters about some of the most common criticisms of the Foxconn deal, including potential cuts to education, health care or transportation as a result of the state incentives, exemption from certain environmental regulations and a special court process for Foxconn.

Around 55 percent of respondents said each of those issues concerned them a lot, roughly 25 percent said those issues concerned them a little and slightly less than 20 percent said those issues do not concern them.

The poll also found a divide between older and younger voters with just 28 percent of those 18 to 29 supporting the deal, compared to 43 percent of those 30 to 45 and 45 percent of those 46 to 65.

Younger voters were also more skeptical of Walker’s motivations with 61 percent in the 18 to 29 group believing the governor stuck the deal for his reelection campaign. Forty-three percent felt that way among those 30 to 45 and 48 percent said the reelection was the reason among those 46 to 65.

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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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