Marquette Poll: Biden holds lead with political opinions mostly stagnant despite conventions, unrest

Biden leads Trump by 4 points in September poll of Wisconsin voters

Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden waves as he arrives at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 3. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque

National political conventions, the police shooting of Jacob Blake and unrest in Kenosha have had little effect on Wisconsin voters’ preferences in the upcoming presidential election, according to the latest Marquette University Law School poll .

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump among likely voters in Wisconsin by 4 points, 47% to 43%, according to the poll released on Wednesday, Sept. 9. That lead is within the poll's 4.3% margin of error.

Last month’s poll had Biden leading by 5 points, 49% to 44%, among likely voters.

The poll of 688 people in Wisconsin was taken Aug. 30 through Sept. 3, after both the Democratic and Republican national conventions had concluded and a week after Blake was shot by a police officer in Kenosha. Several days of unrest followed the shooting.

"Lots going on in the world, but it didn’t shift opinions very much," said Charles Franklin, director of the poll, noting how little numbers had changed from the last Marquette survey in early August.


Though national party conventions sometimes provide an approval bump for politicians or candidates, that wasn’t the case this time, Franklin said. Biden’s favorability rate is 46% among likely voters, the same it was in August. Trump’s is 44%, compared to 43% in August.

Gov. Tony Evers' favorability did decline over the past month, returning to levels last seen earlier this year before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Wisconsin. According to the poll, the governor's current approval rating is 51%, with 43% disapproving. Last month, his approval rating was 57%, with 37% disapproving.

Support for protests, police holds steady

Wisconsin voters’ support for protests in the wake of Blake's shooting and the unrest that followed is also holding mostly steady, according to the September survey.

The poll found 47% of registered voters in Wisconsin approve of the protests. That’s down just one point from a poll in early August.

Franklin pointed out a June survey showed much higher support for protests — about 61%.

"So almost no difference (in support) at all in the wake of Kenosha, but a substantial movement took place over the course of the summer," he said.

The poll also found support for police mostly unchanged over the last month. The new survey found 73% support, a decline of just three points from August.

One-third of respondents wary of COVID-19 vaccine

A new survey question found 33% of those surveyed said they would "probably not get" or "definitely not get" a "vaccine that protected you from the coronavirus (that) was available for free to everyone."


More Republicans, 43%, responded that way. Only 22% of Democrats said they would bypass the vaccine.

The poll also found a downturn in the number of people who identified as "very worried" about the virus. Twenty-one percent said they are "very worried" in the latest poll, down six points from 27% in August.

However, the poll also found a decrease in comfort levels with in-person schooling this fall. The latest survey found 51% of people said they are "uncomfortable" with in-person school this fall, compared to 48% in August.

Among those with school-aged children in their home, 44% said they are comfortable with in-person schooling and 54% are uncomfortable. Those numbers were 53% comfortable and 45% uncomfortable in early August.

Wisconsin Public Radio can be heard locally on 91.3 KUWS-FM and at

Wisconsin Public Radio, Copyright 2020, Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System and Wisconsin Educational Communications Board.

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