‘The Pivotal Political Pendulum’ – Will Wisconsin Swing in Biden’s Favor?

A recent survey conducted in Wisconsin provides insights into the political landscape of this crucial swing state. 

Emerson College Polling

The survey, conducted by Emerson College Polling in October 2023, highlights a variety of factors, including voter preferences, opinions on the legitimacy of past elections, and approval ratings for key politicians in the state. 

“In a state Biden won in 2020 by less than a percentage point, and Trump won in 2016 by nearly the same margin, this poll suggests a similar trajectory for 2024,” says Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling.

Independent Voters Split

“Independent voters in Wisconsin are nearly split: 33% support Biden and 31% support Trump; a plurality, 36%, of independents are undecided or plan on voting for someone else at this time.”

“Voters under 30 break for Biden over Trump, 48% to 36%,” Kimball added.

Wisconsin respondents were asked about the results of the 2016 and 2020 elections: whether they were won by Trump and Biden fair and square or if the candidates stole the elections.

 A majority (61%) think Trump’s 2016 victory was won fair and square, while 18% think he stole the election.

 Parallels with Pennsylvania

When it comes to 2020, a lesser majority (51%) think Biden won the election fair and square, while 35% think he stole the election.

“These numbers are reflective of another swing state, Pennsylvania, where 61% think Trump won fair and square in 2016 and 52% said the same of Biden in 2020,” Kimball noted.

“Like in Pennsylvania, this falls along partisan lines in Wisconsin: 35% of Democrats think Trump won fair and square in 2016, while 35% of Democrats think he stole the election, and 68% of Republicans think Biden stole the 2020 election, and 20% think he won fair and square.”

Unwavering Support

About half of both Trump and Biden supporters say there is nothing their candidate could say or do in the next several months that would change their support, at 51% and 50%, respectively.

Just less than a quarter say there is something Trump (24%) or Biden (23%) could do that would make them change their minds.

Just over a third of Wisconsin residents (34%) approve of the job President Biden is doing in office, while 49% disapprove of Biden; 17% are neutral.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers holds a 41% approval rating, while 36% disapprove of the job he is doing as Governor, and 23% are neutral.

Ethanol vs. Electric Cars

Respondents were asked which option they prefer when it comes to cars: a car that uses ethanol fuel, a car that uses an electric battery, or neither. 

A plurality (47%) prefer a car that uses ethanol fuel, while 20% prefer an electric battery-fueled car. Thirty-two percent prefer neither option.

“Preference for ethanol fuel versus electric batteries in cars varies by party affiliation in Wisconsin: 12% of Republicans prefer electric batteries while 32% of Democrats say the same; independents fall in between partisan voters with 18% preferring electric batteries,” Kimball noted.

The Emerson College Polling Wisconsin poll was conducted October 1-4, 2023. The sample consisted of 532 Wisconsin voters with a credibility interval similar to a poll’s margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points.

Data Collection

Data was collected by contacting a list of landlines via Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and emails provided by Aristotle, along with an online panel of voters provided by Alchemer.

The findings of this poll provide a snapshot of the political landscape in Wisconsin, reflecting divided opinions on election legitimacy and strong partisan divides. 

The support for both Trump and Biden remains solid among their respective bases, and the preference for vehicle types also showcases partisan distinctions. 

As we move closer to the 2024 election, Wisconsin is poised to remain a highly competitive state with outcomes that could significantly influence the national political landscape.

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