MARQUETTE POLL: Wisconsin’s major races very tight heading into election day

Note: Director Charles Franklin misspoke on some poll numbers during our live interview. The graphics show the correct numbers.
Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 12:46 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 3, 2022 at 6:01 PM CDT
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WBAY) - Wisconsin’s major races are dead heats heading into the Nov. 8 general election.

A Marquette Law School poll released Wednesday shows neck-and-neck races for Wisconsin governor and U.S. Senate.

In the Senate race, 50 percent of likely voters support Republican incumbent Ron Johnson to 48 percent for Democratic challenger Mandela Barnes. In October, it was Johnson 52 percent to Barnes 46 percent.

Among all registered voters polled, it’s Johnson 48 percent and Barnes 45 percent.

CLICK HERE to view the full poll.

In the race for governor, 48 percent of likely voters support Democratic incumbent Tony Evers and 48 percent support Republican challenger Tim Michels. In October, it was Evers 47 percent and Michels 46 percent.

Among all registered voters polled, it’s Michels 45 percent to Evers 44 percent.

Independents support Evers 47 percent to Michels 46 percent, and Johnson 53 percent to Barnes 46 percent.

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Craig Gilbert, Fellow at Marquette University and longtime Journal Sentinel political writer, sorts out the last poll before election day

In general, voters don’t have an overwhelmingly favorable opinion of any of the candidates:

Evers: 44 percent favorable, 46 percent unfavorable

Michels: 36 percent favorable, 39 percent unfavorable

Barnes: 40 percent favorable, 44 percent unfavorable

Johnson: 43 percent favorable, 46 percent unfavorable

The top issue for voters is inflation. Sixty-eight percent of voters polled say they are “very concerned” about inflation. Other top issues are public schools, crime, gun violence, accurate vote count, abortion, taxes, illegal immigration, and coronavirus.

Abortion remains a very partisan issue with most Democrats opposing the overturning of Roe v. Wade and a major of Republicans supporting the Supreme Court decision that sent abortion rights down to the states.

Most voters polled support abortion in cases of rape or incest.

There is strong support for increasing funding for local police among both Democrats and Republicans.

Most voters polled believe Wisconsin is going in the wrong direction.

The poll was conducted from Oct. 24 to Nov. 1 and 802 registered voters were surveyed. Of that number, 679 call themselves likely voters. The margin of error for likely voters is +/- 4.8 percent. For all registered voters, it’s +/-4.6 percent.