We're finding public opinion on same-sex marriage moving rapidly towards acceptance just about everywhere, with the pace of opinion change accelerating. Wisconsin is no exception. Badger State voters still oppose gay marriage being legal, but by a much narrower margin than when PPP last asked about it less than a year ago. Last August, 39% wanted same-sex marriage to be legal and half illegal. That spread is now only 43-47. Republicans are almost identically opposed as then (12-81), but Democrats are up from 62% to 68% support and independents from 42% to 47%. The latter group is now in favor (47-39), when they were narrowly opposed 11 months ago (42-44).
69% of Wisconsinites want same-sex couples to at least have civil unions, up from 67% previously. That includes 78% of Democrats, 75% of independents, and even 48% of Republicans.
Even though they have just been through a tumultuous two years of recall elections, Wisconsin still stands by its right to have them. 51% thinks the state should still be able to hold recalls, with 40% opposed. That is down a tick from 53-41 in February. After Scott Walker's survival, support from Republicans is up from 16% to 24%, outweighing a decline in support from Democrats (down from 86% to 77%) and independents (51% from 56%).
Herb Kohl was once a pretty popular senator, but he's seeing the same sort of decline in his approval numbers that we recently found for another retiring Democrat, Virginia's Jim Webb. The last time we polled on Kohl, last October, he was at 51% approval and 31% disapproval. But that has slipped in the last nine months to 46-38. His freshman colleague Ron Johnson is a tad bit less anonymous than last fall, but still a quarter have no opinion of his job performance, and the rest are split at 38-37.
Wisconsin loves its Packers, and Green Bay is also its favorite city. Of nine cities we asked voters' opinions of, Green Bay edged out Appleton as the most popular. 68% see it favorably and only 7% unfavorably, versus 64-7 for Appleton, 60-7 for La Crosse, 57-7 for Eau Claire, and 57-8 for Oshkosh. After that, there is a pretty big drop-off until Madison (50-33), and then also a gulf between the capital and the other three, which are all slightly disliked: Kenosha (26-27); the largest city, Milwaukee (35-37); and Racine (23-35).
Madison, a college town, is propped up by its 75-25 mark with those under the age of 30. It also gets a 74-8 from Democrats but only 24-57 from Republicans. Republicans and Democrats are more evenly split on Milwaukee--48-22 for Democrats and 24-53 for the GOP. There are similar splits for Racine (32-19 D vs. 16-49 R) and Kenosha (35-17 D vs. 21-37 R).
The state is known for its cheese and beer, so we decided to see which food product of questionable nutritional value Wisconsinites like more. The winner, hands down, was cheese. Voters have a much stronger opinion on beer--85% expressed an opinion on it, versus only 60% for cheese. But the 66-19 favorability breakdown for beer is slighty surpassed by cheese's 56-4. And when pitted head-to-head, 64% have a higher opinion of cheese, with only 18% choosing beer. Men (75-11) like beer a lot more than women do (57-27), and they choose cheese by only a 54-28 spread, versus women's 75-9.
Ryan Braun is having an MVP-type season, and seems to be weathering the public opinion storm after he tested positive for banned substances and was subsequently cleared. In Feburary, before the season but after the allegations arose, 59% of Wisconsin voters saw the Brewers left fielder favorably and only 7% unfavorably. That has dropped only a hair to 55-9.
Full results here