PPP’s newest Wisconsin poll finds that Scott Walker’s recent actions have significantly increased enthusiasm among Republicans in the state for his White House bid- but also left him well behind Hillary Clinton in a potential general election match up.
Overall only 35% of voters in Wisconsin want Walker to run for President, compared to 58% who don’t think he should run. Those findings are pretty much par for the course for a Presidential candidate in their own state- voters are rarely enthusiastic about their native sons aiming for the White House.
Walker’s approval numbers have also significantly dipped over the last few months though. Right before the election last fall we found him with a 49/47 approval spread. That’s now dropped to 43/52. His numbers with both Democrats and Republicans are pretty much where they were four months ago. But he’s seen a large decline with independents- where he was on narrowly positive ground with them before the election at a 48/45 spread, he’s now dropped down to 36/57. The new right to work law is likely part of what’s causing Walker problems- only 42% of voters support it, pretty much mirroring his approval rating.
Walker trails Hillary Clinton 52/43 in a hypothetical contest. When we tested the same match up in September of 2013, he was only down 49/44. It’s not just Clinton that Walker trails though- he would also be down 48/45 when matched against Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren. For the most part this year we’ve been finding Biden and Warren trailing even in places where Clinton’s leading, but against Walker in Wisconsin they all have an advantage.
There is good news for Walker though. While his recent actions might be hurting him with the general electorate, they’re building increasing support for him for the Republican nomination. 53% of GOP voters in the state want him to be their candidate to 12% for Ben Carson, 8% for Jeb Bush, 6% for Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, 4% for Chris Christie, 3% for Mike Huckabee, 2% for Ted Cruz, and 1% for Rick Perry. The last time we tested Walker for President in Wisconsin in a GOP field that didn’t include Paul Ryan, he only got 37%. So he may have trouble once he gets to a general election, but he’s helping the cause of actually getting there.
Clinton is strong against the entire Republican field in Wisconsin. There’s not much evidence from anything in this poll that she’s facing any real backlash over the controversy related to her e-mails. The GOP hopeful who comes closest to Clinton in the state is Rand Paul who’s still 6 points behind at 48/42. Mike Huckabee trails by 7 at 47/40, Rick Perry and Marco Rubio lag by 8 at 48/40, Chris Christie joins Walker in being down by 9 at 48/39, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz have a 10 point deficit at 49/39, and Ben Carson’s 11 point gap is the greatest at 49/38.
Clinton is also dominating the Democratic field for President in the same way that she is everywhere else. 60% want her to be their nominee to 14% for Joe Biden, 12% for Elizabeth Warren, 5% for Bernie Sanders, and 1% each for Martin O’Malley and Jim Webb. Clinton has at least 55% support for the nomination with liberals, moderates, men, women, whites, African Americans, and voters in every age group that we track.
Full results here