Walker Trails Generic Democrat For Reelection

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PPP’s new Wisconsin poll finds that the race for Governor next year is likely to be competitive. Scott Walker is somewhat unpopular, with 43% of voters approving of the job he’s doing to 49% who disapprove. Walker trails a generic Democratic opponent for reelection 48-43. Of course generic Democrats sometimes poll stronger than who the nominee actually ends up being and it remains to be seen who from the crowded Democratic field emerges but the race at the least looks like it should be a toss up.

The Foxconn deal isn’t doing much to enhance Walker’s political standing. 34% of voters say they support the deal to 41% who oppose it. Voters also question Walker’s motivations with the deal- just 38% think he’s doing it because it will be a good long term deal for the state, while 49% think he’s doing it just to try to help with his reelection next year.

There is also a sentiment among voters that in several key areas things in Wisconsin have not improved under Walker’s leadership. Just 17% think the quality of public schools has gotten better during Walker’s tenure to 48% who think they’ve gotten worse and 27% who believe they’ve stayed about the same. And only 20% think the quality of roads and highways has gotten better during the Walker administration, to 38% who think they’ve gotten worse, and 36% who think they’ve stayed about the same.

The other thing plaguing Walker right now is his ties to Donald Trump, who’s become unpopular in Wisconsin. Only 40% of voters approve of the job Trump is doing to 52% who disapprove. And 44% of voters in the state think Walker has been too supportive of Trump to 35% who think he’s been supportive about the right amount, and 13% who think he hasn’t been supportive enough.

Democrats lead the generic legislative ballot in the state 44-41. Of course the reality with the state’s gerrymandered district lines is that wouldn’t give them much of a chance at a majority in either chamber of the legislature. 44% of voters in the state think the legislative district lines are not fairly drawn, to only 25% who think they are fair. By a 63-16 spread voters think lines should be decided by an independent nonpartisan commission instead of the Legislature and Governor. The appetite for nonpartisan redistricting carries across the usual political divides- Clinton voters support it 79/6, but Trump voters do too 47/28.

On some other key state issues:

-59% of voters support Wisconsin expanding Medicaid, to only 21% who are opposed.

-79% of voters support allowing student loan borrowers to refinance their loans, to only 9% who are opposed.

-Just 12% of voters think family and medical leave benefits in Wisconsin should be reduced. A 41% plurality thinks they should be expanded and 36% think they’re fine as is.

Paul Ryan’s having the same issues with his popularity in Wisconsin that he is nationally. Only 35% of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 51% who disapprove. He hasn’t found a way to strike the right balance when it comes to supporting Donald Trump- 44% of voters think he’s too supportive of Trump, 25% think he’s not supportive enough of Trump, and only 23% think he’s getting the balance right. He’s getting it from both sides with 79% of Clinton voters thinking he’s too supportive of Trump and 51% of Trump voters thinking he’s not supportive enough of Trump.

Wisconsin matches the rest of the country when it comes to a new popularity for the Affordable Care Act in the wake of efforts to repeal it this year. 44% of voters now say they support it, to just 38% who oppose it. Only 33% of voters think the best path forward on health care is to repeal the Affordable Care Act, while 57% think it’s to keep it in place and pass a bipartisan bill to make fixes to it as necessary.

Republican tax reform efforts are also getting poor reviews from Wisconsin voters. Only 28% of voters say they support the Republicans in Congress’ tax proposal, to 43% who say they are opposed to it. That’s a reflection of the sentiment of a majority of voters- 51%- that the plan will mostly just help wealthy families. Only 23% think the primary beneficiary will be middle income families, and 9% think it will be low income families.

Full results here

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