Governor Scott Walker’s job approval rating has gone down since last fall.
Among registered voters in Wisconsin, 56 percent of those surveyed in the latest Marquette University Law School poll say they disapprove of how Walker is handling his job as governor, with 41 percent saying they approve. “That’s a significant drop from in October just before the election — 49 approved 47 disapproved,” explains poll director Charles Franklin. “So, approval has come down eight points, disapproval has gone up nine points over that period.”
Franklin points out the potential presidential candidate enjoyed higher approval ratings after his gubernatorial election, but before the budget announcement and the ramp up to his presidential bid. “What happened in January looks sort of like a typical honeymoon after a reelection. Now we have two polls post-budget, post-presidential, both showing a significant decline.”
Walker leads among GOP hopefuls in the 2016 presidential race
Among Republican-leaning Wisconsin voters, Governor Walker is the top choice for the GOP presidential nomination with 40 percent support, according to the latest Marquette poll. “Not surprising for a home state governor, Walker leads all of the other Republican candidates by 30 or more points,” explains Franklin.
Among Democratic-leaning Wisconsin voters, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads the pack with 58 percent. In a possible presidential matchup, Franklin says Clinton is ahead of Walker in Wisconsin, 52 to 40 percent.
Voters were asked whether any governor can campaign for president and still be able to handle his or her duties as governor. “Most folks say ‘no, really can’t.'”
Specifically, 67 percent say that can’t happen; 29 percent say a governor can do both. Overall, 34 percent of registered voters say they would like to see Walker run for president while 62 percent would rather he not run.
Johnson trails Feingold in U.S. Senate race
In a possible 2016 U.S. Senate race, incumbent Republican Senator Ron Johnson trails former Democratic Senator Russ Feingold, according to Franklin. “Feingold has a significant lead, 54 to 38 for Johnson. This is the first time we’ve asked a horse race match-up between the two.”
Johnson unseated Feingold in the 2010 election. Feingold hasn’t announced any attempt to get his old job back, but Franklin says the numbers show Feingold has not been forgotten.
Bucks arena not favored by those surveyed
The poll shows strong opposition to borrowing $150 million for a new downtown Milwaukee Bucks arena. Governor Walker had suggested $220 million in bonding, but Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos think something along the lines of $150 million in financing is more likely. Seventy-nine percent of Wisconsin voters oppose that much money for the sports facility, with 17 percent supporting the proposal. “People don’t like that,” Franklin says.
Poll results show support for the arena is a little higher in the counties surrounding Milwaukee, but only 9 percent of the rest of the state supports borrowing for an arena, with 88 percent opposed. Support for the arena in the Milwaukee media market is at 29 percent, with 67 percent opposing.
This poll was taken April 7-10, interviewing 803 registered Wisconsin voters, by both land-line and cell phone. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points.