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Monmouth University Polling Institute

Wisconsin

Clinton Stays Ahead; Feingold with Smaller Lead

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Opinion of Speaker Ryan impacted by Trump support

West Long Branch, NJ  - Hillary Clinton has a 7 point lead over Donald Trump in Wisconsin, which marks little change from her 5 point edge in August.  The Monmouth University Poll  also finds Russ Feingold holding an 8 point lead in his bid to retake the U.S. Senate seat held by Ron Johnson, which is down from 13 points two months ago.  The poll also found that Badger State voters have mixed feelings about Rep. Paul Ryan's support of his party's presidential nominee, but are more likely to think less highly rather than more highly of the Speaker because of it.

Among Wisconsin voters likely to cast ballots in November's presidential election, 47% currently support Clinton and 40% back Trump.  Another 6% intend to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson, 1% back Jill Stein of the Green Party, and 2% support another candidate.  Clinton had a 43% to 38% edge two months ago.

"Clinton has been holding on in Wisconsin," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The two candidates' ratings have remained fairly steady over the past two months.  Clinton earns a 36% favorable and 53% unfavorable rating, compared with her 34% - 50% rating in August.  Trump has an even worse 28% favorable and 61% unfavorable rating, compared with his prior 26% - 57% rating.

Clinton has the advantage on presidential temperament - 58% say she possesses the appropriate temperament for the job while only 32% say the same of Trump.  She also maintains an edge on the "lesser of two evils" metric - 40% of Wisconsin voters say it is very important to keep her out of the White House while more (48%) say the same about stopping Trump.

In the state's U.S. Senate election, Democrat Russ Feingold holds a sizable 52% to 44% lead over incumbent Ron Johnson, with 2% supporting Libertarian Phil Anderson.  This is down from Feingold's 54% to 41% advantage in August.  Six years ago, Johnson unseated then-incumbent Feingold by a 5 point margin in that year's Republican wave.

"The race has narrowed but, Feingold remains well placed to return to the Senate barring any major shakeup in this race," said Murray.

Johnson's rating has improved a bit since the prior Monmouth poll, now standing at 40% favorable and 30% unfavorable, compared with a 34% - 30% rating in August.  Still, Feingold's rating is nominally better at 46% favorable and 31% unfavorable, compared with his 46% - 26% rating two months ago.

In some ways, the Senate contest is being overshadowed by the presidential race.  Currently, 23% of Wisconsin voters say Johnson has been too supportive of his party's presidential nominee, 14% say he has not been supportive enough, 35% say Johnson has given Trump the right amount of support, and 28% have no opinion.  Johnson has been trying to walk a fine line with his endorsement of Trump.  Nearly half of Trump supporters (48%) say Johnson has given his party's presidential nominee the right amount of support compared with 27% who say he has not given enough support.

On the Democratic side, 14% of Wisconsin voters say Feingold has been too supportive of Clinton, 8% say he has not been supportive enough, 50% say Feingold has given his party's standard bearer the right amount of support, and 28% have no opinion.  Most Clinton supporters (71%) say Feingold has given the Democratic presidential nominee the right amount of support compared with just 12% who say he has not given enough support.

The potential down ballot effects of supporting the Republican presidential nominee is one interesting aspect of 2016, but the quandary it has created for Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan may be even more intriguing.  The Speaker of the House endorsed Trump, but recently said he would focus his efforts on re-electing Republicans to Congress rather than engage in the presidential race.

One-in-five (21%) Badger State voters say Ryan has been too supportive of Trump, 33% say he has not been supportive enough, and 36% say he has given Trump the right amount of support.  Among Trump supporters, 68% say Ryan has not given their candidate enough support while 24% say he has given the right amount of support.  Among Clinton voters, 41% say Ryan has been too supportive of Trump while 40% say he has given his party's nominee the right amount of support.

One thing both groups of voters do agree upon is that Ryan's level of support for Trump is more likely to make them think less highly rather than more highly of the Speaker, to the extent it effects their opinion at all.  Overall, half (51%) of Wisconsin voters say Ryan's support of Trump has had no impact on their view of the Speaker.  Among the remainder, though, more say they now think less highly (39%) rather than more highly (8%) of Ryan.  Among Trump voters specifically, 37% think less highly of Ryan, 8% think more highly, and 53% have not changed their opinion of Ryan because of his level of support for Trump.  Among Clinton voters, 47% think less highly of Ryan, 8% think more highly, and 44% have not changed their opinion of Ryan because of his support for Trump.

"Ryan has been trying to play it both ways which hasn't particularly impressed Wisconsin voters of either political stripe," said Murray.

The Monmouth University Poll  was conducted by telephone from October 15 to 18, 2016 with 403 Wisconsin residents likely to vote in the November election.  This sample has a margin of error of ±4.9 percent.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

 

QUESTIONS AND RESULTS                                                             

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)         

 

1/2.      If the election for President was today, would you vote for Donald Trump the Republican, Hillary Clinton the Democrat, Gary Johnson the Libertarian, or Jill Stein of the Green Party?

[ IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward - Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?] [ NAMES WERE ROTATED ]

40%     Donald Trump

47%     Hillary Clinton

  6%     Gary Johnson

  1%     Jill Stein

  2%     (VOL) Other candidate

  5%     (VOL) Undecided

 

3.        If the election for U.S. Senate was today, would you vote for Ron Johnson the Republican, Russ Feingold the Democrat, or Phil Anderson the Libertarian? [ IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward - Ron Johnson or Russ Feingold?] [ NAMES WERE ROTATED ]

44%     Ron Johnson

52%     Russ Feingold

  2%     Phil Anderson

  2%     (VOL) Undecided

 

Regardless of who you may support for president…

[ QUESTIONS 4 & 5 WERE ROTATED ]

4.      Is your general impression of Donald Trump favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?  

28%     Favorable

61%     Unfavorable

11%     No opinion

 

5.      Is your general impression of Hillary Clinton favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of her?  

36%     Favorable

53%     Unfavorable

11%     No opinion

 

Regardless of who you may support for president…

[ QUESTIONS 6 & 7 WERE ROTATED ]

6.      How important is it to you to make sure that Donald Trump does NOT get elected president - very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important?

48%     Very important

  9%     Somewhat important

  6%     Not too important

32%     Not at all important

  4%     (VOL) Don't know

 

7.      How important is it to you to make sure that Hillary Clinton does NOT get elected president - very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important?

40%     Very important

  9%     Somewhat important

  9%     Not too important

40%     Not at all important

  2%     (VOL) Don't know

 

[ QUESTIONS 8 & 9 WERE ROTATED ]

8.      Regardless of whether you would vote for him, do you think Donald Trump does or does not have the right temperament to be president?

32%     Does

64%     Does not

  4%     (VOL) Don't know

 

9.      Regardless of whether you would vote for her, do you think Hillary Clinton does or does not have the right temperament to be president?

58%     Does

39%     Does not

  4%     (VOL) Don't know

 

Turning to the Senate race…

[ QUESTIONS 10 & 11 WERE ROTATED ]

10.    Is your general impression of Ron Johnson favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?  

40%     Favorable

30%     Unfavorable

31%     No opinion

 

11.    Is your general impression of Russ Feingold favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?  

46%     Favorable

31%     Unfavorable

24%     No opinion

 

[ QUESTIONS 12 & 13 WERE ROTATED ]

12.    Has Ron Johnson been too supportive of Donald Trump, not supportive enough, or has he given the right amount of support to Trump?

23%     Too supportive

14%     Not supportive enough

35%     Right amount of support

28%     (VOL) Don't know

 

13.    Has Russ Feingold been too supportive of Hillary Clinton, not supportive enough, or has he given the right amount of support to Clinton?

14%     Too supportive

  8%     Not supportive enough

50%     Right amount of support

28%     (VOL) Don't know

 

14.    Has Speaker of the House Paul Ryan been too supportive of Donald Trump, not supportive enough, or has he given the right amount of support to Trump?

21%     Too supportive

33%     Not supportive enough

36%     Right amount of support

10%     (VOL) Don't know

 

15.    Does Ryan's support of Trump make you make you think more highly or less highly of Ryan, or does it have no impact on your opinion of him?

  8%     More highly

39%     Less highly

51%     No impact

  2%     (VOL) Don't know

 

METHODOLOGY

The Monmouth University Poll  was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from October 15 to 18, 2016 with a random sample of 403 likely Wisconsin voters.  Interviews were conducted by a live caller in English, including 353 drawn from a list of registered voters (200 landline / 153 cell phone) and a random digit dial supplement of 50 cell phone interviews.  Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The final sample is weighted for age, gender, race and voting history based on voter list and U.S. Census information.  Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field), Aristotle (voter list sample), and SSI (RDD sample).  For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design).  Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below).  In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.

Download this Poll Report with all tables

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Monmouth University Poll

West Long Branch, NJ 07764
www.monmouth.edu/polling
Follow on Twitter: @MonmouthPoll

Patrick Murray

732-263-5858 (office)
pdmurray@monmouth.edu
Follow on Twitter: @PollsterPatrick

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