Poll: Any­body but him for gover­nor

Wisconsin Gazette - - Opinion -

In the race for Wis­con­sin gover­nor, any generic Demo­crat leads Repub­li­can Scott Walker in his bid for re-elec­tion, ac­cord­ing to a late Oc­to­ber sur­vey from Pub­lic Pol­icy Polling.

But then, on this an­niver­sary of the 2016 pres­i­den­tial sur­prise, does any­one have faith in polls?

PPP’s sur­vey of vot­ers in Wis­con­sin finds Walker trail­ing a generic Demo­cratic op­po­nent 48-43.

“Scott Walker’s been a political sur­vivor in the past,” said Dean Deb­nam, PPP pres­i­dent. “But 2018 is shap­ing up to be a com­pletely dif­fer­ent political land­scape for Repub­li­cans from ei­ther 2010 or 2014 and he’s had sus­tained low ap­proval num­bers the last few years.”

Of course, PPP said, “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 PPP sur­vey, re­leased Oct. 26, showed 43 per­cent of vot­ers ap­prove of the job Walker’s do­ing and 49 per­cent dis­ap­prove.

There is a sen­ti­ment among vot­ers that Wis­con­sin has not im­proved un­der Walker’s lead­er­ship. Just 17 per­cent think the qual­ity of pub­lic schools has got­ten bet­ter dur­ing his ten­ure and only 20 per­cent think the qual­ity of roads and high­ways has got­ten bet­ter.

Ad­di­tion­ally, about 44 per­cent of vot­ers think Walker is too sup­port­ive of Don­ald Trump, whose ap­proval rat­ing in the state is 40 per­cent.

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s ap­proval rat­ing is at 35 per­cent and his dis­ap­proval is at 51 per­cent. About 44 per­cent of vot­ers think Ryan also is too sup­port­ive of Trump.

“Paul Ryan’s seen his na­tional ap­proval num­bers crater over the course of this year and Wis­con­sin is no dif­fer­ent,” said Deb­nam. “There’s vir­tu­ally no es­teem for him from the Demo­cratic base and he’s an­tag­o­nized a lot of Repub­li­cans who like Trump bet­ter than him as well.”

In terms of the state Leg­is­la­ture, now con­trolled by Repub­li­cans in both cham­bers, Democrats lead a generic leg­isla­tive bal­lot 44-41, which led PPP to ask vot­ers about ger­ry­man­der­ing.

About 44 per­cent of vot­ers think the state’s leg­isla­tive dis­trict lines are not fairly drawn. And about 63 per­cent of vot­ers think dis­tricts should be de­cided by an in­de­pen­dent, non­par­ti­san com­mis­sion in­stead of the leg­is­la­ture and gover­nor. On some other is­sues:

• About 28 per­cent of vot­ers say they sup­port con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans’ tax pro­posal. About 51 per­cent say the plan will mostly just help wealthy fam­i­lies.

• 59 per­cent of vot­ers sup­port ex­pand­ing Med­i­caid in the state.

• 79 per­cent sup­port al­low­ing bor­row­ers to re­fi­nance their stu­dent loans.

— Lisa Neff

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