Obama +1 in Wisconsin — Marquette Law School Poll

Marquette Law School is expected to release the details of their latest Wisconsin poll showing Barack Obama clinging to a 1-point lead, 49 to 48. This is a dramatic change from their previous poll showing President Obama with an 11-point lead in Wisconsin. The prior poll surveyed voters in late September and was released the day of the first debate. Today’s poll was surveyed ahead of the 2nd debate which means the stellar job Romney did in the first debate likely created some structural shifts in the Wisconsin electorate. The Marquette Law School poll is very well respected in Wisconsin politics and they they nailed the Wisconsin recall election in June when pollsters were all over the map in that hotly contested race.

Romney +4 with Independents:

Partisanship continues to anchor support for both parties. In the presidential race, 97 percent of Republicans support Romney and 96 percent of Democrats support Obama. Independents lean to Romney 49 to 45 percent.

The party ID in today’s survey is  D +1 (Dem 47, Rep 46, Ind 6) versus 2008 of D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33, Ind 29) and 2004 of R +3 (Dem 35, Rep 38, Ind 27) in 2004. The Marquette Law School poll, conducted Oct. 11 through Oct. 14, surveyed 870 likely voters, for a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.4 percentage points.  Note: there is a breakdown of the Registered Voters surveyed that is D +5 (Dem 49, Rep 44, Ind 7 ) which is consistent with the trend from 2010 where registered voter polls over-sample Democrat support by 4 percentage points.  Sorry for the confusion to anyone who saw I flipped this at first.

From Wisconsin’s top political reporter, Craig Gilbert:

Candidates Favorable/Unfavorable levels:

  • Obama still holds edge in favorable image, at 52% fav/ 44% unfav. It was 56-41 two wks ago
  • Romney fav/unfav 43/48% now, was 39/53 among all registered voters two weeks earlier.

VP debate reaction from Marquette Law:

  • Before VP debate, Ryan fav/unfav was 46/41. Afterward, it was 50/40.
  • Before VP debate, Biden fav/unfav was 49/41. Afterward, it was 44/47
For President Percent
Barack Obama 49
Mitt Romney 48
Undecided 2


  1. Brian
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hopefully Romney and Ryan actively campaign in Wisconsin now. Seems like they’ve been exclusively in Ohio/Virginia/Iowa/NC/Florida lately.

  2. Posted October 17, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Boom! Romney +6 in today’ Gallup LV poll. http://www.gallup.com/poll/157817/election-2012-likely-voters-trial-heat-obama-romney.aspx

  3. Pete
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Funny how same poll showed Thompson with a more solid lead. Hmmmmm.

  4. TeaPartyPaul
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I have two friends on the ground in Wisc…they say teh vibe is the same as the recall race. BUT…they do state during recall race schools were out, they are in session now, and democrats are mining campuses for EVERY single vote they can get.

    • Kevin
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It’s amazing how Obama is going after the college students as hard as they are. I don’t think Obama and his campaign understands the young people’s thinking. This is a group of Americans that have to upgrade their cell phones every six to ten months because their phones are “outdated” and “old”. They go with the flow, are very much into trends, and with a short attention span, they lose interest in something rather quickly.

      Four years ago, Obama was new, and young. He was cool because he was carrying around the “cool” and popular phone of the time, the Blackberry. Four years later, Obama looks older, grey, and now the college students look at him as “whatever dude, you’re so yesterday”, just like the Blackberry.

  5. Posted October 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Romney must win Virginia, Florida and Ohio. Once there, then Wisconsin, Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado or Nevada is the icing he needs for the EC cake.

  6. Big Mac
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    He’ll win Virginia, i am in Virginia and Mitt has the momentum here.

  7. No Tribe
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    An 11 point swing in unfavorables for Biden. Oh yea, he won that debate, haha.

    • William Jefferson
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

      That’s the thing. The liberal base (meaning MSNBC, Andrew Sullivan) LOVE the aggressive attacks, the snark and derision that Biden and now Obama dish out. Voters do not.

      • Posted October 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        if 21 days out at the 2nd of 3 debates the sitting President is having to shovel wheel barrows full of raw, red meat to his base and the challenger is able to look into the camera and talk directly to the middle, the undecideds and independents….that should tell you something.

  8. Eric
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The party ID in the June recall election was R+1.

    I ran through the age demographics on Wisconsin, and it looks like a lot of younger voters didn’t vote in the June election. Turnout among 18-29 year olds was down. Turnout among 30-44 year olds was also down. 45-64 was stable. 65+ was up slightly.

    Then, I compared those numbers to previous elections in 2008, 2004, and 2000.

    Here’s the breakdown:

    Age group 18-29:
    2000: 460,170
    2004: 599,401
    2008: 626,518
    2012: 402,324

    2000: 918,063
    2004: 899,102
    2008: 865,125
    2012: 553,196

    2000: 744,929
    2004: 1,108,982
    2008: 1,044,195
    2012: 1,106,392

    65 and older:
    2000: 366,770
    2004: 479,521
    2008: 417,678
    2012: 452,615

    I wouldn’t put much stock in the 2000 numbers as it was based on a sketchy exit poll with a low sample size.

    In Wisconsin, Republican’s best age group is those in the 30-44 range. Every single election except 2008 that is the case. Republicans 2nd best group is those in the 65+ range, and that was the top group in 2008. A lot of voters in the 30-44 range swung to Obama in 2008. Many of them returned in 2012, but not all of them. This group will decide the election in Wisconsin. If they show up in large numbers and if they return to their Republican roots like in 2004, then Romney will win Wisconsin.

    Democrats best age group by far has been the younger 18-29 year old range. Many of them didn’t vote in the 2012 recall election, as you can see. Their support for Democrats didn’t really waver in the recall election. They just didn’t show up in large numbers. The 2nd best group for Democrats is the boomer generation of 45-64. They lean slightly Democrat compared to the overall population, but they are much more Democratic than their younger cohorts (30-44). The 45-64 folks showed up in force in the recall effort, but they lost. Turnout among them is reliable and constant.

    The result in Wisconsin hinges on a couple of things. The 18-29 group versus the 30-44 group. Democrats need the former while Republicans need the latter. Also, gaining the margins back from the 30-44 group for Republicans is key. Right now, it looks like a tossup. I’d give a slight edge to Obama.

    • Posted October 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      dont think comparing to a June recall election is a good comparison. It happened in June, schoosl are out. Plus it is a hardcore partisan issue on both sides. A recall is a base issue. I think across the board the 18-29 turn out will be higher than 04, less than 08. the 30-44 will be status quo and the 45 and above will exceed both 04 and 08. 4 years later you have more people in that category. And that category is where Romney lives.

      It backs up the old addage…if you aren’t a liberal at age 20, you have no heart. If you aren’t a conservative at age 40, you have no brain.

      • Eric
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        The 30-44 demo has been much more favorable to Republicans than the 45-64 demo by far. I too expect the younger generations to show up in bigger numbers. That’s the point I was making, but there is a split among younger groups with those under 30 voting Democratic and those over 30 voting Republican. It’s the 30-44 demographic that has changed Wisconsin from a reliable Democratic state to a swing state. The younger population under 30 will become more Republican as they get older (like always happens), and in 5-10 years or so Wisconsin may lean somewhat Republican at the national level as the older generations are replaced by the younger generations.

      • WillBest
        Posted October 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        When you have a wife (or husband) and kids. The taxes aren’t just being taken away from you. They are being taken away from your family.

        When you have a wife (or husband) and kids. The debt the government has to be paid, isn’t something that you can just not worry about because you will be dead before somebody shows up to collect it.

        When you are young and haven’t started your life yet you haven’t built anything. But when you are older, you did build that.

        This is why people get more conservative as they grow up. They move from the ideological abstract to the practical everyday.

    • No Tribe
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

      “The 18-29 group versus the 30-44 group.”

      That seems to be the case in some other states too.

  9. Posted October 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    this election is about appealing directly to Obama voters. He is not a bad person. He is not trying to maliciously destroy America. He tried, failed and it is okay to replace him. Happened with Carter. He was a nice, likeable guy who truly tried his best and had good intentions, but he failed. Notice Romney isn’t and hasn’t painted Obama with a personal attack. This is business. He has failed, he must be replaced. Obama has hit the personal. Romney is here to kill granny, put your daughter in chains, throw black people back to slavery and let the rich rule the world. Problem is Romney doesn’t fit the mold. He isn’t from the Bush-Regan family. He is a nice guy. He gives gazillions to charity. Obama is not getting traction on personal attacks or long term traction on He’s rich, he must be bad.

    • Kevin
      Posted October 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

      “He’s not trying to maliciously destroy America”.

      Obama is trying to maliciously destroy the coal industry with overreaching EPA regulations.
      Obama did maliciously destroy the XL Pipeline that would have created thousands of good paying jobs.
      Obama did maliciously destroy drilling in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP Oil rig explosion. He’s been withholding drilling leases and preventing additional offshore drilling in the Gulf.
      Obama did maliciously destroy our Triple A credit rating through his reckless spending, and over reaching Government policies.

      I can go on if you like.

      Keep believing that “he’s not a bad person”.

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