Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 by a very narrow margin – 0.77% – and that gave him the necessary 270 votes in the Electoral College required to win the presidency. Wisconsin is set to be pivotal in the 2020 race as well and Biden has consistently led the President in the Badger State.
A CBS News and YouGov poll released Sunday morning found Biden leading Trump 48% to 42% among likely voters, and the Election Research Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, looking at registered voters, found Biden ahead with 49% to Trump’s 43%. The Marquette University Law School Poll, released on Tuesday, finds Biden at 50%, in a close race with Trump at 46% among likely voters.
The Marquette University poll’s margin of error was 4.2%, indicating no clear leader in the presidential race in Wisconsin for that survey.
In all three polls, Trump earns largely negative reviews for his handling of the presidency.
In the University of Wisconsin poll, 55% disapprove of his handling of the presidency, and 54% say the same in the Marquette University poll. In CBS’ poll, 50% say Trump’s presidency is going worse than expected, compared with just 30% who think it is going better than they expected.
Most, 59%, in CBS’ poll say Trump is doing a bad job handling the coronavirus outbreak, and 58% in the Marquette University poll say they disapprove of his handling of the outbreak, Trump’s worst rating on the question in Marquette’s polling since March.
But Trump tops Biden when voters are asked who would do a better job handling the economy in CBS’ poll: 47% favor Trump, 43% Biden. The Marquette poll finds 51% approve of Trump’s handling of the economy and 46% disapprove, figures that have held roughly steady since June.
Across all three polls, among registered voters, a sizable minority reported that they planned to vote by mail in the presidential election (35% in the Marquette poll, 38% in the University of Wisconsin poll and 44% in the CBS News poll). Both the CBS News and Marquette polls find Democrats far more likely to say they plan to vote by mail than are Republicans (57% in the Marquette poll among Democrats vs. 13% for Republicans; in the CBS poll, 62% of Democrats said they preferred to vote by mail vs. 25% of Republicans).
The polls, all released in quick succession, come after a roughly three-month drought of quality polling in Wisconsin.
The CBS News/YouGov poll was conducted online August 4-7 in Wisconsin among a random sample of 1,009 registered voters. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
The Election Research Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison poll was conducted online July 27 through August 6 in Wisconsin among a random sample of 800 adults, including 734 registered voters. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.86 percentage points for the full sample, +/-5 among registered voters.
The Marquette University Law School poll was conducted online August 4-9 in Wisconsin among a random sample of 801 registered voters, including 675 likely voters. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points for the full sample, +/-4.2 among likely voters.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correctly state that the Election Research Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted one of the three polls.