Poll: Carson Leads Wisconsin GOP Field

Race for President:

A new Marquette Law School Poll reveals a close race for the GOP presidential nomination in the Badger State.  The poll shows neurosurgeon Ben Carson has wrested a slim lead from Donald Trump and Florida Senator Marco Rubio has surged compared to the last MU poll in September.  According to the poll, Ben Carson earns 22 percent of the Wisconsin Republican presidential primary vote, followed by Donald Trump and Marco Rubio at 19 percent each.  In the September Marquette poll, Trump held 20 percent, Carson 16 percent and Rubio 14 percent. 

No other candidate in the Republican field breaks ten percent.   Texas Senator Ted Cruz leads the lower tier with 9 percent, followed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush with 6, Carly Fiorina with 5, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie with 4 and Mike Huckabee, John Kasich and Rand Paul each with 1 percent.

The race among Democrats is not as close though still competitive.  Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stands at 50 percent with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders nine points behind at 41 percent.  Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley earns 2 percent.

In possible matchups for November, Carson and Rubio edge Clinton by one point each, while Clinton holds a lead over Trump.  Sanders holds an advantage over all three Republican candidates:

♦      Carson 45 percent, Clinton 44 percent. (Not asked in September.)

♦       Rubio 45 percent, Clinton 44 percent. (September: Clinton 48 percent, Rubio 40 percent.)

♦      Clinton 48 percent, Trump 38 percent. (September: Clinton 50 percent, Trump 36 percent.)

♦      Sanders 47 percent, Carson 41 percent. (Not asked in September.)

♦      Sanders 46 percent, Rubio 42 percent. (September: Sanders 49 percent, Rubio 36 percent.)

♦      Sanders 52 percent, Trump 35 percent. (September: Sanders 53 percent, Trump 34 percent.)

In the aftermath of his election as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Paul Ryan is viewed favorably by 49 percent of registered voters and unfavorably by 34 percent, with 17 percent unable to give a rating. When last asked about Ryan in October 2014, 46 percent had a favorable view, 35 percent an unfavorable view and 19 percent were unable to rate him.

Speaker Paul Ryan:

Asked if they think “being Speaker will help Ryan represent the people in his district or will it require him to pay more attention to issues outside his district?,” 23 percent say it will help him represent the district while 63 percent think it will require his attention to issues outside the district.

Race for Senate:

The poll also revealed that former Democratic senator Russ Feingold maintains a lead over incumbent Ron Johnson, the Republican who defeated him in 2010.  According to the poll, Feingold is supported by 49 percent of registered voters while Johnson receives 38 percent support.  In September, Feingold was at 50 percent to Johnson’s 36 percent.

Following his failed bid for president, Governor Scott Walker’s approval ratings remain low.  Only 38 percent of Wisconsin voters approve of the governor’s performance while 58 percent disapprove.  In September 37 percent approved of the governor, 59% disapproved.

About the Poll:

The poll was conducted from November 12 to 15. The full sample includes 803 registered voters interviewed by cell phone or landline, with a margin of error of +/-4.2 percentage points. Results for the Republican nomination are based on 326 registered voters who consider themselves Republicans or independents who lean to the Republican Party. The Democratic results are based on 374 Democrats or independents who lean Democratic. The margin of error for the Republican sample is +/-6.6 percentage points, and for the Democratic sample it is +/-6.1 percentage points.

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