NBC News/Marist Poll Results & Analysis of Wisconsin: September 2020

Biden Leads Trump by 10 in Wisconsin

In a state that Donald Trump carried by fewer than 23,000 votes, former Vice President Joe Biden (54%) is ahead of President Trump (44%) by 10 points among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who already voted.

WI Presidential Tossup
If November's election for president were held today, whom would you support if the candidates are: [If undecided: If you had to decide today, are you leaning more towards:] [If already voted: Whom did you support in the presidential election?]
Source: NBC News/Marist Poll. Survey conducted Sep 20 – Sep 24, 2020. Margin of error for 727 likely voters is +/- 4.6%.
  • Biden does best among nonwhite voters, white voters with a college degree, women overall, and city and suburban voters, including having a 37-point advantage among suburban women.

  • Trump has the advantage among white evangelical Christians, white men without a college degree, and voters in rural areas.

  • 59% of independents support Biden while 35% back Trump. In 2016, Trump carried independents against Clinton by 10 points.

  • Biden has made significant inroads among white voters and leads Trump by 7 points, a group Trump carried by 11 points in 2016.

  • Trump has also lost traction among voters 65+, a group he divided with Clinton four years ago. Now, he trails Biden by 21 points, 38% to 59%.

  • Four percent of likely voters are persuadable, that is, voters who are undecided or who support a candidate but might vote differently.

82% of likely voters with a candidate preference for president strongly support their choice. Trump (85%) and Biden (79%) enjoy strong support among most of their respective backers.

“As we head into debate season, Trump is playing catch-up in Wisconsin,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist Poll. “He’s lost ground among key groups in the state that he carried four years ago when, at that time, Clinton’s negatives were much higher than Biden’s are today.”

Trump’s approval rating is underwater among Wisconsin adults. 42% approve while 52% disapprove. In October 2018, 41% of residents statewide approved of how the president was doing his job, and 49% disapproved. 10% were unsure. 30% of residents strongly approve of Trump’s job performance, and 43% strongly disapprove.

The president’s favorable rating is also upside down among likely voters (40% favorable to 58% unfavorable). In contrast, 50% of likely voters have a favorable view of Biden to 46% who have an unfavorable impression of him.

Biden is thought to be the candidate who can better handle coronavirus and race relations. Likely voters divide about the candidate who can better handle the economy and crime.

Candidate Who Would Better Handle the Issues

Source: NBC News/Marist Poll. Survey conducted Sep 20 – Sep 24, 2020. Margin of error for 727 likely voters is +/- 4.6%.

Other Findings

SCOTUS Vacancy

A majority of Wisconsin residents (54%) think the winner of November’s presidential election should fill the vacant seat on the United States Supreme Court left by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This includes 92% of Democrats, 61% of independents, and 13% of Republicans. 35%, including 80% of Republicans, think President Trump should immediately nominate a successor. Six percent of residents say Trump should appoint a Supreme Court Justice after the election regardless of who wins.

Concerns About Racial Protests

53% of Wisconsin residents are more concerned about the looting and use of violence by protestors following the police actions against George Floyd and Jacob Blake than they are about the actions of the police. 36% are more worried about the treatment of Floyd and Blake by police.

Governor Tony Evers’ Job Approval Rating

49% of Wisconsin residents approve of how Governor Tony Evers is performing his job as governor while 42% disapprove.