Here and Now 2020

Biden Continues to Lead in Latest Marquette Poll

The poll taken during the president's visit to Kenosha also shows a bump for Trump among Republicans in Wisconsin due to the visit.

By Will Kenneally

September 9, 2020

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Joe Biden and Donald Trump

Joe Biden will challenge President Donald Trump in the November 2020 presidential election.

Joe Biden continues to lead President Donald Trump in the latest Marquette Law School Poll.

The former vice president leads Trump 47%-43% among likely voters in the poll released Wednesday.

“Despite all those real world events, there’s very little change in this poll,” Charles Franklin, the poll’s director said. “A month ago, it was a 49% for Biden, 44% for Trump.”

The poll included for the first time in 2020 the Libertarian presidential candidate Jo Jorgensen who received 4% among likely voters. This matched the poll’s margin of error of +/- 4%.

This comes with relatively stable perceptions of Trump and Biden. The president’s job approval rating has not changed since the Marquette poll conducted in early August, and both candidates have net negative favorability in the latest poll.

President Donald J. Trump meets John Rode and his family members Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., the retired owner of Rode’s Camera store opened in 1911, at the site of store’s burnt remains destroyed in recent rioting. (Courtesy: Shealah Craighead / the White House)

The latest poll however, which was conducted from Aug. 30 through Sept. 3, included a snapshot of sentiments both before and after the president’s visit to Kenosha in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting.

Franklin said there was little movement among Democrats and Independents in response to the visit, but said there was a significant positive response post-visit among Republicans in their view of how Trump is handling racial justice protests.

“Among Republicans prior to his visit 65% approved of his handling of the protests. And after his visit, 87% approved,” Franklin said. “That’s a substantial shift.”

This comes as favorable views of the protests have declined since June, but the September poll showed no further decline since early August–which would have indicated a response to the Jacob Blake protests.

The September poll was also the first since the parties’ national conventions and the announcement of Kamala Harris as Biden’s running mate.

Franklin said the poll showed little movement from the conventions on measures such as whether the candidate “cares about people like me.”

Harris saw a bump in her favorability since she was last in the Marquette poll as a presidential candidate, sitting now at 38%-37% favorable-unfavorable. Vice President Mike Pence saw a decline in favorability since 2017, sitting now at a net negative favorability of 39%-46%.


The latest Marquette poll shows a continued decline since the beginning of the pandemic in people “very worried” about contracting the virus: 30% in March, compared to 21% in September.

The number saying they are “not worried at all” has not greatly increased in the last few months however, resting at 19%.

The response to the virus also tracks with Gov. Tony Evers’ job approval, which saw a spike in April, but returned in the September poll to his pre-COVID numbers in January and February.

As school districts around the state began the school year around the Labor Day holiday, more respondents said they were uncomfortable reopening schools than opening schools 51%-43%. This was an increase since June, when more favored opening schools than not.

“Where we see a big change is among parents,” Franklin said. “The people without children haven’t changed their views at all over the month, so all of the shift we see here is from parents with school aged children.”

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