Subscribe for 33¢ / day
Scott Walker frown (copy) (copy) (copy) (copy)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker listens to a question while speaking with media about his proposed reforms to Medicaid, unemployment compensation and food stamps after speaking at Business Day in Madison, an event with Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce at Monona Terrace, in this February 2013 file photo.


Gov. Scott Walker's approval rating has dipped below 40 percent among Wisconsin voters, according to a poll released on Thursday.

According to the latest Marquette University Law School poll, 39 percent of Wisconsinites approve of Walker's performance as governor, down from 41 percent in April. Fifty-seven percent of voters disapprove, up slightly from 56 percent in April.

Meanwhile, Walker is more than 1,000 miles away, campaigning for president in New Hampshire. 

Thursday's Marquette poll, conducted Aug. 13-16, is the first survey of Wisconsin voters since Walker officially announced his candidacy for president. 

Poll director Charles Franklin noted that Walker's approval ratings have steadily hovered around 50 percent until these two most recent polls.

Walker's momentum has also been slipping in national polls, dropping from double digits to single digits in several recent surveys. 

An analysis conducted by FiveThirtyEight showed that Walker's numbers fell more than any other Republican candidate's after the Aug. 6 GOP debate.

In Wisconsin, Walker has lost support as a presidential candidate among Republican voters since the last Marquette poll. 

In April, 40 percent of Republican voters supported Walker for president. That's now down to 25 percent in August. Among other factors, national frontrunner Donald Trump has since entered the race, significantly altering the dynamics of the GOP field.

Walker still leads the GOP field in Wisconsin, with Ben Carson in second at 13 percent and Trump in third at 9 percent.

In a hypothetical election against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, Clinton leads Walker by 10 points. In April, she held a 12-point lead against the governor.

Among Democratic voters, Clinton leads the presidential field with 44 percent, followed by Bernie Sanders at 32 percent and Joe Biden at 12 percent. 

The majority of Wisconsinites — 63 percent — disapprove of Walker's presidential bid, while 33 percent support it. However, Franklin noted, that sample includes both Democrats and Republicans.

Walker is not seen as especially empathetic, but voters see him as someone who gets things done. Asked whether the governor "care(s) about people like you," 37 percent of voters said yes, while 59 percent said no. 

But 60 percent said Walker is someone who is "able to get things done," compared to 38 percent who say he's not.

"It's no accident 'a fighter who can win' is a good slogan for someone who is widely seen as getting things done," Franklin said.

Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.


Jessie Opoien covers state government and politics for the Capital Times. She joined the Cap Times in 2013 and has also covered Madison life, race relations, culture and music. She has also covered education and politics for the Oshkosh Northwestern.