With less than five months to go before the November presidential election, a new poll out Wednesday found Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump in Wisconsin, and Trump’s pending nomination could be depressing Republican voter enthusiasm.
The Marquette Law School Poll also found more respondents said they would describe Trump as honest than Clinton, but that Clinton was more prepared to be president.
Both had historically high unfavorable ratings for presidential candidates going back to the 1970s, according to poll director Charles Franklin.
Clinton led 42-35 among registered voters, though among likely voters her lead grew to 46-37.
Franklin, a Marquette political science professor, said the divergence between registered and likely voters was noteworthy, particularly because only 78 percent of Republicans said they were absolutely certain they would vote in November, down from 87 percent in March and 90 percent in June 2012. Among Democrats, 84 percent said they were certain to vote, up from 81 percent in March.
“That is a substantial fall-off (among Republicans),” Franklin said. “What we’ve seen over these last two months is a pretty sharp drop-off in Republican likelihood of turning out.”
Franklin cautioned that the results could change in the coming months as attitudes about voting change, and that the likely voter measure doesn’t typically become the focus until late summer and early fall.
Asked if they thought each candidate was honest, more respondents described Trump that way (32 percent) than Clinton (28 percent). But more respondents agreed Clinton was more empathetic (42-27), better able to handle a national crisis (48-31) and more qualified to be president (56-30) than Trump.
Clinton was viewed unfavorably by 58 percent of registered voters, while Trump was viewed unfavorably by 64 percent. Among Republicans, Trump was viewed unfavorably by 35 percent, which Franklin described as “historically bad.”
Also, 55 percent said they would be very uncomfortable with Trump as president, compared with only 42 percent who said the same about Clinton.
The poll was the first presidential poll in Wisconsin since Trump and Clinton became their party’s presumptive nominees.
The last Marquette poll in late March found Clinton leading Trump by more than 10 percentage points among registered voters. That was consistent with other national polls in Wisconsin that have been taken since then, the last of which was released a month ago.
The Marquette poll was conducted June 9-12. It involved 800 registered voters with a margin of error of +/-4.4 percentage points. The likely voter sample was 666 respondents with a margin of error of +/-4.9 percentage points.The majority of responses came in before Sunday’s terrorist attack at an Orlando gay club that left 50 dead, including the killer, and 53 wounded. Franklin said an analysis of the results that came in Sunday did not show a statistically significant difference from earlier results.