MILWAUKEE — Registered voters remain split in their opinions regarding the Foxconn Technology Group project underway in Mount Pleasant, according to a Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday.
According to the poll, which was conducted Oct. 3-7, 41 percent of registered voters think the Foxconn manufacturing campus will “provide at least as much value as the state is investing in the plant.”
However, 40 percent think “the state is paying more than the Foxconn plant is worth.” The poll also revealed that 18 percent of respondents are unsure of what the worth of the facility will be.
Foxconn first became part of the poll in March and this is the first time more voters said Foxconn would be worth as much as the state is proving in support.
The poll also showed a majority of respondents, 58 percent, believe the Foxconn campus “will substantially improve the economy of the greater Milwaukee area, while 27 percent do not think it will and 15 percent say they don’t know.”
There is some discrepancy, though, among how people view Foxconn’s impact on area businesses.
According to the poll, 33 percent say businesses will benefit directly from Foxconn, while 55 percent say local businesses will not benefit and 12 percent do not know.
With just a few days before the Nov. 6 election, the Marquette poll is likely the last poll voters and candidates will see before ballots are cast.
In statewide races, the poll found the race between incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker in a virtual tie with Democratic candidate Tony Evers, the state superintendent of public instruction, with each receiving 47 percent support among respondents.
Among registered voters who responded, Walker received 47 percent, while Evers received 44 percent of support.
“This race could clearly tip either direction based on our data,” poll director Charles Franklin said.
Franklin noted other public polls have shown Evers leading the race, though mostly by a narrow margin.
In the race for U.S. Senate, incumbent Democrat Sen. Tammy Baldwin has a double-digit lead in the poll, with 54 percent of respondents supporting her and 43 percent supporting the Republican challenger, state Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Brookfield.
Self-described independent voters favor Evers over Walker, 49-42, and overwhelmingly back Baldwin over Vukmir, 59-37. Both races have seen virtually no movement since the previous Marquette poll earlier this month.
The poll found incumbent Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel in an increasingly tight race with Democratic challenger Josh Kaul. Schimel has 47 percent support and Kaul has 45 percent, with 7 percent of voters undecided.
Democrats continue to enjoy an enthusiasm edge in the poll. It found 81 percent of Democrats very enthusiastic about voting in this election, compared with 74 percent of Republicans.
Trump, Walker approval ratings
Among registered voters, 47 percent approve of President Donald Trump while 50 percent disapprove.
The poll contained a few potential pluses for Walker. His approval rating among registered voters is 50 percent, the highest since 2014, with 46 percent disapproving.
And 55 percent of registered voters see the state as headed in the right direction — more than in the previous poll or in an October 2014 poll — while 40 percent think the state is on the wrong track.
The poll suggests the race is much closer than Walker’s last re-election campaign in 2014 when he led Democratic opponent Mary Burke by a 50-43 margin in the final Marquette poll before Election Day. He went on to win that race by 5.7 points.
Another possible bright spot for Evers: Voters were asked in the poll to rank their most important issue heading into the election. Number one was health coverage, picked by 25 percent of respondents. K-12 education and jobs and the economy were next, each with 20 percent.
Among those calling health coverage most important, two thirds support Evers and a third support Walker. For those calling K-12 education most important, 70 percent support Evers and 21 percent back Walker.
For those who say jobs and the economy, however, 74 percent support Walker and 20 percent back Evers.
When registered voters were asked to weigh more funding for public schools against lower property taxes, they opted for the former 55 percent to 40 percent, which is consistent with other Marquette polls this cycle.
The poll surveyed 1,154 likely voters and 1,400 registered voters Oct. 24-28. Among likely voters, its error margin is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.
Franklin noted the poll mirrors national ones in showing white voters increasingly segmented by gender and educational attainment, while minority voters continue to solidly support Democrats.
In the new poll, white men without college degrees strongly favor Walker and Vukmir, while white women with degrees overwhelmingly back Baldwin and Evers.
The ticket splitters giving Baldwin a larger margin than Evers tend to be white men with degrees, who back Baldwin and Walker, and white women without degrees, who solidly support Baldwin while only narrowly supporting Evers.
The previous Marquette poll, released Oct. 10, found Walker getting 47 percent support among likely voters, compared to 46 percent for Evers and 5 percent for Anderson. Baldwin was leading Vukmir 53 percent to 43 percent. In the race for Attorney General, Schimel led Kaul, 47 percent to 43 percent.