You may remember last week's Marquette Law School Poll, which was the first large-scale poll of Wisconsin voters that had been released to the public over the last 3 months. The big headlines came from these figures.
Scott Walker approval vs. disapproval
Scott Walker vs Hillary Clinton, 2016 president
Russ Feingold vs. Ron Johnson, 2016 U.S. Senate
But as usual, the more interesting stories with these polls are hidden in the crosstabs. Here are a few items that jumped out at me when I looked at those figures.
First of all, there is a massive gender gap in the state. Take a look at the splits in the 2016 presidential and senate races, as well as the favorability ratings for various poiticians that are in those races. The one exception is Bernie Sanders, who doesn’t have as big of a male/female gap, but also is less known than the other candidates (by the way, Marquette did not ask how Bernie matched up with the GOP candidates. And I've seen no explanation why).
Male vs Female, Marquette Poll August 2015
Walker vs. Clinton
Male: Walker 49.3-42.9
Female: Clinton 59.6-34.7
Feingold vs. Johnson
Male: Johnson 49.7-40.4
Female: Feingold 52.5-34.6
Sen. Tammy Baldwin favorable/unfavorable
Other major dividers are education level, and age. Democrats tend to do markedly better among the younger and more educated, while Walker and Republicans do better among those of middle age, and those with limited education. The one exception is young voters in the John son-Feingold race, which seems to be a function of both candidates being less known among younger voters.
HS diploma last grade completed 44.4-51.8
Bachelor’s degree+ 32.8-65.2
HS diploma 32.4-60.0
Bachelor’s degree+ 45.0-47.6
HS diploma 25.0-22.4
Bachelor’s degree+ 44.9-19.4
Walker vs Clinton
18-29 Clinton 66.2-26.8
45-59 Clinton 47.7-46.6
HS diploma Walker 48.3-47.2
Bachelor’s degree+ Clinton 58.7-35.0
Feingold vs Johnson
18-29 Feingold 40.0-39.0
45-59 Feingold 49.1-43.4
HS diploma Johnson 48.7-37.0
Bachelor’s degree+ Feingold 57.6-36.3
So basically, the only Wisconsinites that back Republicans are low-educated, older men (and in particular WHITE men, since Walker has 21% approval among African-Americans, and that group favors Clinton over Walker by nearly 60%). These are major deficits that the GOP needs to make up, and given that Gov Walker is running scared due to the rise of Donald Trump and throwing out a new far-right absurdity nearly every day, I don't think those gender, youth or educations gaps are going to close any time soon. And it's something the Democratic Party of Wisconsin should hammer on and contrast continually over the next 14 months, to paint the Wisconsin GOP as the stupid, regressive party that is causing the state to fall behind its neighbors as a state that people want to make their future in.
There are a lot more crosstabs, as well as a few items that may even be understating just how bad things are for the Wisconsin GOP right now. I'll have a second post up in the near future going over that, and feel free to add your own reactions from the crosstabs in the comments.