Wednesday, October 23, 2019

MU Law Poll - Trump doing OK...if the electorate is old and conservative

Today had the release of the latest Marquette Law School Poll. And the typical summary of it sounded something like this.
A narrow majority of Wisconsinites oppose impeachment of President Donald Trump, though support has grown since earlier this year, according to the latest Marquette Law School Poll.

The poll, conducted Oct. 13-17 among 799 registered voters, found 51% of respondents said the president should not be impeached and removed from office, while 44% said he should be impeached. The poll has a margin of error of +/-4.2 percentage points.

In addition, the poll, the first since Congress began impeachment inquiry hearings regarding Trump's conduct related to Ukraine, found 49% of respondents said they don't believe there is enough information to support impeachment proceedings, compared to 46% who said there is enough....

As far as Trump’s job approval, 46% of respondents approve of the job he's doing as president, while 51% said they disapprove.

Trump’s job approval numbers have been relatively consistent throughout the year. He had a 44% approval rating in January, compared with a 52% disapproval rating.
That was a bit surprising, given recent events and Trump's clear slide in the polls. But once you dig into the MU poll a bit it makes sense.

And the reason why is because conservatives were a larger part of the MU Law Poll than what was reported in the 2016 exit polls in Wisconsin.

MU Law Poll 40.6%
2016 exit poll 34%

MU Law Poll 33.8%
2016 exit poll 40%

MU Law Poll 25.6%
2016 exit poll 25%

And why is this is a big deal? Because while conservatives overwhelmingly approved of Trump and didn't want impeachment, moderates disapproved of Trump 33-61, favored impeachment hearings 53-39, and even backed impeachment AND REMOVAL 47-46.

If the ideological demos matched the 2016 exit polls, here’s what you'd get.

MU Law Poll with 2016 exit poll ideology
Trump approval
From 46-51 to 43-54

Have impeachment hearings
From 46-49 to 48-46

Impeachment + removal
From 44-51 to 46-48

That's not a lot of points, but would likely cause a major change in perception. Especially if the headline was "Trump approval falls and impeachment hearings favored."

Gee golly willikers, that's what the people told us.

Also worth noting is the Age disparity.

Age 18-44
MU Law Poll 34%
2016 exit poll 40%
2018 Census figures 44%

Age 45+
MU Law Poll 66%
2016 exit poll 60%
2018 Census figures 56%

And that's another key split in these questions.

Trump approval
18-44 -15
45+ -0.1

Have impeachment hearings
18-44 +2.1
45+ -5.8

Impeachment + removal
18-44 +2.8
45+ -12.3

That's not a misprint, younger voters want Trump removed even more than they want impeachment hearings themselves!

So if people under 45 were projected to turn out as much as people 45+ turn out, the Dem candidates wouldn't be up a few points in Wisconsin, but more like 8-10. And impeachment would be nearly at 50% already. Demos matter. And if only old people respond to politics in Wisconsin, GOPs do better. While if younger people show up, Dems win, often by a sizable amount.

Of course, this poll was taken between 6 and 10 days ago, and a whole lot has emerged since then, with most of it making impeachment more likely, and Trump's electoral prospects worse. But that's not going to stop the media from saying Wisconsin is still a toss-up state for now, based on a typical elderly and conservative Marquette Poll.

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