Just yesterday, the first two post-state budget polls came out on the Governor’s approval rating and on the direction of Wisconsin. These two polls today show a growing consensus showing that Governor Doyle and the Democrats are in serious trouble in Wisconsin.
The first poll was the KSTP-5/Survey USA Poll. The poll shows that Governor Doyle’s disapproval rating is at 61% which is a two point increase from a poll conducted in late April. When I took a look from all the polls Survey USA conducted this year when the first poll showed Governor Doyle with his approval at 48 percent to 46 percent disapprove, Governor Doyle has taken a sharp 15 point drop. The poll had 600 voters with a +/- 4%
The Second poll was the Badger Poll conducted by the University of Wisconsin Survey Center. The poll measured more of the direction of the state, but technically considers Governor Doyle’s job performance. With the poll having the same margin of error and respondents, 56% disapprove of the direction of the state while only 42 percent approve of the direction of the direction of the state.
Key Factors in the polls
In the Survey USA poll, the poll continues to show the trend of a large block of independent voters against the Governor’s job performance. Independents disapprove of the Governor in this newest poll on the margin of 69 percent to 20 percent with 12 percent undecided. This is a three point drop off from the April Survey USA poll. Also, the newest SurveyUSA poll shows a clear majority of students disapproving of Governor Doyle on a margin of 59 to 24 percent. Despite sixteen percent of students polled are undecided, the numbers are showing that students are not happy with the Governor especially a planned 5.5% tuition increase. Also, on geographic breakdown, Doyle is receiving large disapproval in the Green Bay and Milwaukee (including City of Milwaukee) media markets as both markets had at or near 70 percent disapproval. Doyle’s only strong area so far is Madison as his approval is 47 to 44 percent with nine percent undecided which is a six percent drop from the last poll conducted by Survey USA in April.
When looking at the Badger Poll, the poll technically measures the Governor’s job performance despite it does not mention Governor Doyle, the poll has shown a 18 percent drop from April of 2008 confirming the trend across all the major polls that the Governor is serious trouble. Despite how the geographic breakdown is different, a good section of the poll numbers are in concurrence with Survey USA. In the Green Bay Media market on a 3 to 1 margin, voters disapprove with the Governor. In Madison and South Central Wisconsin, Governor Doyle barely has approval on a 50-49 margin. Milwaukee shows strong disapproval towards the Governor, however the poll numbers for Western and Northern Wisconsin for the Badger Poll shows a red flag. Because of how the sectioning off differs will again prove that areas like Eau Claire and La Crosse will be critical in the 2010 elections
Factors that could impact poll numbers
The factors that would impact the Governor’s approval ratings are Stimulus II and a possible relocation of Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac. If Stimulus II gets introduced in Congress, we can expect to see another increase in the Governor’s disapproval as many taxpayers will have serious questions of where the stimulus money is going in Wisconsin. Now, with numbers showing the state’s structural deficit at over $2 billion, taxpayers will demand answers if Stimulus II comes.
The second factor is the possible re-location of Mercury Marine to Oklahoma. If 1,900 family supporting jobs leave Wisconsin for Oklahoma, then voters will question the handling on the state budget in terms of job creation. Fond du Lac, Racine/Kenosha, Janesville/Beloit, and Sheboygan have unemployment rates anywhere from fifteen to twenty percent. Janesville/Beloit, Kenosha/Racine, and Sheboygan which had been reliable Democrat strongholds are seeing a large drop of support for Governor Doyle. The Republicans will be targeting their campaigns in these areas as areas of high unemployment will be key to re-gaining legislative control and the Governor’s mansion. This is evidenced that Doyle is barely winning approval in the Madison media market and faces strong disapproval in the Green Bay and Milwaukee media markets in these polls.