Monday, January 27, 2014

Latest Marquette Poll shows leftist shift in some of WI voters' attitudes

Dem challenger Burke should support progressive policy stances if she wants to win

The Marquette Law School Poll was released today. Several results of the poll were released via Twitter this afternoon, and many of the results indicate Wisconsin has a leftist perspective on certain issues.

On the issue of minimum wage, an overwhelming number of Wisconsinites approved raising the base rate at which low-income people got paid.

About a quarter of citizens wanted the minimum wage to stay where it is right now, at $7.25 per hour. More than a third wanted the wage raised to $9.00 per hour, and another quarter of Wisconsinites want to see a $10.00 minimum wage hike. 4.8 and 9.9 percents wanted to see the minimum wage raised to $11.00 and $12.00 per hour, respectively.

Overall, a total of almost 73 percent of Wisconsin citizens want a minimum wage raise of some kind, when asked specifically about which wages they preferred. Only about 27 percent wanted no change, didn’t respond, or had no answer.

The issue also transcended across political lines. As Democrats and Independents overwhelmingly responded in favor of some wage hike, a majority of Republicans, too, preferred raising the minimum wage to at least some higher levels.

Beyond the issue of the minimum wage, Wisconsinites also favor another measure designed to lower property taxes: raising taxes on the wealthy. More than 64 percent are for raising income taxes on those earning over $250,000 annually; only 32 percent oppose.

Conversely, raising the sales tax as a way to lower property taxes is opposed by a majority of citizens. Only about 39 percent of Wisconsinites would support a plan to raise the sales tax; 57 percent think it’s a lousy idea.

When it comes to electoral promises, residents of the state want to hold Gov. Scott Walker accountable for his jobs pledge. More than 29 percent call the issue “very important” to them, and nearly 39 percent called the issue “somewhat important.” In all, 68 percent of Wisconsinites suggested that the issue would be important to them in the upcoming gubernatorial election.

That should be alarming to Gov. Walker. Of those polled, almost 8-in-10 expressed skepticism that he would reach the goal by the end of his term.

There are some concerns from the polling, however, specifically when it comes to Mary Burke. The Democratic challenger to Gov. Walker polled remarkably high in the October poll, but in the latest polling her numbers have slipped. Put in a head-to-head matchup, Burke trails Walker by about 47-41 percent.

Many may see this as a troubling sign of the way things will be in November. But even the Marquette Law Polling blog calls this stat too early to make any rationale prediction about. Indeed, nearly 70 percent of Wisconsinites haven’t heard enough about of her to know how they feel about Burke as a candidate.

That’s the “grain of salt” that can be taken from this poll for progressives and those opposed to Walker. If Mary Burke endorses these issues -- supporting a reasonable raise in the minimum wage, a responsible taxation model that lowers property taxes, and pointing out the failures of the Walker administration to produce his jobs pledge -- we could see things turn around, especially once the public starts to get to know Burke.

If she goes the other direction, opting to take a “middle ground” stance on these issues, it could spell disaster.

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