POS in the News, 3/10/09

WKOW reported on the MacIver Institute poll conducted by Gene Ulm:

Wisconsin will elect a State Supreme Court justice and a new state school superintendent in the Spring election, and a newly released poll from the MacIver Institute for Public Policy finds nearly half the likely voters have not settled on a candidate in either contest.

“At this point, these races are largely name identification contests,” said pollster Gene Ulm. “Since none of the candidates has really launched their advertising campaigns yet, the races for Supreme Court and Superintendent are wide open – and they could go either way.”

Also mentioned was the Wisconsin Governor’s race in 2010:

In a contest featuring Doyle and Walker, 43% say they would likely back Walker, while 50% say they would probably support Doyle. 7% of the respondents were undecided between these two candidates.

The numbers are nearly identical in a match-up featuring Doyle and Neumann, with 42% saying they would probably vote for Neumann and 49% saying they would likely back Doyle. 9% of the respondents were undecided between these two candidates.

“The results show that Walker and Neumann are ‘statistical twins,'” said Ulm. “Either man would be a strong challenger to Governor Doyle should he seek re-election.”

Another topic mentioned is Governor Doyle’s approval ratings:

The survey shows Governor Doyle enjoys a 52% approval rating among likely voters, with 42% saying they disapprove of the job Doyle is doing as Governor.

“While Governor Doyle’s approval rating is the same as when he was re-elected in 2006, the overall numbers don’t tell the whole story,” said Ulm. “His support is soft with only 15% of the respondents saying they “strongly” approve of the Governor’s performance.”

The Daily Kenoshan also reports on the MacIver poll:

The economy remains the number one concern for state residents, with 64% saying it is the single most important problem they face today according to a new poll released today by the MacIver Institute for Public Policy.

“The economy is the only issue right now,” said Gene Ulm a partner with Public Opinion Strategies, the firm that conducted the study for the MacIver Institute. “People are worried about their money, they’re worried about their job, and they’re not sure when things are going to get better.”

When asked “what is the single most important problem” facing them and their families, 64% of state residents said the economy – far more than any other issue. 15% of residents said their top concern was health care while 6% said taxes. Even fewer residents chose crime, education, state and local government or the environment as the most important problem. The portion of residents listing the economy as their top concern has risen 17 percentage points since a similar survey was conducted in May of 2008.

Most say state and nation are on the wrong track

“People are upset; they’re angry; they think things have gotten seriously off track” said Ulm. “The overall mood remains sour.” Indeed, 65% of those surveyed say things in this country “have gotten off on the wrong track.” An almost equal number – 64% – say things in Wisconsin are on the “wrong track.” Just 28% of state residents think the country is going in the right direction while 29% believe the state is headed in the right direction.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel also discusses the MacIver Institute poll:

A new poll shows Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle has more support than his likely Republican challengers, but his approval rating hovers at the 50% mark.

The poll of 500 likely spring voters was conducted Feb. 25 and 26 by Public Opinion Strategies for MacIver. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.38 percentage points.

In matchups with likely Republican opponents, he bested Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker (50% to 43%) and former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann (49% to 42%).

The poll showed Doyle with a 52% approval rating and a 42% disapproval rating.

Doyle — who hasn’t said whether he will run for re-election — wouldn’t be on the ballot until November 2010.

The poll was commissioned by the new MacIver Institute for Public Policy, which has not yet released the results.

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