The majority of registered voters in Wisconsin are deeply concerned about crime in their state as Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., takes the lead in a fiery Senate matchup against Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.
Johnson took the lead with 52% support in the Wisconsin Senate race over Barnes, who was the candidate of choice for 46% of respondents.
The poll reveals a stark contrast from an August poll from the university that found that Barnes was leading the race by seven percentage points, 52% to 45%. A Fox News poll conducted in late September showed Johnson with 48% support compared to Barnes’ 44%.
A whopping 85% of registered voters in Wisconsin said they are either somewhat or very concerned about crime in their state. In Milwaukee, 90% of registered voters said they are worried about crime in their area.
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The majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents in the state, a total of 75%, support more funding for law enforcement.
Barnes’ 2020 interview with PBS Wisconsin recently resurfaced during which he said money could be taken from police departments to fund other community efforts.
“We need to invest more in neighborhood services and programming for our residents, for our communities on the front end. Where will that money come from? Well, it can come from over bloated budgets in police departments, you know?” Barnes said.
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Barnes has since said he does support police funding.
As prices remain high, inflation ranked as the most concerning issue to voters in Wisconsin, with gun violence and schools tying as the second most important issues to respondents.
Among likely Democratic voters in the state, abortion policy was the issue of top concern, while inflation ranked as the most important issue to the majority of Republican respondents. Public schools was the issue of most concern to likely independent voters.
According to the poll, 60% of registered voters in Wisconsin oppose the Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn Roe v. Wade and give power back to states to decide whether to place restrictions on abortion, while 33% agreed with the move.
A previous Marquette survey in September found that only 30% supported the SCOTUS decision, indicating that support for the Dobbs decision may have increased slightly.
Wisconsin’s gubernatorial race is virtually tied up with Gov. Tony Evers, D-Wis., leading Republican Tim Michels by one percentage point, 47% to 46%, within the poll’s margin of error. The already close race has tightened over the last month after Evers lead by 3% in early September.
The poll concluded that President Biden has only a 42% job approval rating among registered voters in Wisconsin.
The Marquette University poll was conducted from Oct. 3-9 with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.
Fox News’ Sophia Slacik contributed to this report.