Bruce Murphy
Murphy’s Law

Not Many Approve of Ron Johnson

What did we learn from new Marquette Poll? Not a lot. But how about those Rojo numbers?

By - Oct 7th, 2020 05:54 pm
Ron Johnson. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / CC BY-SA (

Ron Johnson. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / (CC BY-SA)

The latest Marquette University Law School poll was just released and there weren’t a lot of surprises.

Democrat Joe Biden still leads Republican Donald Trump in the race for president, by 46% to 41%, which was about the same as the previous polls, where Biden ranged from 4 to 6 points ahead of Trump. Ho hum. The margin seems pretty baked in.

And though most people (41%) said Biden did the best job in the presidential debate, while 20% say Trump did best, the poll found “little change in preference or attitudes following the first presidential debate.” Again suggesting nothing is going to change how people in Wisconsin view the candidates.

Given what a dreadful debate it was, some might be surprised to find that only 14% said both did badly. But again, it shows nothing will change the minds of Badger voters. Even the fact that Trump contracted coronavirus may not matter, as some of those polled were after this happened (the survey was done on September 30 through October 4), and it doesn’t appear to have had much impact on the results.

The survey came at a time when COVID-19 was surging in the state and not surprisingly the percent of people “very worried” about the pandemic rose somewhat since the last poll (taken a month ago), from 21% to 27 percent. Yet the percent of those “not worried at all” also rose slightly, suggesting this issue too has become baked in by the respondent’s partisan views.

Along with that came a slight rise in those supporting a mask requirement from 69% in the last poll to 72 percent today. That support ranged from 87% in the City of Milwaukee to 66% in the outstate area (not including Metro Milwaukee, Madison and the Green Bay/Appleton area). In a state so evenly divided by party, this widespread and heavy support is striking, and may not help Republicans running for reelection who have made comments attacking the requirement.

Democratic Gov Tony Evers continues to be the most positively-viewed state politician in the poll, with 52 percent of those surveyed approving him, versus 42 percent who disapprove. That’s despite the fact that 44% disapproved how the governor handled events in Kenosha following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in August, while just 40 percent approved. Yet he continues to get high marks for his handling of the coronavirus, with 56% approving and 38% disapproving.

If that 52% approval rating seems underwhelming, it’s way better than the approval rating for Trump (44% approve, 52% disapprove) and better than for Democratic U. S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (41% approved and 35% disapproved).

No state-wide politician does as consistently bad as Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson. In the latest poll just 35% approved of him and 31% disapproved. In the previous poll just 32% approved and 36% disapproved of Johnson.

There has been talk of Johnson running for governor against Evers in 2022, an idea he hasn’t discouraged. That seems remarkable, given that in poll after poll, going back years, Johnson never gets a very high approval rating and has often been underwater, with a higher percent of respondents disproving of him.

But Johnson seems impervious to this criticism, as do a few other politicians who come to mind. We live in an era when everyone has strong political views they aren’t about to change, which helps explain the lack of surprises in this poll.

Indeed those views are so baked in that some people are not longer talking politics with those who disagree. “Is there anyone you have stopped talking with about politics due to disagreements over the election for president?” the poll asked. The result: 46% of Democrats, 29% of Independents and 28% of Republicans said yes.

Here’s betting those numbers go up as we get closer to the election.

If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits.

Categories: Murphy's Law, Politics

3 thoughts on “Murphy’s Law: Not Many Approve of Ron Johnson”

  1. JMcD says:

    I honestly think he got the nomination and then was elected because he “looks like a senator,” like central casting for a movie. But now we know, there is no substance behind the facade.

  2. Thomas Martinsen says:

    RJ married into the ownership of a plastics factory. He made a lot of money from that factory, How did that qualify him the be a U.S. Senator?.

    I worked in a plastics factory when I was a young man. It was a dirty business. RJ acts like that dirty business is somehow sacred.

    RJ has carried much dirty water for Trump. I hope that WI voters will vote him out of office to rid of of some of this dirty business.

  3. Thomas Martinsen says:

    Correction: the last sentence of the 3rd parapgraph should have been “rid us” rather than “rid of.”

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us