Marquette University
Press Release

New Marquette Law School Poll finds increased support for Trump impeachment hearings since the spring, while opinions about Trump have changed little

When asked if Trump should be impeached and removed from office, 44 percent say that Trump should be removed.

By - Oct 23rd, 2019 01:16 pm
Mike Gousha and Charles Franklin. Photo courtesy of Marquette University.

Mike Gousha and Charles Franklin. Photo courtesy of Marquette University.

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School poll of Wisconsin registered voters finds that 46 percent think that there is enough cause now for Congress to hold hearings on impeachment of President Donald Trump, while 49 percent say there is not enough cause and 5 percent say they do not know.

In April 2019, 29 percent said there was sufficient reason for impeachment hearings and 65 percent said there was not. The April poll was completed after Attorney General William Barr’s letter describing the Mueller report but before the report was publicly released. Earlier, in January 2019, 33 percent supported and 59 percent opposed hearings.

Table 1: Do you think there is or is not enough cause right now for Congress to hold hearings into whether President Trump should be impeached? (Jan-Apr wording: Do you think there is or is not enough cause right now for Congress to begin hearings into whether or not President Trump should be impeached?)

  Enough cause Not enough cause Don’t know
Jan. 16-20, 2019 33 59 8
April 3-7, 2019 29 65 6
Oct. 13-17, 2019 46 49 5

When asked if Trump should be impeached and removed from office, 44 percent say that Trump should be removed, 51 percent say he should not be impeached and removed and 4 percent say they don’t know. This question has not been asked in Marquette Law School polling before.

Twenty-three percent say it is proper for Trump to ask China and Ukraine to conduct investigations of U.S. citizens, while 67 percent say that it is improper and 8 percent say they don’t know or declined to answer. An additional 1 percent volunteered that they did not believe that Trump had asked China or Ukraine to conduct such an investigation.

The poll was conducted Oct. 13-17, 2019. The sample included 799 registered voters in Wisconsin interviewed by cell phone or landline, with a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points. Democratic presidential candidate preference items were asked of respondents who said they would vote in the April Democratic presidential primary. That sample size is 379, with a margin of error of +/-6.3 percentage points.

Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s leader

Forty percent say they have read the rough transcript of Trump’s conversation with the president of Ukraine that the White House released, while 59 percent said they had not read the transcript.

Very similar percentages of Republicans and Democrats say they have read the conversation transcript, although independents are less likely to have read it, as shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Read Ukraine call transcript by party identification

  Yes, have read No, have not read
Republican 42 57
Lean Republican 42 57
Independent 26 74
Lean Democrat 43 57
Democrat 41 59

Among those who have read the transcript, 51 percent think there is enough reason to hold impeachment hearings, compared to 42 percent among those who have not read the transcript. Forty-six percent of those who have read the transcript think there is not enough reason to hold hearings, compared to 50 percent among those who have not read the transcript.

Table 3: Hold impeachment hearings by read Ukraine transcript or not

  Enough cause Not enough cause Don’t know
Yes, have read 51 46 2
No, have not read 42 50 7

The results are similar for opinion on impeachment and removal from office among those who have or have not read the transcript, as shown in Table 4.

Table 4: Impeach and remove from office by read Ukraine transcript or not

  Impeach & remove Don’t think so Don’t know
Yes, have read 50 47 2
No, have not read 40 54 6

Table 5 shows support for hearings by party identification, and Table 6 shows support for impeachment and removal from office by party identification.

Table 5: Enough cause for impeachment hearings by party identification

  Enough cause Not enough cause Don’t know
Republican 12 86 2
Lean Republican 15 77 8
Independent 35 53 7
Lean Democrat 77 15 8
Democrat 84 12 4

 Table 6: Support for impeachment and removal by party identification

  Impeach & remove Don’t think so Don’t know
Republican 6 92 2
Lean Republican 9 88 3
Independent 33 55 10
Lean Democrat 78 16 6
Democrat 88 8 3

 Trump’s handling of international affairs

In this survey, 37 percent approve and 59 percent disapprove of Trump’s handling of foreign policy, while 4 percent say they don’t know.

For comparison, Trump’s overall job approval stands at 46 percent approval and 51 percent disapproval, with 2 percent who don’t know. In the August Marquette Law School Poll, 45 percent approved and 53 percent disapproved of the president’s handling of his job.

This survey was conducted in the week following the announcement that the U.S. would withdraw its forces from northeastern Syria and the subsequent beginning of Turkish military operations on Oct. 9.

Asked if Trump’s foreign policies have helped or hurt America’s standing in the world, 32 percent say they have helped, while 58 percent say they have hurt. Two percent say they have not affected America’s standing, while 6 percent say they don’t know.

On Oct. 5, U.S. and North Korean talks on nuclear weapons were halted shortly after they had begun. Twenty-four percent of respondents say they believe that the U.S. and North Korea will reach an agreement on reducing nuclear weapons in the next year or two, while 66 percent say this will not happen and 10 percent say they don’t know.

Republicans give Trump higher approval on his handling of foreign policy than do independents or Democrats, as shown in Table 7. Republican approval on foreign policy is lower than Republican overall job approval, as shown in Table 8.

Table 7: Trump handling of foreign policy by party identification

  Approve Disapprove
Republican 77 19
Lean Republican 62 34
Independent 26 59
Lean Democrat 6 90
Democrat 3 97

Table 8: Trump overall job approval by party identification

  Approve Disapprove
Republican 91 8
Lean Republican 76 17
Independent 48 38
Lean Democrat 6 92
Democrat 2 96

Views of Trump

Respondents are evenly divided over whether Trump is keeping his campaign promises or not, as shown in Table 9 of results from Marquette Law School polls since Trump took office in 2017.

Table 9: Trump keeping campaign promises trend

  Yes, keeping promises No, not keeping promises
June 22-25, 2017 49 46
Feb. 25-March 1, 2018 50 46
Aug. 15-19, 2018 55 41
Aug. 25-29, 2019 48 48
Oct. 13-17, 2019 47 46

The degree to which “cares about people like me” describes Trump is shown in Table 10 for polls taken since 2017.

Table 10: Trump cares about people like me trend

  Describes Does not describe
March 13-16, 2017 40 55
June 22-25, 2017 40 55
Feb. 25-March 1, 2018 43 54
Aug. 15-19, 2018 39 57
Jan. 16-20, 2019 42 55
Aug. 25-29, 2019 40 56
Oct. 13-17, 2019 40 57

The trend for those saying Trump is someone who is honest is shown in Table 11. This question was not asked in 2018.

Table 11: Trump is someone who is honest

  Describes Does not describe
June 22-25, 2017 35 59
Jan. 16-20, 2019 31 62
April 3-7, 2019 35 59
Oct. 13-17, 2019 30 65

2020 presidential election preferences

This poll asked about four potential Democratic challengers to Trump in the 2020 presidential election, as shown in Table 12.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is favored by 50 percent and Trump by 44 percent, while 3 percent say they would not support either candidate and 3 percent say they don’t know. In August, Biden received 51 percent and Trump 42 percent.

Sen. Bernie Sanders receives 48 percent and Trump 46 percent, with 4 percent supporting neither and 2 percent who don’t know. In August, Sanders received 48 percent and Trump 44 percent.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is the choice of 47 percent and Trump gets 46 percent, with 4 percent supporting neither and 2 percent saying they don’t know. In August, Warren received 45 percent and Trump 45 percent.

This is the first time the Marquette Law School Poll has matched Mayor Pete Buttigieg against Trump. Buttigieg is supported by 43 percent to Trump’s 45 percent, while 5 percent support neither and 7 percent say they don’t know.

Table 12: General Election Matches

Match Pct Match Pct Match Pct Match Pct
Biden 50 Sanders 48 Warren 47 Buttigieg 43
Trump 44 Trump 46 Trump 46 Trump 45
Neither 3 Neither 4 Neither 4 Neither 5
Don’t know 3 Don’t know 2 Don’t know 2 Don’t know 7

Democratic presidential primary

Among those who say they will vote in the Democratic presidential primary in April, Biden is the first choice of 31 percent, followed by Warren at 24 percent, Sanders at 17 percent and Pete Buttigieg at 7 percent. Sen. Kamala Harris receives 5 percent, while all other candidates receive 3 percent or less.

The complete results for the Democratic primary are shown in Table 13.

Table 13: First and second choice in Democratic primary (among those saying they will vote in the Democratic presidential primary).

Response First Choice Second Choice
Joe Biden 31 19
Elizabeth Warren 24 27
Bernie Sanders 17 13
Pete Buttigieg 7 10
Kamala Harris 5 9
Amy Klobuchar 3 4
Andrew Yang 3 2
Tulsi Gabbard 2 2
Cory Booker 1 4
Marianne Williamson 1 0
Tom Steyer 0 0
Beto O’Rourke 0 2
Steve Bullock 0 0
Michael Bennet 0 0
Julián Castro 0 0
John Delaney 0 0
Wayne Messam 0 0
Tim Ryan 0 0
Joe Sestak 0 0
Someone else (VOL) 1 1
Would not vote (VOL) 0 1
Don’t know 4 4
Refused 0 0

Among the Democratic primary sample, favorability of candidates is shown in Table 14.

Table 14: Favorability ratings of five candidates among Democratic primary sample

  Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough Don’t know
Joe Biden 67 18 10 4
Bernie Sanders 67 26 5 1
Elizabeth Warren 63 17 13 6
Kamala Harris 48 16 24 12
Pete Buttigieg 43 13 33 12

Economic outlook

Wisconsin registered voters hold a net positive view of the performance of the economy over the past 12 months, with 41 percent saying the economy has improved over the past year, 20 percent saying it has worsened and 36 percent saying it has stayed the same.

The outlook for the next year is net negative, with 25 percent saying the economy will improve, 30 percent saying it will get worse and 39 percent saying it will remain the same.

The outlook for the coming year among those polled in 2019 is less positive than it was among those polled in 2018, as more respondents see the prospect of a worsening economy. This poll is the third in 2019 that has seen net pessimism about the economic outlook.

In 2018, the average future outlook was 14.7 percent net positive while in 2019 the average outlook has been net negative at -3.5 percent.

The full results since February 2018 are shown in Table 15.

Table 15: Outlook for the economy over next year

Poll Date Get better Get worse Stay the same Don’t know Net
2018-03-01 37 20 38 5 17
2018-06-17 35 25 37 3 10
2018-08-19 38 25 31 5 13
2018-09-16 37 24 34 5 13
2018-10-07 42 20 32 7 22
2018-10-28 38 25 29 8 13
2019-01-20 29 34 30 6 -5
2019-04-07 34 27 34 5 7
2019-08-29 26 37 33 5 -11
2019-10-17 25 30 39 6 -5

Fifty-one percent of those polled approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, while 45 percent disapprove. In August, 49 percent approved and 50 percent disapproved.

State and national issues

A proposed mandatory buy-back of assault weapons from owners is opposed by 54 percent and supported by 42 percent, with 3 percent saying they don’t know. Those with a gun in the household tend to oppose such a policy while those without a gun in the household tend to support it, as shown in Table 16.

Table 16: Assault weapon buy-back opinion by gun in household

  Support Oppose
Gun 30 68
No gun 59 35

There are partisan differences in views of an assault-weapon buy-back policy, as shown in Table 17.

Table 17: Assault weapon buy-back opinion by party identification

  Support Oppose
Republican 13 83
Democrat 76 20
Independent 42 57

Proposals for changes to national health care programs include, among others, a national single-payer program and a public option that would compete with but not replace private insurance. The full wording of the questions, and the responses are shown in Tables 18 and 19.

Table 18: Do you support or oppose having a national health plan, sometimes called Medicare-for-all, in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan?

Response Percent
Support 51
Oppose 42
Don’t know 7
Refused 1

Table 19: Do you support or oppose having a government-administered health plan, sometimes called a public option, that would compete with private health insurance plans and be available to all Americans?

Response Percent
Support 60
Oppose 32
Don’t know 6
Refused 1

A large majority (82 percent) of respondents said they had heard of Bernie Sanders’ heart attack, while 18 percent had not.

Respondents were asked about age as an issue in voting for president. Some were asked that question before being asked the question about Sanders’ heart attack and some after, but the order of questions made no statistically significant difference. Thirty-two percent say age matters in their choice for president, while 66 percent say age is unimportant as a consideration.

With deer season approaching, 40 percent say they have heard a lot about Chronic Wasting Disease, which afflicts the deer population, with 35 percent saying they have heard some, 13 percent saying they have not heard much and 11 percent saying they have heard nothing about CWD.

Twenty-seven percent think that CWD has been increasing in Wisconsin deer, 46 percent think it has remained about the same and 7 percent think it has been decreasing.

Among Wisconsin respondents, 38 percent say they or someone in their household is a deer hunter, while 62 say no one in the household hunts deer.

The survey notes that Wisconsin lost nearly 700 dairy farms in 2018. Sixty-three percent say the federal government should support small farms, while 30 percent say this is not the job of the federal government. There is no difference in response between those who farm or have family members who farm (61 percent) and those who do not have a farming connection (63 percent) in the percent favoring government support.

State of the state

Governor Tony Evers’ job approval stands at 52 percent, with disapproval at 34 percent. Thirteen percent say they don’t have an opinion. In August, 54 percent approved, 34 percent disapproved and 10 percent lacked an opinion.

Fifty-three percent of respondents say the state is headed in the right direction while 39 percent say it is on the wrong track. In August, 55 percent said the state was going in the right direction and 37 percent said it was on the wrong track.

Table 20 presents the favorability ratings of elected officials in Wisconsin and the percentage of respondents who haven’t heard enough or say they don’t know.

Table 20: Favorability ratings of elected officials

  Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough Don’t know
Tony Evers 47 35 13 5
Tammy Baldwin 46 39 11 3
Donald Trump 43 52 1 3
Ron Johnson 40 29 24 6

 About the Marquette Law School Poll

The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive statewide polling project in Wisconsin history. This poll interviewed 799 registered Wisconsin voters by landline or cell phone, Oct. 13-17, 2019. The margin of error is +/-4.2 percentage points for the full sample.

The Democratic presidential candidate preference items were asked those who said they would vote in the April Democratic presidential primary. That sample size is 379 with a margin of error of +/-6.3 percentage points.

Two questions were asked of half the sample (Form A) and two were asked of the other half-sample (Form B). Questions on Form A have a sample size of 400 and a margin of error of +/- 6 percentage points. Questions on Form B have a sample size of 399 and a margin of error of +/- 5.9 percentage points.

Form A questions were right direction or wrong track for the state and Medicare for all as a single payer. Form B questions were an assault weapon buy-back law and an public option for medical coverage competing with private insurance plans

The partisan makeup of the sample, including those who lean to a party, is 45 percent Republican, 44 percent Democratic and 9 percent independent. The partisan makeup of the sample, excluding those who lean to a party, is 31 percent Republican, 29 percent Democratic and 40 percent independent.

Since January 2017, the long-term partisan balance, including those who lean to a party, in the Marquette Law Poll has been 45 percent Republican and 45 percent Democratic, with 9 percent independent. Partisanship excluding those who lean has been 30 percent Republican and 29 percent Democratic, with 40 percent independent.

The entire questionnaire, methodology statement, full results and breakdowns by demographic groups are available at law.marquette.edu/poll/results-and-data.

Recent Press Releases by Marquette University

Marquette University

Marquette Offices of Community Engagement and Corporate Engagement and Partnerships to unite as Office of Economic Engagement

According to President Lovell, the office will amplify Marquette’s vision to develop more holistic off-campus collaborations and partnerships for community impact.

Marquette University

Marquette University to cohost social justice summit with NŌ STUDIOS

The summit will feature a variety of activists, artists, authors and academics converging to discuss the lived experience of disenfranchisement and offer solutions to some of the most pressing social justice issues affecting us locally, nationally and internationally.

2019 Nobel Prize recipient to deliver annual Marburg Lecture

Dr. Esther Duflo is also a co-founder and co-director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab.

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