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America Votes 2024: Deadlock in battleground Wisconsin

Political Reporter Charles Benson looks at the new Marquette Poll and what voters are saying.
Posted at 1:32 PM, Feb 09, 2024

You can learn a lot listening to Oscar Becklund, or Oz.

He runs Oz Doggz on the corner of 16th and Wisconsin, at Marquette University.

If a presidential candidate dropped by - they'd likely get an earful.

"I don't feel any politician is talking to me, said Becklund. I think I'm a really small fish, and I don't matter. "

The economy matters to Oz. He's very cost conscious.

'What's going to go up in price? Ketchup, mustard, relish, sauerkraut - those go up but my prices have stayed the same for ten years, said Becklund. "People are happy, and I'm getting by - barely."

Down the street from Oz's hot dog stand, Professor Charles Franklin at the Marquette Law School dropped new poll numbers on the presidential race in Wisconsin.

It's our first look at what Wisconsin voters are thinking about the 2024 presidential race.

A Marquette Law School poll released Wednesday shows the two leading candidates in a deadlocked race.

President Joe Biden and the current Republican frontrunner Donald Trump are tied at 49% among registered voters.

In November-- the same poll showed Biden with a 2-point lead.

The results aren't so close with Republican candidate Nikki Haley.

If she can clinch the nomination-- the poll shows her with a 16-point advantage over the president.

Biden fares even worse when third-party candidates are included.

Robert F Kennedy Jr., Jill Stein, and Cornel West siphon off a total of 22 points, mostly from Biden.

The economy, along with immigration and border security, remain top issues with voters.

Former President Trump is getting better marks on those issues than President Biden in the poll.

"On an average day, the economy is always the most important problem. But when people see it doing pretty well, they start to be concerned with other issues, said Franklin. And right now you're seeing the border and immigration become that competing issue."

One number that stands out in the poll is not good for the former president or the current president - but is potentially good for a third-party candidate from a political dynasty family.

Both Trump and Biden have net negative numbers - meaning their unfavorable numbers are much higher than any favorable views from voters.

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley polls better than both - and Robert F Kennedy Jr. is the only candidate with a net positive, but nearly a third of voters say they still don't know him.

Becklund voted for Biden in 2020 and generally has voted Democratic.

Asked if Biden has his vote in 2024, Berklund said, No, not yet." adding, "I would go a 3rd party before I'd go Trump."