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Marquette Law School Poll shows state of political conversations

Posted: 2:10 PM, Aug 22, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-22 19:10:58Z

A new Marquette Law School Poll is showing how Wisconsin voters are currently feeling about various candidates and social issues. 

The state of political conversations

Forty percent of Wisconsin registered voters say they talk about politics with family and friends more than once a week, and an additional 24 percent say they have such conversations about once a week. Fourteen percent say they talk politics once or twice a month, 13 percent talk a few times a year and 9 percent never talk about politics with family and friends.

Conversations about politics with coworkers are often avoided altogether, with 46 percent saying they never have these conversations and 11 percent saying they do so only once or twice a year. Fourteen percent talk about politics with coworkers more than once a week, and an additional 13 percent do so about once a week. Twelve percent say they talk politics with coworkers once or twice a month

Contrary to the idea that voters today live in “information bubbles,” hearing only opinions that agree with their own views, respondents report that their political conversations include a substantial mix of opinions. In talking to family and friends, 48 percent say they talk to about an equal mix of people with liberal and conservative views, and 41 percent say their conversations are an equal mix of pro-Democratic and pro-Republican opinions.

Seven percent say the family and friends they talk with are almost all liberal, 15 percent say they are mostly liberal, 19 percent say they are mostly conservative and 10 percent say they talk almost exclusively to conservatives.

In partisan terms, 13 percent say the family and friends they talk with are almost all Democrats, 15 percent say they are mostly Democrats, 13 percent say they are mostly Republican and 14 percent say they talk entirely with Republicans.

Thirty-one percent of respondents say they have tried to convince someone to vote for or against a particular candidate. Eighteen percent say there is someone they have stopped talking to due to political disagreements. When asked the week before the recall election in 2012, 35 percent said they had stopped talking to someone.

Marijuana legalization

Sixty-one percent say marijuana should be fully legalized and regulated like alcohol while 36 percent oppose legalization. When previously asked in July 2016, 59 percent supported legalization and 39 percent were opposed.

Foxconn

Forty-four percent think the state is paying more than the Foxconn plant is worth, while 41 percent think the plant will provide at least as much value as the state is investing in the plant. Fifteen percent say they don’t know if the plant will be worth it or not. In the July poll, 46 percent said the state was paying too much and 39 percent said it would provide at least as much value as the state was investing.

A majority (61 percent) of registered voters statewide believe the Foxconn plant will substantially improve the economy of the greater Milwaukee area, while 27 percent do not think it will and 11 percent say they don’t know. In the July poll, 53 percent said the Milwaukee area would benefit while 33 percent did not think so.

When asked if businesses where the respondent lives will benefit from Foxconn, 32 percent say businesses will benefit directly from the Foxconn plant, while 61 percent say their local businesses will not benefit and 7 percent don’t know. In the July poll, 30 percent said their local businesses would benefit, while 58 percent did not think so.

Effects of tariffs and of trade agreements

Thirty-four percent think increased tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will improve the U.S. economy while 48 percent think tariffs will hurt the economy. Seventeen percent say they don’t know. In the July poll, 24 percent said tariffs would improve the economy while 55 percent said tariffs would hurt the economy.

Partisan differences in views of tariffs are sharp, with a majority (60 percent) of Republicans saying tariffs are good for the U.S. economy, 19 percent saying they are bad for the economy and 22 saying they don’t know. A large majority of Democrats say tariffs are bad for the economy and a majority of independents see tariffs as a bad thing for the economy.