Joe Biden Holds Slim Lead Over Trump in Swing State of Wisconsin, Where Battle Over Coronavirus Restrictions Continues

Former Vice President Joe Biden holds a single-digit lead over President Donald Trump among the swing state voters of Wisconsin, according to a new poll, with the coronavirus pandemic having negatively affected opinions of Trump.

Last week in Wisconsin, a large group of "nonessential" businesses including bars and restaurants reopened after the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down a statewide "safer at home" order which had kept them closed since the start of coronavirus social distancing guidelines in mid-March. According to a Marquette Law School poll released Monday, a majority (54 percent) of Wisconsin residents disapprove of Trump's handling of the coronavirus, with 41 percent saying they "strongly disapprove."

The state supreme court's move to re-open has not yet been tied to an increase in cases, according to Wisconsin Department of Health Services data. But the president has clearly sided himself with those wanting to re-open state economies as soon as possible. Trump, who won the state of Wisconsin in the 2016 presidential election against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, currently trails Biden there by 3 percentage points.

According to the Marquette Law School poll, which was conducted between May 3 and May 7 among 811 Wisconsin residents, found 46 percent of Wisconsin respondents saying they would vote for Biden if the election were held today, compared to 43 percent who said the same of Trump.

Just shy of one-quarter of those surveyed, 23 percent, said they "strongly approve" of the president's handling of the coronavirus outbreak. A significant majority of those surveyed, 69 percent, said they supported the decision among federal and state lawmakers to restrict public gatherings and to enforce social distancing measures.

Twenty-six percent of respondents said they thought the lockdown precautions during the pandemic were an "overreaction."

Three-quarters of respondents said they feel the U.S. economy has gotten worse over the course of the past year, while 20 percent said it had primarily stayed the same despite the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing lockdown of the past two months. More than three-quarters of those surveyed, 77 percent, said they think the U.S. economy will get worse over the course of the next year. About two-thirds of Wisconsin residents polled said they "somewhat disapprove" of Trump's handling of the economy.

A slight majority of Wisconsin residents said they trust Democratic Governor Tony Evers more than the GOP-held state legislature to handle the reopening of schools and businesses. And about two-thirds of respondents, 64 percent, said they either strongly approve or somewhat approve of the job Governor Evers is doing to handle the coronavirus outbreak in Wisconsin.

Despite reopening many "non-essential" businesses last week, only 18 percent of those surveyed said they expect the coronavirus outbreak to be under control and for things to be "back to normal" by the end of May. The largest percentage said they expect things to return to normal "about a year from now."

joe biden wisconsin poll
Former Vice President Joe Biden holds a slim, single-digit lead over President Donald Trump among the swing state voters of Wisconsin, according to a new poll, with the coronavirus pandemic having negatively affected opinions of Trump. SCOTT OLSON / Staff/Getty Images