Thursday, June 12, 2008

Rough news for Wisconsin Republicans this morning

A new UW Dept. of Political Science/WisPolitics.com survey shows Senator McCain down 13 points in Wisconsin.

The survey of 506 randomly selected probable voters was conducted by phone from June 8- June 10 under the direction of Charles Franklin and Ken Goldstein from the University of Wisconsin Department of Political Science (www.polisci.wisc.edu). It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Consistent with evidence from other national surveys, the study paints a picture of a hostile political environment in the swing state of Wisconsin for Republicans in 2008. Eight in 10 Wisconsin voters think the country is going in the wrong direction, President George W. Bush has a favorability rating of only 30 percent, 66 percent believe that the war in Iraq was not worth fighting, and the top two issue concerns are the economy and getting U.S. soldiers out of Iraq.

Wisconsin was a key battleground in the presidential contests of 2000 and 2004 and saw extraordinarily tight contests in both years. Al Gore beat George W. Bush by 5,708 votes (0.2 percent) in 2000, and John Kerry bested Bush by 11,384 votes in 2004 (0.38 percent). Goldstein points out, “In both 2000 and 2004, party attachments in the state were virtually identical with equal numbers of voters identifying with the Democrats and the GOP. One of the striking results in this poll and consistent with other survey work I have done in the state, the Democrats now enjoy a major advantage in party identification.” In the study, 38 percent of probable voters identified with the Democrats and 24 percent with Republicans.