Majorities of Wisconsin voters rate the economy negatively and are concerned about coronavirus.  That helps explain Democrat Joe Biden’s gains in the presidential race, in a Fox News Poll of Wisconsin registered voters released Wednesday.

Biden has a 9-point edge over President Donald Trump, 49-40 percent.  That’s up from a 5-point advantage in January, and is outside the poll’s margin of sampling error.  Another 11 percent are uncommitted.

A big reason Trump trails Biden is lack of party support: 85 percent of Republicans back him, while 93 percent of Democrats support Biden.  Eight percent of Republicans defect to Biden.  In addition, only 87 percent of those who approve of Trump’s job performance support his reelection.


Overall, more voters trust Biden to do a better job handling coronavirus (+14) and race relations (+22).  Trump is preferred over Biden to handle the economy (+3 points).

Less than a quarter (22 percent) rate the economy positively, however, three-quarters (76 percent) say it is only fair or poor. Those who rate the economy negatively opt for Biden by 26 points, and trust him to handle the economy by a 16-point spread.

The president receives some of his highest support from white men without a college degree (+19 points), white evangelical Christians (+29), and self-described very conservatives (+81).

Biden’s lead comes from strong backing among women (+20 points), suburban voters (+14), and independents (+8).

Voters extremely interested in the election give Biden a 15-point lead over Trump (55-40 percent).

In addition, more Biden supporters (71 percent) than Trump supporters (63 percent) are extremely motivated to vote in the election.

By an 8-point margin, more have a favorable (52 percent) than unfavorable (44 percent) view of Biden.  Views of Trump are net negative by 12 points (43 favorable, 55 unfavorable).

In 2016, some 64 percent of Wisconsin voters had an unfavorable view of Trump.  However, 21 percent of those who disliked Trump still voted for him -- today, just 2 percent who dislike him support his reelection.

Trump won Wisconsin by 22,748 votes, less than one percentage point.

The new poll, released Wednesday, shows 45 percent approve of his job performance as president and 54 percent disapprove -- mostly unchanged since January (46-53 percent).

Wisconsin Democratic governor Tony Evers garners better marks:  60 percent approve of the job he is doing, while 36 percent disapprove.

Twenty-six percent of Republicans approve of Evers, while 6 percent of Democrats approve of Trump.

Evers’ approach to reopening Wisconsin’s economy gets mixed reviews.  Thirty-one percent say he is moving too quickly, 25 percent say too slowly, and 36 percent say things are moving at about the right pace.


Still, Evers may have hit the right balance.  Fewer than half of Democrats think Evers is moving too quickly (43 percent), while only half of Republicans believe he is reopening the state too slowly (50 percent).

Two-thirds of Wisconsin voters are concerned about catching coronavirus (66 percent) and three-quarters have a positive view of people who wear face masks (77 percent).

By more than a two-to-one margin, they think it is important for the president to set an example for Americans by wearing a mask (65-29 percent).

Among Republicans, 33 percent believe Trump should wear a mask and 64 percent have a favorable view of people who wear masks.

Conducted May 30-June 2, 2020 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 801 Wisconsin voters, randomly selected from a statewide voter file, who spoke with live interviewers on landlines and cellphones.  The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all registered voters.