The Corner


Why More Wisconsin Voters Won’t Tell a Pollster Their Pick for President in 2020

(Al Drago/Reuters)

In Marquette University Law School’s final 2016 poll of Wisconsin, only 1 percent of likely voters refused to say which presidential candidate they supported, but Marquette’s final 2020 poll finds that 6 percent of likely voters are refusing to answer the question:

I asked pollster Charles Franklin to explain what’s going on here:

“It turns out that people who have early-voted are a bit more likely to decline to say who they voted for,” says Charles Franklin, the Marquette Law School professor in charge of the poll. “Because so many people now have early-voted, this was not an issue you could really see in polling in earlier years. Now with 40 percent [of likely voters] having already voted, it amounts to this 6 percent who declined or refused to say.”

Are these shy Trump voters? Shy Biden voters? Franklin believes that they’re close to an even mix of both: He found that one-third of them (or 2 percent of likely voters) said they were favorable to Biden but not Trump, one-third said they were favorable to Trump but not Biden, and the final third had a favorable view of both candidates or an unfavorable view of both candidates.

In other words, if you allocate the “refused” column based on favorability ratings, the poll results would be 50 percent for Biden, 45 percent for Trump, 2 percent for Jorgensen, and “2 percent that we’re not able to classify,” says Franklin.