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Foxconn, Act 10 Get Negative Reaction In Latest Marquette Poll

Approval Of Act 10 Slides Compared To Past Polls

Foxconn podium
David Cole/WPR

On top of questions about Wisconsin’s races for governor and U.S. Senate, the most recent Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday also took another reading of public opinion on two of Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s signature issues.

Pollsters asked participants to weigh in on Foxconn Technology Group’s massive manufacturing project in Racine County, and on Act 10, the 2011 law that curtailed collective bargaining for many public sector employees in Wisconsin.

On Foxconn, the mostly negative reviews continued. The Marquette survey of 800 registered voters found 46 percent of respondents believe the multi-billion-dollar state incentives package for Foxconn isn’t worth it, while only 40 percent said the aid will pay off.

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Nearly two-thirds of voters polled around Wisconsin predicted their local businesses won’t benefit. However, a majority said the Foxconn project will help the Milwaukee-area economy.

Pollster Charles Franklin kidded about that result during a presentation Wednesday at the Marquette University Law School.

“So, presumably, everyone in the state wants to see the Milwaukee-area economy improve — that’s a little joke,” Franklin said to laughter. “But certainly, the perception is if anybody’s benefiting, it’s this region of the state.”

Franklin said he expects during the remaining months of the governor’s race, Walker will keep promoting Foxconn, while most of his Democratic opponents will criticize the state’s deal.

On Act 10, the poll showed a change of public opinion.

Forty-seven percent favor a return to more collective bargaining, while 43 percent back Act 10. Franklin said that’s a reversal from several Marquette surveys over the last few years, including one in March. He said the governor’s race may be why.

“The one thing that is different is there’s maybe a little more conversation going on about Act 10 and collective bargaining from the Democratic candidates in the last few months, as relatively unknown as (the candidates) are,” Franklin said. “But nevertheless, it’s a little more on the table for discussion than perhaps it has been for the last few years.”

Walker points to Act 10 as key to holding down government spending, and local property taxes. The Legislature would likely also have to switch back to Democratic control for Act 10 to actually be taken off the books.