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Marquette Poll Finds Overwhelming Support For Closing Businesses, Schools To Fight COVID-19

86 Percent Of Wisconsin Voters Supported Closures

Gov. Tony Evers answering reporters’ questions by video and teleconference
Gov. Tony Evers says his administration is looking “very actively” at relaxing regulations on medical professionals during the COVID-19 crisis. He is seen here answering reporters’ questions by video and teleconference on March 24, 2020. Wisconsin Department of Health Services via YouTube

Wisconsin voters overwhelmingly supported closing schools and businesses to slow the spread of the new coronavirus according to the latest poll by Marquette University Law School.

And their support for Gov. Tony Evers has never been higher.

Marquette’s latest survey — its first since the COVID-19 pandemic officially began — suggested a normally-divided Wisconsin coming together around unprecedented restrictions by state government in the name of stopping the spread of the new coronavirus. By one measure, residents were as optimistic as ever.

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A total of 86 percent of Wisconsin voters said it was appropriate to close schools and businesses, while 76 percent supported Evers’ response to the pandemic. And despite a record surge in unemployment claims, 61 percent said the state was “headed in the right direction,” the highest number ever since Marquette’s poll started in 2012.

The decision to close schools and businesses found broad bipartisan support. Among Democrats, 95 percent supported the decision while 83 percent of Republicans supported the move.

Support for Evers’ handling of the pandemic was also bipartisan, with 89 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of Republicans in support.

Evers’ overall support has never been higher, either. His job approval hit 65 percent compared to 29 percent who disapprove.

In other ways, the state remained divided. A narrow majority — 51 percent — supported President Donald Trump’s response to the pandemic while his 48 percent approval rating overall was nearly identical to Marquette’s February survey.

Trump’s numbers were also far more partisan in nature with 88 percent of all Republicans approving of his response to COVID-19 compared to just 11 percent of Democrats.

The survey also found a huge shift in who Wisconsin Democrats are supporting for president. Sixty-two percent supported former Vice President Joe Biden compared to 34 percent who supported Bernie Sanders. Both men saw their numbers go up compared to a month ago as the rest of the Democratic field left the race, but far more Democrats flocked to Biden.

Marquette’s survey was conducted from March 24-29. The full sample included 813 registered voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percent. Questions about the Democratic primary were asked of 394 voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 5.9 percent.