Political Quick Notes

Recent Marquette Law Poll

The latest version of the Marquette Law Poll was released at the beginning of the month. The poll, a public policy initiative of Marquette University Law School, surveys Wisconsin voters on their opinions of various national and statewide elected officials, candidates for office, and leading issues of the day. Please find below the highlights of the latest poll:

    • Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate Election (Democratic primary):
      With respect to those voters who intend to vote in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senator Ron Johnson’s seat, Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes was the leading candidate with 23 percent, followed by Alex Lasry with 13 percent.  The remaining handful of candidates only received support in the single digits, while 48 percent of Democratic primary voters have not decided whom they will support.
    • Wisconsin Gubernatorial Election (Republican primary):
      Republican gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch leads her primary rivals with 30 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters selecting her; eight percent selecting former U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson; and five percent selecting current State Representative Tim Ramthun. However, 54 percent of these voters responded that they did not know whom they will support in the Republican primary.
    • Approval/Disapproval of Office Holders:
      • Governor Tony Evers (D) – 50 percent approval / 41 percent disapproval
      • President Joe Biden (D) – 43 percent approval / 52 percent disapproval
      • Senator Tammy Baldwin (D) – 42 percent approval / 36 percent disapproval
      • Senator Ron Johnson (R) – 33 percent approval / 45 percent disapproval

Recent Court Rulings on Legislative Redistricting

At the beginning of each decade, the state redraws state legislative and congressional district lines based on data from the most recent federal census. After Governor Evers vetoed the legislature’s proposed legislative and congressional district maps last year, this dispute ended up in the courts. On March 3, 2022, the Wisconsin Supreme Court decided that Governor Evers’ updated state legislative and congressional maps will be used as they make fewer changes to district boundaries than the Legislature’s proposed maps.

On Monday, March 7, the Legislature appealed this ruling directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.  And just last week, the nation’s highest court threw out the state legislative maps drawn by Governor Evers and adopted by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court said the state court’s approval of Evers’ maps was flawed, as it did not adequately consider whether certain newly crafted Assembly Districts in Milwaukee complied with the federal Voting Rights Act. The maps were sent back to the Wisconsin Supreme Court for further consideration.

Legislative Turnover Continues

The exodus of current lawmakers from the state Legislature continues, as Rep. Ken Skowronski (R-Franklin) announced last week he won’t seek reelection. Please find below a list of state legislators who won’t be seeking reelection this fall:

    • Wisconsin Senate:
      • Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) – Retiring
      • Janet Bewley (D-Mason) – Retiring
      • Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point) – Retiring
      • Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) – Likely redistricted out of his seat
      • Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) – Retiring
      • Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) – Retiring
      • Roger Roth (R-Appleton) – Running for Lt. Governor
    • Wisconsin Assembly:
      • David Bowen (D-Milwaukee) – Running for Lt. Governor
      • Rachel Cabral-Guevara (R-Appleton) – Running for state Senate
      • Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton) – Running for state Senate
      • Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) – Retiring
      • Jesse James (R-Altoona) – Running for state Senate
      • Mike Kuglitsch(R-New Berlin) – Retiring
      • Amy Loudenbeck(R-Clinton) – Running for WI Secretary of State
      • Beth Meyers (D-Bayfield) – Retiring
      • Tim Ramthun (R-Campbellsport) – Running for Governor
      • Sara Rodriguez (D-Brookfield) – Running for Lt. Governor
      • Ken Skowronski (R-Franklin) – Retiring
      • Mark Spreitzer (D-Beloit) – Running for state Senate
      • Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) – Retiring