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Latest Marquette Poll shows Wisconsinites’ opinions on Iran, presidential primary

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Milwaukee (WQOW) - The ongoing tensions between the U.S. and Iran seem to be top of mind for many Wisconsin voters, as the latest Marquette Poll shows Wisconsinites are optimistic those tensions will soon subside.

Despite talk of escalation between the two countries, the majority of those polled said they doubt anything serious will happen in the future.

Out of 800 registered voters polled after the airstrike on Iran, 61% said Iran and the U.S. are likely to avoid a major military conflict. Just 30% say it is likely to cause military conflict.

However, only 43% of voters believed it was the right time to issue a strike against Iran.

UW-Stout political science lecturer Rich Postlewaite said voters may not have approved of the attack in the first place but adds that now that it's said and done they are coming around to the notion that the U.S. showed strength in the Middle East.

"People might say, 'Well at least we showed them we're not going to back down,'" said Postlewaite. "'We're not going to draw a red line in the sand, and then move back, and draw a new line in the sand and move back. We've had enough, and we're going to show them we're going to take action if they keep doing this.'"

Postlewaite added that Iran's retaliation against the US military bases in Iraq may have settled the score in the minds of voters

The poll also showed that a slight majority of voters disapprove of President Trump's handling of foreign policy, but it's unclear if the situation with Iran influenced voters' standing.

That may come into play this April during the presidential primary. Wisconsin is considered a key state, and its status as a purple state is showing as voters continue to shift their preferences.

While the margins are still razor-thin, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are both polling ahead of President Trump, by four and one point respectively.

It's worth pointing out this poll was conducted ahead of the president's trip to Milwaukee on Tuesday.

Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg are the 3rd and 4th choices for Democrats. Both are polling slightly behind the president.

All of the data shows voters can expect very tight races.

While Michael Bloomberg and Andrew Yang are technically tied for 5th place for top choice of Democratic candidates, more voters say they still don't know who their top choice is.

Postlewaite said as candidates continue to drop out, and with the Iowa caucus happening in a few weeks, candidates on both sides of the aisle will start to make a bigger show here in Wisconsin.

"Donald Trump's campaign is no fools," Postlewaite said. "They're going to say, 'Go to these states like Wisconsin and Michigan. Go to these states where you won with a slim margin. Just keep a presence there like you did in the last election.' I don't think Democrats are going to make the mistake this time around like Hillary made and not show up in the state again after the primary."

Postlewaite added that Eau Claire County will be a key player in this next election, and expects more campaign visits as we get closer to November.

Although Trump's polling almost evenly with the top Democrats, his approval rating is rising. He's up four points to 48% from last January. His job disapproval is also down three points over that time.

The full results of the Marquette Poll can be found here.

Mary Pautsch

Mary came to News 18 in July 2019 from Sioux City, Iowa where she graduated from Morningside College with a BA in Spanish after attending Iowa State University for 3 years.

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