Red, White and Blue

Voters believe country in worse shape now than 4 years ago, according to poll

CREATED Sep 19, 2012

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MILWAUKEE- Tammy Baldwin leads Tommy Thompson 50 percent to 41 percent in the U.S. Senate race, according to a new Marquette Law School poll.  It was the exact opposite a month ago.

President Obama is leading his Republican rival, Mitt Romney 54 percent to 40 percent in Wisconsin.  That's a five-point bump since last month's poll.

The poll addresses three key questions. Are you better off today? Who's to blame for the economy? What about Medicare?

First: Are you better off today than four years ago comes up again and again by Republicans.

"Under the Obama economy we've had a stagnant economy," said Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

47 percent of Wisconsin voters said they are better off now versus 49 percent. But when asked if the country as whole was better off today than four years ago, 46 percent said yes, 52 percent said no.

When asked who is more responsible for the country's economic mess: 30 percent said President Obama, 55 percent said President Bush.

That number even surprised the poll's director Charles Franklin.  He says that response raises a couple of other questions.

"Who's responsible for getting us out of the problems? Has Obama done enough to get us out of the problem?" said Franklin.

Medicare is a another big issue with Democrats claiming Republicans will reduce benefits.

"My party has spent their whole time generating and protecting Medicare," said Vice President Biden.

62 percent of Wisconsin voters support no changes to Medicare; 31 percent were open to changes proposed by Republicans.

So is the race over?

"I think the Senate race is close enough that it stays a battleground no matter what," said Franklin.

Republicans say the Marquette Law School poll over sampled Democrats and does not reflect the opinion of Wisconsin voters.  Professor Franklin says even if you adjust for that, Democrats are still leading.