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Poll finds Wisconsin Democratic Voters Support a Ceasefire in Gaza, Key Margin Say War Will Impact Their Primary Vote

Updated: Apr 4

In 2020, Wisconsin voters elected President Biden with a margin of victory equal to less than 1% of the vote tally. As advocates against the war in Gaza have pushed for an “uninstructed delegation” vote in the April 2nd state presidential primaries, Poll Progressive Strategies surveyed Democratic voters in Wisconsin regarding their views on the war in Gaza, Biden’s handling of it, and whether it would impact their votes in this election.


The findings suggest that Biden’s support for Israel’s war in Gaza has divided Democratic voters, with 41% of Wisconsin Democratic voters disapproving of the White House's current policy in Gaza and 71% strongly supporting an immediate and permanent ceasefire. A key margin of these voters (22%) say that the war will impact their votes in the primary. Of these "protest voters," the vast majority (77%) strongly disapprove of Biden’s handling of the war. The sample was limited to voters who had cast a ballot in recent years’ primary elections in the state. 


Biden’s Handling of the War in Gaza:

“Do you approve or disapprove of President Biden’s handling of the war in Gaza?”


Respondents are very divided on Biden’s handling of the war, with just 49% saying they strongly or somewhat approve of the job he is doing in the area. 41% of respondents somewhat or strongly disapprove of Biden’s handling of the war, and 10% are undecided. This is starkly polarized by age: no respondents under 29 say that they strongly approve of Biden’s handling of the war, and 65% strongly disagree with it. Compare this to respondents 50-64 years old, who tend to side with Biden (59% are strongly or somewhat supportive of his actions) while just 7% strongly disapprove of his actions. 


Opinions on a Ceasefire: 

“Do you support or oppose the US calling for an immediate and permanent Ceasefire in Gaza?”


Respondents are far more unified on the topic of a ceasefire: 71% say they strongly support an “immediate and permanent ceasefire” in Gaza. Just 6% are against, and another 6% are unsure. Over 60% of all age groups back a ceasefire, but support is extremely high among young voters – 94% of respondents under 29 say they strongly support a ceasefire. 


Protest Voters: 

“Is President Biden’s handling of the war in Gaza impacting your vote in the primary?”


22% of respondents say that Biden’s handling of the war in Gaza is impacting their vote. Of this group, the so-called "protest voters," 77% say they strongly disapprove of Biden’s handling of the war. They are also very supportive of the Uninstructed campaign (58% strongly agree). 


Impacts in November:

"Do you think President Biden’s handling of the war in Gaza will impact your vote in the November general election if there is no change in policy?


11% of respondents say that Biden's handling of the war will impact their vote in November if there is no change in policy, while another 14% say that it might. 70% say it won't impact their vote at all, and just 5% say that their vote will be impacted regardless of any changes in policy.


“Uninstructed” Campaign:

“The ‘uninstructed delegation’ campaign claims it is meant to be a protest vote to push the White House to change its current policy supporting the war in Gaza. In general, how do you feel about this protest effort?”


Voters are mixed on how they feel about the campaign to encourage voters to vote “uninstructed delegate” in the primary. 26% of respondents strongly or somewhat agree with the campaign, while 13% are somewhat opposed and 27% are strongly opposed. Over a third of voters are undecided. 


Conclusion: 

This survey of Wisconsin voters reflects a continued trend of Democratic base dissatisfaction. Many Democratic primary voters, especially young ones, are upset with how Biden is handling the war and strongly prefer a ceasefire. This dissatisfaction is translating into a small but notable protest vote for the “uninstructed” campaign, with 22% of respondents saying that the war is impacting their vote in the primary.


In 2020, Joe Biden's margin of victory in Wisconsin was just 20,000 votes. Though most Democrats, especially older ones, are sticking with Biden, this undercurrent of dissatisfaction demands attention from the president.


Data was collected from March 23-25, 2024. The sample consisted of n=322 registered

Wisconsin voters who had voted in at least one primary since 2016, with a margin of error of +/- 5.0%. Within the sample, we included all those who said they would vote in the Democratic primary (n=258) and undecided voters (n=64). Data was collected via SMS-to-web. Results were weighted by age based on census data, previous polling, and exit polling. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity, and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. This poll was funded by Listen to Us PAC and commissioned by Listen to Wisconsin.




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