ERNA Poll of WI Voters Shows Biden with Slight lead as Voters Say Trump Mishandled COVID-19 Pandemic

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October 21, 2020

ERNA Poll of WI Voters Shows Biden with Slight lead as Voters Say Trump Mishandled COVID-19 Pandemic

Voters, especially Black voters, say Trump has responded poorly the pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 21, 2020) — A new poll of likely Wisconsin voters, released today by Democrats for Education Reform partner organization Education Reform Now Advocacy and Latino Decisions, shows Vice President Biden with a five-point lead over President Trump, with 58% of total voters saying President Trump is handling the response to the coronavirus pandemic poorly.

While Trump holds a 4-point lead over Biden with White voters—49% vs. 45%, respectively—Black respondents especially favor Biden, with 83% of voters saying they are planning on casting their ballot for the Vice President.

The impending potential addition of yet another Trump-appointed conservative judge also weighs heavily on voters’ decisions. When asked if the appointment of a new conservative justice would affect which presidential candidate they’d cast their ballot for, voters were more likely to support Biden by 7 percentage points. This gap was even wider among registered Independent voters, who favored Biden by a whopping 19 percentage points.

Particularly of note, nearly twice as many White voters say the President has responded poorly to the pandemic compared to those who feel he has responded well—42% vs. 24%—and a staggering 82% of Black voters believe say Trump has mishandled the national response to the pandemic.

When asked about the issue of student safety, 58% of total voters—and 72% of Black voters—feel that President Trump has done a poor job of keeping students safe at school and providing them with the best education possible during the pandemic. As for who voters feel is actually keeping students safe, 69% of total voters responded that local school districts are doing a good job, and 79% of total voters likewise feel that rank and file teachers are doing the same.

Other important education findings for Wisconsin voters include:

  • 44% of voters approve of the way their local school district has handled the process of deciding how school will operate this year, versus 24% who disapprove.
  • 45% of voters say colleges and universities have done a poor job of keeping students safe and providing them with a quality education during the pandemic.
  • 89% of voters are concerned about the social and emotional health of children and young people during the pandemic, with 79% of voters supporting schools choosing to focus more on social and emotional learning for their students.

You can view toplines from the poll here, as well as the crosstabs here.

The survey was conducted online between Oct. 14 and Oct. 19, 2020, and is comprised of 400 respondents, all registered and likely voters. The margin of error on this study is +/-5%.


Education Reform Now Advocacy is the 501(c)(4) nonprofit partner of Democrats for Education Reform, a political action committee that seeks to elect leaders who will support policies that benefit all students—particularly Black and Latino students. ERNA’s advocacy group supports DFERs legislative and political advocacy work.