Gov. Scott Walker fell below fellow Republicans Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman, and Marco Rubio, a U.S. senator from Florida, in a ranking of the 2016 Republican presidential nominees most preferred by Wisconsinites.
In the question asked in a recent Marquette Law School poll, about 27 percent selected Ryan, 21 percent chose Rubio and 16 percent went for the state’s conservative governor, whose hobbling of public sector unions in the state and aggressive reduction of the state budget’s structural deficit in 2011 made him both a national commodity and a villain for the left. In fourth place, Chris Christie gathered about 11 percent of responses.
Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton (61.5 percent) soared above Joe Biden (13), Elizabeth Warren (4.8) and Andrew Cuomo (4.2).
News reports have suggested that Walker, believed to be testing the waters for a presidential bid, would defer to Ryan if the 2012 Republican nominee for vice-president chose to wade into the fray.
In recent history, Wisconsin has proved a notoriously tricky state for Republicans to win. The last GOP candidate to win the state was Ronald Reagan in 1984, and numbers from the Marquette poll suggest that the state’s preference for more liberal presidents hasn’t waned. In a hypothetical match-up between Clinton and Ryan, the former won 48.5 to 43.5, and Clinton bested Walker 50.2 to 41.7.
Approval for Walker was more generous: He came in at 50.8 percent, about the same as President Obama (50.5 percent).
If Ryan does run, his more moderate tack on immigration will likely help in Wisconsin, where 57.6 percent of respondents said that employed immigrants who entered the country unlawfully should be allowed to stay and apply for citizenship. Only 20.5 percent said they should be deported.
The poll reached 717 Wisconsin residents, and the full results are available here. Also see Insider’s coverage of how Marquette Law has emerged in the past year as a major voice in Wisconsin politics.