UWM poll: improved views of state’s economy among those struggling financially

While economic expectations for the state are mixed following the Nov. 6 elections, evaluations of Wisconsin’s current economy have improved significantly among those who describe their current personal financial situation as “poor” or “fair.” The results are from a special post-election survey from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).

The Wisconsin Economic Scorecard is a quarterly poll of state residents conducted by the UWM Center for Urban Initiatives and Research (CUIR) in cooperation with Milwaukee public radio station WUWM and WisBusiness.com. The survey measures perceptions of the health of Wisconsin’s economy as well as personal economic circumstances.

Results show that those who say their personal financial situation is “poor,” and also perceive the economy to be “poor” dropped by 22 points in just a few weeks. Among those who say their personal financial situation is “fair,” there is both a 12-point decrease in the proportion of those calling the economy “poor” and a 5-point increase in the proportion of those calling the economy “excellent.”

Other major findings include:

  • After the election, Wisconsin residents remain optimistic about the overall direction of the state, with 64% saying the state is “headed in the right direction.”
  • Post‐election opinion about Wisconsin’s economic outlook is mixed, with Republican‐aligned residents expressing pessimism after GOP defeats at the federal level and union members expressing pessimism after Republicans expanded control over the state government.
  • About 46% of Wisconsin residents feel that Republican control of the state legislature will yield benefits for the state economy, while 38% feel it will make the economy worse. Political independents are more likely than not to see Republican control of the state legislature as beneficial.
  •  Despite its recent struggles, a small majority of Wisconsin residents (52%) remains confident that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will succeed in bringing jobs to the state.
  • Just 45% of Wisconsin residents would support a federal budget agreement involving congressional Republicans abandoning opposition to upper‐class tax increases in exchange for Democrats allowing reductions in entitlement spending.

This poll is a random digit dialing telephone survey of 426 Wisconsin residents conducted by CUIR from Oct. 22-25. The margin of error is 4.75 percent.

For more, go to www.wisconsineconomicscorecard.org. And see coverage at WUWM and WisBusiness.com.