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Sunday, December 10, 2023
HomePollsWisconsin Republican Primary Exit Polls: Less Favor Contested Convention

Wisconsin Republican Primary Exit Polls: Less Favor Contested Convention




Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump, left, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, center, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, right. (Photos: AP/Associated Press)

Preliminary Wisconsin Republican Primary exit polls show more than half (56%) say the candidate who gets the most votes should get the nomination. Four in 10 (42%) say they favor a contested convention this summer, agreeing that delegates should pick whichever nominee they think best.

Not surprisingly, the Wisconsin Republican Primary exit polls show a deep division on this question between Donald J. Trump’s supporters, who overwhelmingly oppose a contested convention, and those supporting Texas Sen. Ted Cruz or Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Ban on Muslim Immigration

As we have seen in other states throughout the Republican primary season, there’s widespread support (7 in 10) for Mr. Trump’s proposal to ban immigration from non-U.S. Muslims until they can be effectively screened. Mr. Trump has won 47% of these voters on average in previous states, while Sen. Cruz has won 28%. However, the Texas senator has been closer to the front-runner among these voters in some recent contests, notably in North Carolina and Missouri.

Still, Sen. Cruz lost both states in tight races to Mr. Trump.


More than six in 10 Wisconsin Republican Primary voters think illegal immigrants should be offered a path to legal status, which could be the highest of any state this year. Thus far, the 59% in Virginia was the highest measured. Only a third said they support deporting illegal immigrants, far fewer than in previous primaries. Voters who support deportation have backed Mr. Trump in previous primaries.

Sen. Cruz beat Mr. Trump in North Carolina, Missouri and Illinois among the larger group that favors a path to legal status, and Gov. Kasich won them in Ohio, the only state he has won.

Values Voters

While roughly a third of Wisconsin Republican Primary voters say it’s most important to them that a candidate shares their values, nearly as many say they want someone who will “bring needed change” above all. Thus far, Sen. Cruz has won 40% of values voters juxtaposed to 20% for Gov. Kasich and 12% for Mr. Trump. In previous contests, Mr. Trump has won an average 46% of voters who say “needed change” is more important, while 23% went for Sen. Cruz and 12% for Gov. Kasich.

Religious, Ideological Demographics

In the preliminary Wisconsin Republican Primary exit polls, roughly 3 in 10 say they’re “very” conservative and 4 in 10 self-identified as evangelical, which is roughly the historical norm for The Badger State. Sen. Cruz has won an average 41% of“very” conservative voters to date and 33% of evangelicals. On the flip side, he’s won just 18% from non-evangelicals, making his path forward extremely difficult.

Evangelicals, who are flocking to Sen. Cruz, have been less of a share of the electorate in Wisconsin than in other state primaries. In preliminary exit poll results, roughly a third said they are very conservative, which could be the most ever in exit polls going back to 1976. Roughly 4 in 10 Wisconsin Republican Primary voters say they are evangelical, a bloc Mr. Trump has won in the past, which is significantly less than the average (59%) in 2016.

Fifty-three percent said they were supporting Sen. Cruz, while 35% were going for Mr. Trump. Only 11% said they were backing Ohio Gov. John Kasich. However, Mr. Trump is leading among independent with 43% to 38% for Cruz.

Change Agent “Outsider” Factor

Nearly half of Wisconsin Republican voters want someone with political experience in politics, close to the high this election cycle. In previous states, Mr. Trump has won only 7% of these voters, while 33% went for Sen. Cruz and 24% for Gov. Kasich. Still, about half of voters instead say they’d like the next president to be someone from “outside the political establishment.” Mr. Trump has previously won two-thirds of the “outsider” vote.

Still, Sen. Cruz is carrying 48% to 37% among voters “angry” with the federal government.

Late Deciders

Four in 10 Wisconsin Republican Primary voters say they made up their minds less than a month ago, which is on track to mirror previous primaries. Meanwhile, six in 10 say they decided in the last month. Mr. Trump has dominated among early deciders in previous contests, effectively winning the debate over the past 8 months. However, among late deciders either Sen. Cruz, Gov. Kasich or others who have since dropped out have typically done better, outside of Florida and a few other states.

Written by
Staff Writing Group

Led by R. D. Baris, the People's Pundit, the PPD Elections Staff conducts polling and covers news about latest polls, election results and election data.

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