In that survey, just 36% of the state’s voters have favorable opinions of Trump, while 57% percent have unfavorable ones.
What’s remarkable is that those numbers are virtually unchanged from how Wisconsin voters viewed Trump in August 2021 (38% favorable/55% unfavorable) and October 2021 (38%/57%).
There’s been no softening in the public’s attitude toward Trump — even in a swing state like Wisconsin, which he won in 2016 and lost in 2020.
Why is that? Here are two theories (which are not mutually exclusive of the other):
1) Trump has never really gone away. Past presidents like Barack Obama and George W. Bush went out of their way to remove themselves from the public eye in the early days of their successors’ terms. In fact, despite having been out of office for an extended time, both men still keep relatively low profiles publicly.
Trump does just the opposite. He craves the spotlight — constantly injecting himself into high-profile fights while continuing to insist the 2020 election was stolen from him.
You can’t really miss someone who has never gone away.
2) There are no on-the-fence voters when it comes to Trump. We’ve never had a more polarizing president in the White House, so it makes sense that we never have had a more polarizing ex-president either.
What usually happens is that people who are not closely attached to a party tend to mellow on an ex-president first. But Trump may left very few voters unsure what they thought of him. Either you love him or you hate him — in office or out.
The Point: While the electoral outlook for Democrats in 2022 is full of doom and gloom, if Trump is the GOP nominee in 2024 and his numbers stay close to where they are in a swing state like Wisconsin, then President Joe Biden has a solid chance at a second term.