Poll: Wisconsin voters ready for change

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Voters in Wisconsin are ready for a change.

Asked in exit polls what qualities they’re looking for in the next president, 42% of state voters said they want someone who represents change, which appears to strongly favor Republican Donald Trump, the wealthy New York businessman who ran a campaign that seemed the antithesis of presidential campaigns.

Twenty percent value experience and 19% want someone with good judgment, which St. Norbert College political science professor Dave Wegge says favor Democrat Hillary Clinton. Another 16% say they want a president who cares about people like them, which Wegge says slightly favors Clinton as well.

The polling by Edison Research for national and local news outlets, including WBAY-TV, surveyed people outside voting places and conducted phone interviews with people who voted early by absentee ballot.

The survey of Wisconsinites who’ve voted shows voters by and large believe the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees are dishonest, and they view the candidates unfavorably. But when it comes to leading the country, they give Clinton a wide lead over Trump.

Exit polls say Clinton has a 55% unfavorable rating, compared to 43% who view her favorably, and 61% believe she’s dishonest, compared to 36% who consider her honest.

Trump is also underwater with voters, with 66% viewing him unfavorably, doubling the 33% who view him favorably, and, in numbers similar to Clinton, 62% believe he’s dishonest, compared to 34% who consider him honest.

When it comes to who’s qualified for the office, 54% say Clinton is, while 46% say she’s not, but 33% say Trump is qualified, and 66% say he is not.

Perhaps surprisingly, almost two-thirds of voters (64%) said they made up their minds on their vote before September — that would be shortly after the party conventions.

The most important issue to the voters is the economy, with 55% ranking it #1. No other issue came close: Terrorism was the top concern of 18% (updated figure), followed by foreign policy (12%) and immigration (11%).

On the matter of immigration, 57% said immigrants are helpful to the country, compared to 35% who say they hurt the country.

The polling is conducted by Edison Research for national and local TV outlets, including WBAY-TV. In addition to surveying people outside polling places, it includes phone interviews with people who voted early by absentee ballot.

These are preliminary numbers and will change as more voters are interviewed. None of these numbers necessarily reflect how the majority of Americans voted or the outcome of the election.