Stand up for the facts!
Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.
I would like to contribute
If Your Time is short
In the most recent Marquette Law Poll, 55% of respondents said they opposed the reversal of the landmark abortion law Roe v. Wade.
Also in a recent poll, 64% of respondents said they want marijuana to be legalized in Wisconsin.
Earlier polls from this year showed peaks of 63% of respondents opposing Roe’s reversal and 69% of respondents wanting marijuana legalized.
Those are clear majorities, though Evers stretches the statement a bit by claiming that both majorities are “overwhelming.”
While Wisconsinites were casting their votes for governor and other key offices during the Nov. 8, 2022 election, some also got a chance to share their opinion on two big issues: abortion policy and marijuana legalization.
Several Wisconsin communities put the topics to an advisory referendum — a proposal put on the ballot to gauge voters’ opinions, but with no required government action as a result.
Gov. Tony Evers, who defeated Republican challenger Tim Michels to win another four years as the state’s top executive, advocated for abortion rights and marijuana legalization during his first term, though both pushes were stymied by the Republican-controlled Legislature.
He took notice of the referendum results, tweeting this about them on Nov. 14, 2022: "An overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites support restoring #Roe and legalizing marijuana."
Roe, of course, refers to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case guaranteeing a federal right to abortion, which the court overturned June 24, 2022.
Is Evers right? How many Wisconsinites want to restore Roe v. Wade and legalize weed?
Let’s take a look.
To assess the claim, we’ll turn to the most recent results from the Marquette Law Poll, which regularly queries hundreds of Wisconsin voters on elections and key issues. Evers’ office pointed to both the poll results and referenda results as proof of his claim.
In results released Nov. 2, 2022, the last poll before the midterm election, interviewers asked a number of questions about Roe, including just what Evers was getting at: whether respondents favored or opposed its reversal.
A majority, 55%, opposed its reversal, while 37% favored it. Broken down by party, more than 92% of Democrats opposed the reversal, compared to 22% of Republicans. The margin of error on the survey, which tells us how much the poll results could differ from the real opinion of the entire population, was 4.6 percentage points.
The poll also asks about marijuana legalization. About two-thirds, or 64%, of respondents to the most recent poll that asked about it said it should be legalized, while 30% said the drug should stay illegal.
Earlier poll results show slightly higher opposition to Roe’s reversal – 60% in August and October, and 63% in September – and slightly higher support for marijuana legalization, which 69% of respondents to the August poll favored.
So there they are: the majorities that Evers spoke of. But there is something to note – he characterized the support as "overwhelming." That’s a subjective statement, but in our view Evers overstated it – particularly on the percentage who opposed the reversal of Roe. That’s more indicative of a wide split among those who responded.
Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette poll, said he doesn’t characterize how politicians describe the results, and that "the numbers are the numbers, regardless of adjectives."
Meanwhile, the advisory referenda — though they obviously surveyed specific portions of Wisconsin voters, not the entire state — showed wider majorities in favor of restoring abortion rights and legalizing marijuana.
The cities of Appleton, Racine, Kenosha, Stevens Point and Superior, along with Dane, Milwaukee and Eau Claire counties, put the non-binding marijuana question on the ballot. All were in favor of legalization, including some hefty majorities like Racine, where 76% of voters said they wanted the drug legalized.
Again, though, the decisions are those of just a fraction of Wisconsinites. The statewide poll results offer evidence of Evers’ claim.
Evers said "an overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites support restoring #Roe and legalizing marijuana."
The latest Marquette Law poll shows clear majorities on both fronts, though support for restoring Roe v. Wade was not as overwhelming as Evers painted it to be.
A rating of Mostly True means that the statement is accurate but needs clarification or additional information.
That fits here.
Wisconsin Public Radio, "Wisconsin voters show overwhelming support for abortion rights, marijuana legalization through advisory referendums," Nov. 10, 2022
USA TODAY, "Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, eliminating constitutional right to abortion," June 24, 2022
Marquette University, "Poll release: Final pre-election Marquette Law School Poll of Wisconsin voters finds both Senate and Governor’s races are tossups," Nov. 2, 2022
WBAY, "Majority of Appleton voters want to legalize marijuana in Wisconsin," Nov. 10, 2022
Stevens Point Journal, Stevens Point Area Election Results: November 2022
Superior Telegram, "Superior voters support legalizing marijuana," accessed Nov. 22, 2022
Madison.com, "Marijuana, abortion and swimming pools: Dane County and municipal referendum results," Nov. 9, 2022
WEAU, "Eau Claire voters approve referenda for city personnel, school district," Nov. 8, 2022
Dane County 2022 general election results, accessed Nov. 22, 2022
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2022 Racine County general election results, accessed Nov. 22, 2022
Email with Marquette Law Poll director Charles Franklin, Dec. 1, 2022
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.