State residents’ opinions of UW-Madison are quite favorable, poll suggests

Wisconsin residents’ opinions of the UW-Madison are looking good, according to the latest Wisconsin Poll, conducted by UW-Madison political scientists Ken Goldstein and Charles Franklin and

If you saw reports of the results of the poll when they were released June 11, what you read probably focused on the opinions of likely voters about the presidential candidates. But in addition to the standard political and election questions, the researchers also threw in a UW-Madison question. The results suggest that the university has very high favorability ratings.

“I have seen a fair amount of polling in the state and have seen the numbers from various individuals, institutions, industries, and companies. The UW’s numbers are of the highest order,” says Goldstein.

The question:
Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of the University of Wisconsin-Madison? Would that be a STRONGLY or just a SOMEWHAT (FAVORABLE/UNFAVORABLE) impression? N = 506

  • Strongly favorable: 54 percent
  • Somewhat favorable: 27 percent
  • Somewhat unfavorable: 6 percent
  • Strongly unfavorable: 3 percent
  • Don’t know / Refused: 10 percent

Opinions did not vary greatly between demographic groups or geographic area, but here are some breakdowns:


  • Men – 83 percent Favorable
  • Women – 80 percent Favorable

Age groups

  • 18-34: 80 percent Favorable
  • 35-44: 81 percent Favorable
  • 45-54: 86 percent Favorable
  • 55-64: 92 percent Favorable
  • 65 + : 77 percent Favorable

Political Bent

  • Republicans: 72 percent Favorable (40 percent Strongly Favorable)
  • Democrats: 86 percent Favorable (64 percent Strongly Favorable)
  • Independent: 86 percent Favorable

Media Markets

  • Milwaukee: 78 percent Favorable
  • Madison: 92 percent Favorable
  • Green Bay: 85 percent Favorable
  • Rest of State: 77 percent Favorable