Pollster: Bipartisan Opposition to Wisconsin’s Minimum Markup Law

Repeal Minimum Markup Poll

We hired one of the nations most-respected pollsters to survey Wisconsin voters. Below is a memo which summarizes what they’ve found: Clear, bipartisan opposition to Wisconsin’s Minimum Markup Law…







The following memorandum is based on a statewide survey of 500 likely voters in Wisconsin by Public Opinion Strategies; conducted November 2-5, 2015. The margin of error on the survey is ±4.38% and 30% of the interviews were conducted via cell phone. The survey was conducted on behalf of Wisconsinites for Consumer Freedom.

Key points:

    • Fifty-six percent of voters want to change Wisconsin law that (actual question wording) “forbids retailers from selling items to consumers at below cost and mandates minimum markups on many products, including a minimum nine-point-one-eight percent markup on gasoline.” Only 32% believe the law should be kept.
      • Support for changing the law cuts across all partisan, ideological, and regional lines in the state.
    • Voters’ desire to change the law only gets stronger as voters hear more from both sides.
      • After hearing more about the law, 76% want the law changed (54% strongly so).
    • Messages that tap into consumers’ desire for lower prices, especially gas prices, resonate the most:
      • 81% are more unfavorable toward the current law knowing that “the law forbids retailers from selling to consumers below cost also requires that gasoline retailers sell gas toconsumers with a minimum nine percent markup, meaning Wisconsin drivers have to pay more for gas here than drivers do in other states.”
      • 80% are more unfavorable toward the current law knowing that “Wisconsin residents are required to pay more for many on-sale items than residents in neighboring states simply because of this seventy-five year old law.”
      • 79% are more unfavorable toward the current law knowing that “Wisconsin consumers currently do not get the same Black Friday, back-to-school and other promotional bargains that consumers in other states get; retailers have to put disclaimers in their ads that say, ‘Except in Wisconsin.’”
      • 72% are more unfavorable toward the current law knowing that “it hurts those without internet access the most, the poor and elderly. Because they have limited or no access to shopping on the internet and have to pay higher prices mandated by Wisconsin law at local stores.”

Bottom Line:

Not only do Wisconsin voters favor making changes in Wisconsin’s Minimum Markup Law, but those who know the most about it are the most supportive of change. While Republicans and Democrats agree on few issues in today’s polarized political environment, they reach a consensus across party and ideological lines on this issue. Further, there is clear evidence from the polling that the more voters hear about this issue and some of the arguments in support of changing it, the more energized and intense their opinions become.

Clearly, voters want to change this law and would be very receptive to a campaign that is focused on lowering consumer prices.

Please do not hesitate to call with any questions.