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While Gov. Scott Walker remains a leader in the pack of potential Republican presidential candidates, his approval ratings at home are slipping.

Among registered voters in Wisconsin, 41 percent approve of Walker's job performance, according to a Marquette University Law School Poll released on Thursday. That's down from 49 percent in October, just before he defeated Democrat Mary Burke for a second term.

Walker's disapproval rating is 56 percent, up from 47 percent in October.

Poll director Charles Franklin said that's a "significant" change, especially compared to the relative stability the governor has seen in approval ratings throughout his time in office. 

The new Marquette Poll, conducted April 7-10, is the second poll since Walker's re-election to show declining approval among Wisconsin voters. Public Policy Polling found last month that 43 percent approved of Walker's job performance, while 52 percent disapproved.

For a recently re-elected governor’s approval ratings to drop at the start of his second term is unusual, University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Michael Wagner told the Capital Times in March

"I don’t think standing at home is overwhelmingly important in a presidential race," Franklin told the Capital Times in March. "But if you ... want to argue for the ‘Wisconsin Comeback’ and play up how successful your governorship has been, it would be helpful if you had a high approval rating at home."

The percentage of people who believe Wisconsin is headed in the right direction has also gone down since October, from 51 to 43 percent. 

If the presidential election were held today, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton would beat Walker in Wisconsin with a 12-point margin, 52-40. That holds true to what most national polls indicate.

Walker leads other Republican candidates — announced and unannounced — with the support of 40 percent of the state's registered voters. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky follows in second, at 10 percent.

While 62 percent of Wisconsin voters say they don't want the governor to run for president, those margins shift based on partisan identity. Among Republican and Republican-leaning voters, two-thirds support a presidential bid, up from 44 percent in October.

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Jessie Opoien covers state government and politics for the Capital Times. She joined the Cap Times in 2013 and has also covered Madison life, race relations, culture and music. She has also covered education and politics for the Oshkosh Northwestern.

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