WI-Sen: Suprisingly Close Race for Feingold

PPP (pdf) (6/26-27, Wisconsin voters, 3/20-21 in parens):

Russ Feingold (D-inc): 45

Ron Johnson (R): 43

Undecided: 12

Russ Feingold (D-inc): 45 (48)

Dave Westlake (R): 38 (31)

Undecided: 17 (21)

(MoE: ±3.9%)

There was a general sense of Russ Feingold having dodged a bullet when ex-Gov. Tommy Thompson decided not to run (in PPP’s March poll, Feingold led Tommy Thompson 47-44). In a bit of a surprise, though, likely GOP nominee Ron Johnson performs about as well as Thompson, trailing Feingold only 45-43. PPP’s Tom Jensen speculates Republicans may have actually done themselves a favor here by running a fresh face (Johnson) instead of the stale Thompson; with only 20/18 favorables right now, Johnson does certainly have a lot of upside. (Feingold’s approval is 42/42.) Of course, on the other hand, some of Johnson’s support now may simply be because he’s something new and different, and while Thompson had some moderate crossover appeal, the very conservative Johnson may not have much of that once the candidates start talking about specifics.

PPP may have run into a more conservative batch this time than last time; today’s sample broke 48 Obama, 47 McCain, and it’s also apparent in the trendlines for the low-profile Some Dude in the race, Dave Westlake. Regardless, it’s a pretty clear signal that Russ Feingold (and the DSCC, unfortunately) are going to have to fight this one out.

39 thoughts on “WI-Sen: Suprisingly Close Race for Feingold”

  1. He never wins by big margins.  In ’98, he beat Mark Neuman by 3% after trailing him for much of the fall.  I remain confident that he’ll win this one too.

  2. R2K president Del Ali tells TPMmuckraker in an email, “I have much to say, however, I am following my attorney Richard Beckler’ ESQ’s counsel and referring all questions to him. I will tell you unequivocally that we conducted EVERY poll properly for the Daily Kos.”  

  3. Even worse than the Pennsylvania sample.

    Obama carried Wisconsin by 14%, but in this sample it is Obama by 1%.

    Um, heah, the race is close if you think Mccain turnout will stay the same and Obama turnout will go down 28%. That is about the equivalent of every Obama voter under 40 not showing up, plus every African American voter over 40.

    Remember these numbers don’t reflect changes in votes from Obama to Mccain or D or R, or vice versa.  They are merely guessing that turnout for Mccain voters will X% of 2008 while Obama turnout will be (X – 30%).

    AA turnout in Wisconsin was only 5% total in 2008, and Wisconsin has traditionally high turnout, so these number for this state are beyond a joke.  PPP should be ashamed to put out such garbage.

    Bottom line, Feingold is very close to safe Dem if a sample like this shows him leading.

  4. Dem – 35%

    GOP – 35%

    Indie – 30%

    Feingold – 93/10/54 = 55%

    Johnson – 7/90/46 = 45%

    Still looks like a Lean Dem race to me, probably less competitive than WA-Sen. Keep in mind, in his ’04 bid, Feingold siphoned 14% of Republicans and won 2-to-1 among Independents. I don’t expect either of those in this environment, but I think he has some wiggle room.

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