- Barnes has a 51%-44% lead over Johnson in the Wisconsin Senate race, according to a new Marquette Law poll.
- Johnson is running for re-election to a third term, while Barnes hopes to unseat the GOP incumbent.
- The Wisconsin Senate race remains one of the best Democratic pickup opportunities this year.
Wisconsin’s Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes has a seven-point lead over two-term Republican Sen. Ron Johnson in one of the top Senate races this year, according to a new poll by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School. Marquette University.
The poll showed Barnes with 51% support among registered voters in the Badger State, while Johnson received 44% support; three percent of respondents were not sure which candidate they would support in November.
Among likely voters, Barnes led Johnson 52% to 45%.
(A Fox News poll released Thursday showed Barnes leading Johnson 50 percent to 46 percent among registered voters.)
In Wisconsin, both Barnes and Johnson perform well among their respective bases. But the swing state, which has supported Democratic candidates in seven of the last eight presidential contests, has been sharply polarized in other state races.
Among the pool of registered voters, Barnes received the support of 95% of Democrats, with 4% of the party’s voters crossing over to support Johnson.
Johnson won the support of 92% of Republicans, and 7% of Republican voters indicated they would vote for Barnes.
Independents gave Barnes a clear lead in the latest poll, with the Democratic challenger ahead of Johnson 52% to 38%, a significant shift from June, when both men were tied at 41% support among this core voting group.
Voter enthusiasm is quite high among members of both parties. Eighty-three percent of Republicans said they were absolutely certain they would vote this fall, compared with 82 percent of Democrats, the poll found. Sixty-six percent of independents said they would definitely vote in the next election.
Last week, both Barnes and Johnson performed well in their respective Senate primaries.
Johnson has long enjoyed strong support among grassroots conservatives and remains a political ally of former President Donald Trump, making his renomination as the Republican Senate nominee a no-brainer. But Barnes has spent most of the year locked in a competitive primary.
Until last month, Barnes’ main challengers were state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson and Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry, but all three dropped out of the race within two weeks and gave his support for the lieutenant governor, which since last month. 2019 has been the governing partner of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers in a state with a GOP-controlled legislature.
Evers, who is running for re-election to a second term, leads GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels 45 percent to 43 percent among registered voters and 46 percent to 44 percent among likely voters.
Barnes, a former state legislator, has gained a high level of visibility by criss-crossing the state to visit locales in his native country. Milwaukee in the countryside Bayfield County in his capacity as lieutenant governor.
But despite the polling lead, it won’t be easy to unseat Johnson, who despite a 38 percent approval rating in the poll, was able to defeat former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold in 2010 and 2016 and is running to the candidacy. Re-election is what could be a strong Republican midterm cycle.
While Barnes has emphasized his plan to expand the child tax credit and touted his support for federal voting rights legislation, Johnson has continually criticized President Joe Biden on the economy and immigration , among other issues.
The race presents a great opportunity for both sides. Trump won the state in 2016, but Biden returned it to Democrats in 2020, highlighting their political competitiveness.
And in the evenly divided Senate, where Democrats control the upper chamber by virtue of Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote, a net gain of seats for the party would give them breathing room to pass bills without having to receive a mandatory acceptance. of moderate Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.
While Manchin played a key role in crafting the Lower Inflation Act, which includes record funding for climate initiatives, the lawmaker also single-handedly dismantled the Build Back Better Act, the social spending package already gone which was supported by most Democrats. lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Marquette Law School polled 811 registered voters from August 10-15; the poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.