Poll shows Sen. Kohl in 'solid position,' but GOP points out same was said of Sen. Feingold

Republicans happily pointed out an ominous parallel in Democratic polling of Wisconsin Senate races Tuesday.

The Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling released a survey showing Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) in a "pretty solid position" with a 50 percent approval rating.

Moreover, the Dec. 10-12 survey shows him with leads over potential GOP rivals Rep. Paul Ryan, former Gov. Tommy Thompson and state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen ranging from 6 to 13 points.

And if Kohl decides not to run for reelection in 2012, as some have speculated, and Russ Feingold opts to make a bid, the defeated senator has a good chance of getting his job back. Feingold, who lost in 2010, polls similarly to Kohl in the same match-ups with the Republicans, and leads Ryan by 7 points, according to PPP.

"Wisconsin Senate looks good for Dems," the North Carolina-based firm concludes. 

But PPP made a similar proclamation in November 2009, the National Republican Senatorial Committee pointed out.

"Feingold looks solid," PPP said then.

Feingold lost to Republican Ron Johnson by 5 percent. (PPP's last survey before the vote gave Johnson a 9-point lead with 3 percent undecided.) The November 2009 PPP survey, however, didn't include Johnson, who declared in May of 2010.