Poll reveals Wisconsin GOP Senate primary a toss-up

A new poll just five days out from the Wisconsin Republican Senate primary offers little insight into the final results, as it gives the leading three candidates a near-three-way tie.

Businessman Eric Hovde barely leads the pack, with 27 percent support in the survey from Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm. Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) comes in close behind at 25 percent support, and former Rep. Mark Neumann (R-Wis.) polls at 24 percent support. Slightly further behind is Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, who snags 9 percent of the vote.

The results are largely unchanged from PPP's last poll a week ago, indicating voters have essentially made up their minds and at this point the race will come down to turnout. Which is why it's significant that Hovde has a large lead among voters who are "very excited" to cast their ballots — he brings in 37 percent of those voters, compared to 20 percent for Fitzgerald, 10 percent for Neumann and 17 percent for Thompson.

But Neumann, who benefits from some name recognition, leads with women, evangelical voters, and is tied with Thompson for the lead with seniors — and the last two voting blocs tend to play a pivotal role in GOP primaries.

The primary is on Aug. 14.

The poll, of 557 likely Republican primary voters, was conducted from Aug. 8-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percent.