Poll finds Johnson up 5 in Wisconsin Senate race
© Greg Nash

A new poll finds Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonMystery surrounds elusive sanctions on Russia Trump may intervene in Pentagon cloud-computing contract: report Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp MORE (R-Wis.) up 5 points in his race against former Sen. Russ Feingold (D).

The Wisconsin Republican is leading Feingold 45 percent to 40 percent, according to a Loras College Poll released Monday.

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Johnson is also leading Feingold among independent voters, 45 percent to 35 percent, according to the poll, and is viewed more favorably by voters. 

"The Senate result in our poll of Wisconsin is quite a reversal of electoral fortune for the incumbent. Only time will tell if this improved standing will hold until Election Day," said Christopher Budzisz, the director of the Loras College Poll.

The Loras College survey is a sharp break from months of polls that have had Feingold on track to retake the Senate seat he lost in 2010, a GOP wave election. The former Democratic senator is leading Johnson by nearly 8 percentage points on average, according to RealClearPolitics. 

A CBS News/YouGov poll that had Johnson down by 3 points to Feingold had also been touted earlier Monday by the GOP senator's campaign. 

Brian Reisinger, a spokesman for the campaign, said in a note to reporters that it's "the closest public poll yet to what we’ve seen in our internal numbers and those of our friends" and they believe "we've felt the momentum shift even further in our direction."

Democrats need to pick up five seats — or four if they also retain the White House — to retake the Senate, and flipping the Wisconsin seat is crucial to their efforts.

The Loras College Poll also had Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPoll: Majority of Democratic voters happy with their choices among 2020 contenders No presidential candidate can unite the country GOP lawmakers speak out against 'send her back' chants MORE leading GOP nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE by 8 points in Wisconsin as part of a four-way matchup. Clinton had 43 percent of the vote, compared to 35 for Trump, 8 percent for Libertarian nominee Gary JohnsonGary Earl JohnsonAmash won't rule out Libertarian challenge to Trump Buzz grows Amash will challenge Trump as a Libertarian Potential GOP primary challenger: Trump's 'contempt for the American people' behind possible bid MORE and 2 percent for Green Party nominee Jill Stein.

Both Clinton and Trump were underwater on favorability. Clinton's net favorably was minus-8, while Trump's was minus-33.

The Loras College Poll was conducted Oct. 4–5 — before The Washington Post published audio from 2005 of Trump making sexually aggressive comments about women. The poll surveyed 600 likely voters in Wisconsin and has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.