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

A new poll finds Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonSenators sound alarm on dangers of ransomware attacks after briefing Push to investigate Bidens sets up potential for Senate turf war Overnight Defense: Trump clashes with Macron at NATO summit | House impeachment report says Trump abused power | Top Dem scolds military leaders on Trump intervention in war crimes cases 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.


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 ClintonTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Saagar Enjeti ponders Hillary Clinton's 2020 plans Political ad spending set to explode in 2020 MORE leading GOP nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments 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 JohnsonThe Trump strategy: Dare the Democrats to win Trump challenger: 'All bets are off' if I win New Hampshire primary Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump 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.