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

A new poll finds Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP senators call for Barr to release full results of Epstein investigation FBI Agents Association calls on Congress to make 'domestic terrorism' a federal crime Senators renew request for domestic threats documents from FBI, DOJ after shootings 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 ClintonThe exhaustion of Democrats' anti-Trump delusions Poll: Trump trails three Democrats by 10 points in Colorado Soft levels of support mark this year's Democratic primary MORE leading GOP nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFacebook releases audit on conservative bias claims Harry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Recessions happen when presidents overlook key problems 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 JohnsonTrump challenger: 'All bets are off' if I win New Hampshire primary Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump Progressive Democrats' turnout plans simply don't add up 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.