Poll: GOP has edge for open Wis. House seat
© Greg Nash

The GOP has a good chance at keeping an open House seat in Wisconsin that Democrats had hoped to flip this year, according to a new poll.

Republican businessman Mike Gallagher has 52 percent support, and Democrat Tom Nelson has 41 percent, according to an NMB Research survey conducted for the Congressional Leadership Fund and provided to The Hill on Friday.

The fund, a super PAC affiliated with House GOP leadership, is spending $900,000 in the race.

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The poll was conducted earlier this week but before the final presidential debate between Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rips Dems' demands, impeachment talk: 'Witch Hunt continues!' Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push MORE and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests Iowa Democrats brace for caucus turnout surge MORE, on Wednesday night.

Gallagher is significantly outperforming Trump in Wisconsin’s 8th District. The GOP presidential nominee leads Clinton by only 3 points, though both candidates are viewed unfavorably. 

Fifty-five percent of the survey’s respondents in the district view Trump unfavorably, compared with 60 percent for Clinton. 

A Democrat represented the Green Bay-area district before Rep. Reid RibbleReid James RibbleSetting the record straight about No Labels With Trump, conservatives hope for ally in 'War on Christmas' GOP rushes to embrace Trump MORE, who is retiring, won in 2010.

Republicans are scrambling to minimize losses in the House in the event Trump loses the presidential election to Clinton on Nov. 8.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAmash storm hits Capitol Hill Debate with Donald Trump? Just say no Ex-Trump adviser says GOP needs a better health-care message for 2020 MORE (R-Wis.) has been barnstorming the country for House GOP candidates, including Gallagher on Friday.

To take back the House majority, Democrats would have to win multiple competitive districts like this one that that tend to favor the GOP slightly.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report currently rates the district as “lean Republican.”

Unlike Ribble, Gallagher is backing Trump, though he has been critical of the GOP nominee at times. Ribble told The Hill in a recent interview that he's leaning toward voting for independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin instead of Trump. 

Nelson’s campaign is running ads blasting Gallagher for continuing to support Trump after the public release of a recording in which Trump brags about using his celebrity to grope and kiss women without their consent.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has released multiple polls in recent days showing Democrats ahead of or running closer behind GOP House candidates. As of Friday, the DCCC has not unveiled new polling between Nelson and Gallagher.

The NMB poll included 400 registered voters in the 8th District and has a 4.9-point margin of error.