Wisconsin Senate race shifts toward Johnson: poll
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) led his Democratic challenger Mandela Barnes by 4 points in a new Fox News poll after the same survey showed Barnes leading last month.
The poll found Johnson garnered the support of 48 percent of respondents, compared to Barnes’s 44 percent. Five percent said they didn’t know who they would lean toward, and 2 percent said they wouldn’t vote.
The same poll, which was conducted by Beacon Research and Shaw & Company Research, last month found Barnes receiving the support of half of respondents, while Johnson’s support clocked in at 46 percent.
In the latest iteration, a majority of respondents indicated they were at least somewhat concerned that both candidates’ views are too extreme.
Four in 10 respondents expressed concern for Barnes’s views, 5 percentage points higher than those who expressed concern about Johnson.
The new poll also found an enthusiasm gap between the two candidates.
Sixty-eight percent of those who indicated support for Johnson said they did so enthusiastically, compared to 50 percent who said so for Barnes.
Nearly a quarter of Barnes supporters — 24 percent — said they were doing so mostly because they dislike the other candidates. Just 9 percent of Johnson supporters indicated their support for the same reason.
Republicans are hoping to hold onto Johnson’s seat as they target other Democrat-held seats in close Senate races across the country.
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race as a “toss up.”
A poll released by AARP earlier on Thursday showed a similar lead for Johnson, indicating he leads the race by 5 points. Some other polls have shown the race closer, including a Spectrum News-Siena College poll released last week showing the contest within 1 percentage point.
The latest Fox News poll indicates the preservation of American democracy ranked as the top issue in the race. The pollster did not include the issue on its August survey.
One in five Wisconsin voters listed inflation as their top issue in the latest poll, a drop of 8 percent from August. Sixteen percent listed abortion, virtually unchanged from the previous month.
The poll was conducted between Sept. 22-26 with 1,012 Wisconsin voters contacted on landlines and cellphones. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.