Johnson, Barnes separated by 1 point in new Wisconsin Senate poll

(AP Photo- Left: Jacquelyn Martin, Right: Morry Gash, File)

Incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) leads his Democratic challenger, Mandela Barnes, by 1 percentage point in their battleground race, according to a new CBS News-YouGov poll.

The poll found that Johnson garnered the support of half of likely voters, compared to Barnes’s 49 percent support.

Democrats view the seat as one of their best pickup opportunities in November’s midterm elections as they hope to maintain or improve their razor-thin majority.

Recent polling has similarly shown Johnson and Barnes neck and neck in their race, which the nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates as a “toss up.”

Despite Johnson’s lead in the new survey, his likability rating clocked in lower than Barnes’s.

Forty-three percent of voters said they liked how Johnson handles himself personally, compared to 49 percent who said the same of Barnes.

But the poll found both of their ratings registered underwater, with 57 percent saying they dislike how Johnson handles himself personally and 51 percent indicating the same for Barnes.

More than half of Barnes supporters said they are voting for the lieutenant governor mainly to oppose Johnson, while only 29 percent said they offered their support mainly because they like Barnes himself.

Fifty-three percent of Johnson supporters, meanwhile, said they are voting for his reelection mainly because they like him, while 23 percent said they were doing so mainly to oppose Barnes.

The two candidates held their first debate last week and tried to paint each other as extremist. Barnes fielded attacks over crime and defunding the police, while Johnson was forced to go on defense for his previous comments on Social Security and the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

The poll found Johnson supporters factored in his economic policies in their voting decision more than any other issue, with 83 percent characterizing it as a major factor. Half of Barnes supporters said so.

Barnes supporters were more likely to consider abortion a more salient factor, with 73 percent saying it was a major factor in their decision, compared to 37 percent of Johnson supporters.

The poll was conducted between Oct. 3 and Oct. 7 through online interviews of 1,138 registered Wisconsin voters. The margin of error is 3.7 percentage points.

Tags 2022 midterms Mandela Barnes Poll Ron Johnson Ron Johnson Wisconsin Senate race
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