Poll gives Thompson lead in tight Republican primary, ahead of Baldwin in general election
Post by Emily Mills on 8/8/2012 5:00pm
A new poll from Marquette Law School out Wednesday shows an even tighter race in the Republican primary for Wisconsin's U.S. Senate seat, with former Gov. Tommy Thompson taking a slight lead over competitors.
In a theoretical match-up between Thompson and U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison), who is also running for the seat as a Democrat, Thompson also enjoys a small lead of 48 to 43 percent.
The poll sampled 1,400 registered voters in the state between August 2 and 5, including 1,188 who said they were "likely" voters for the November general election, and 519 "likely" voters for the GOP primary on August 14.
Among those likely to cast ballots for the primary Thompson took 28 percent, businessman Eric Hovde clocked in at 20 percent, Tea Party-backed candidate Mark Neumann got 18 percent, and Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald garnered 13 percent.
Including undecided voters who are leaning toward candidates, the numbers shift to Thompson 33 percent, Hovde 24 percent, Neumann 21 percent, and Fitzgerald 15 percent. Seven percent are still totally undecided.
The margin of error among likely GOP primary voters was 4.4 percentage points.
Baldwin fared better in trial match-ups with Hovde (44-41 percent) and Fitzgerald (45-40 percent). She ties with Neumann at 44 percent each.
Poll director Charles Franklin noted that it didn't look like crossover Democratic voters would affect the outcome in the Republican primary.
The Marquette Poll is conducted by live interviewers and therefor includes cell phone users, which make up some 27 percent of all voters.
The poll also took the temperature on Wisconsin voter's feeling about the November presidential election.
President Obama's favorable ratings topped those of presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, 53 to 36 percent. Romney had a higher unfavorable rating as well, at 48 to Obama's 42 percent.
Obama has increased his lead in the state since the MU poll last month, from 51-43 percent to now a 50-45 percent lead.
Half of Wisconsin voters say cutting the federal deficit is “extremely important” and a third say it is “very important.”
The MU poll has a good track record of predicting electoral outcomes. In the recall election of Gov. Scott Walker it had exactly the seven point spread between the incumbent and challenger Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
According to this new poll, too, Walker’s job approval remains virtually unchanged since July, with 51 percent approval and 44 percent disapproval. Approval was 50 percent in July with 44 percent disapproving.
The margin of error is +/- 2.7 percentage points for the full sample.
Full results and data from the poll can be found online here.
Emily Mills is Editor-At-Large for Dane101, as well as Editor of Our Lives Magazine. She is also a freelance writer, photographer, actor, and musician (drummer and singer in local band Little Red Wolf). Originally from several states up and down the Midwest Emily has called Madison home since 2000. Contact her at