Two new polls of the Wisconsin Senate race, where Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl is retiring, give very different results in this swing state that has become a center of national attention — with either a tight race and possible Dem edge, or a big Republican lead.
On Tuesday, Rasmussen released a poll showing the presumptive Democratic nominee, Rep. Tammy Baldwin, trailing all three Republicans. Former Gov. Tommy Thompson led by 50%-36%, former Rep. Mark Neumann led by 46%-37%, and current state House Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald had an edge of 41%-40%. The survey of likely voters was conducted on February 27, with a ±4.5% margin of error.
A new survey of registered voters released today from Public Policy Polling (D), however, shows a much different result — starting with Baldwin edging Thompson by 46%-45%.
Baldwin also leads Neumann in the PPP numbers by 47%-41%, and leads Fitzgerald by 47%-39%.
The survey of registered voters was conducted from February 23-26, and has a ±3.3% margin of error.
As of now, the TPM Poll Average gives Thompson the lead over Baldwin, by a margin of 47.7%-40.6%.
PPP also has a poll for the Republican primary, showing Thompson leading with a strong plurality of 39%, followed by Neumann and Fitzgerald both tied at 22% each. The survey of likely Republican primary voters has a ±4.2% margin of error.
So are Neumann and Fitzgerald splitting the anti-Thompson, Tea Party vote? Well, maybe — Thompson still leads in the two-way match-ups, though he is under 50 percent and thus potentially vulnerable. He would lead Neumann by 46%-36%, and be leading Fitzgerald by 46%-37%.
However, in a sign of vulnerability for him, the pollster asked: “Generally speaking, would you prefer that the Republican Senate nominee next year was Tommy Thompson or someone more conservative?” The answer was only Thompson 37%, someone more conservative 47%.
The Republican primary will be this August 14.