A Marquette Law School Poll conducted between September 24th and 28th, found Democratic challenger Russ Feingold had opened up a 50 to 36 lead over incumbent Republican Senator Ron Johnson. Feingold’s numbers marked a 9-point jump from his 47 to 42 lead over Johnson in Marquette Law School’s August poll of the Wisconsin Senate race.
Although the Wisconsin Senate race will not be decided until November 2016, it is one of the most closely watched races in the nation, as it is a rematch of the 2010 race when Johnson defeated then Senator Feingold during the GOP wave election of 2010.
The two men are at opposite ends of the ideological spectrum, with Johnson being closely aligned with the tea party movement, whereas Russ Feingold is generally regarded as being politically progressive. He is also a strong proponent of civil liberties. Feingold was the lone Senator to vote against authorizing the USA PATRIOT Act when it was first passed on a 98-1 vote in 2001.
The Marquette Poll found that Republicans have become very unpopular in Wisconsin. By a 37-59 margin they disapprove of the way Governor Scott Walker is handling his job. They also have an unfavorable opinion of GOP Senator Ron Johnson by a 27-36 margin, while they view Feingold favorably by a 42-32 spread.
Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson is one of many GOP Senators who will face a difficult battle trying to retain his seat in what will probably be a high turnout presidential election in 2016. His right-wing extremism is a poor fit for Wisconsin, and voters there appear to finally be growing weary of the failed GOP experiment in their state.
As buyer’s remorse has set in for voters disillusioned with tea party politics, Feingold has an opportunity to avenge his 2010 loss, and send Senator Johnson packing after one failed term in the U.S. Senate. For voters in Wisconsin, the 2016 election can’t come soon enough.