A new Marquette Law School Poll finds Democrat Tammy Baldwin taking the lead over former Republican Governor Tommy Thompson in the race for an open U.S. Senate seat, 50 to 41 percent among likely voters. That nine-point lead was reversed one month ago, with Thompson ahead 50 to 41 percent.
“But,” says poll director Charles Franklin, “it also comes after a month in which Baldwin and some supporting outside groups have run a heavy ad campaign criticizing former Governor Thompson and at a period when counter-advertising has been essentially absent from the airwaves.”
Franklin says national polls and a number of state polls have also found a significant post-convention bounce in favor of Democrats. Much of the movement in the poll comes among independents. In August independents preferred Thompson by 47 to 37 percent. That reversed in September, with independents supporting Baldwin by 50 to 38 percent. “This is our first poll that has shown Baldwin ahead and certainly by a substantial margin right now.”
Three of the four recent polls show Baldwin ahead of Thompson. The two candidates are tied at 47 percent in the new Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday morning. Franklin says there will be a huge shift in advertising between now and Election Day … and polls will reflect that.
The Marquette Law School poll also shows President Barack Obama has increased his lead over challenger Mitt Romney by 14 points in the battleground state of Wisconsin.
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:32
NOTE: The poll of both land line and cell phone users was conducted September 13-16. The November match-ups, based on a sample of 601 likely voters, have a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points.