September 2, 2014

Baldwin’s lead shrinks in new poll

The latest Marquette University Law School Poll shows the gap is closing in Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race.

According to the results released Wednesday, Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin leads former Republican Governor Tommy Thompson 48 percent to 44 percent. Poll director Charles Franklin says that’s down from a 50 to 41 advantage for Baldwin just two weeks ago.

Franklin says the tightening of the race from a nine point lead to just four points in such a short period of time is a substantial move.

One possible reason for the change is the presence of both candidates in campaign advertising. Baldwin spent much of the four weeks after her uncontested primary getting her message out on TV and in the media, while Thompson was relatively quiet after his difficult four-way GOP primary. During that period, Franklin says Baldwin appeared to have ten times more campaign ads running than Thompson did. In the last two weeks, the presence of both candidates has leveled out as Thompson and his supporters started running ads to counter Baldwin’s message.

The poll was conducted last week, and some responses were taken after the candidates had their first debate on Friday night. However, Franklin says that had a very minor impact on the results, since less than 18-percent of those polled over the weekend, about 56 people, even watched the debate.

The poll of 894 likely voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percent.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:18)