Good news as Trump continues to crater everywhere.
Feingold, the Middleton liberal who lost the Senate seat he held for three terms to Johnson in 2010, has a narrow lead of 46 percent to Johnson’s 44 percent among likely voters. That’s well within the Marquette poll’s margin of error of 3.9 percent among the 878 voters who said they were likely to vote next month.
Phil Anderson, the Libertarian candidate, received 4 percent support from likely voters, while 5 percent of respondents did not express a preference.
Johnson has made up a lot of ground since the middle of last month when the Marquette poll found Feingold up by 5 percentage points – 44 percent to 39 percent. It would seem Anderson’s loss is Johnson’s gain. The Libertarian candidate polled at 7 percent last month, with 10 percent of voters were undecided.
In a straight, head-to-head match-up between Johnson and Feingold, 48 percent of likely voters support the challenger; 46 percent favor Johnson. Feingold held a 6 percentage point advantage in the previous poll, 47 percent to 41 percent.
This is the first time I recall Johnson’s numbers moving independently of the presidential candidate. Johnson’s poll numbers are improving while Trump’s are going the other way. That means that a lot of folks are coming back to Johnson.
Why? As a general rule, people need a reason to change. Feingold’s entire campaign has just been a negative rant aping the same old liberal mantras of the last 40 years. It is as if he hasn’t updated his campaign material since he ran in 2000. Meanwhile, he’s being such a raging hypocrite on his signature issue, campaign finance reform, that even his supporters guffaw when he lectures us on the evils of undisclosed corporate donations. Feingold just hasn’t made a compelling case for change.
It’s still a long time until the election and the turnout for the top of the ticket will drive a lot of the down ballot races, but Johnson has to feel positive about this poll.